With the trade deadline looming, the New York Yankees are faced with a tough decision; Sell or stand pat. There are two sides to the argument, but in a year that the Yankees are stuck in mediocrity, the answer has never seemed clearer for the Pinstripes.
The pros of selling: The Yankees are old, uninspiring, and attendance at "the stadium" is down. Sure, they may be in it until the last month, but this team is not built for long term success. Their is one bright spot. The Yankees have a surplus of relief pitching, headed by their three flamethrowers in Dellin Betances, Aroldis Chapman, and Andrew Miller. With several aging players that can't seem to avoid injury on their roster, it is hard to imagine what the Yankees record would be this season without their bullpen arms. Many teams in contention like the Texas Rangers and the Chicago Cubs are a strong reliever away from solidifying their roster, and a guy of LHP Andrew Miller's ilk could bring back huge returns. The point of having a surplus is to use it to acquire something you lack, and in this case, the Yankees lack young starting pitching and position players. The Yankees are in a textbook position to sell. They must ask themselves if they rather continue on the same trend, and that is being mired in a mediocre campaign, or, alter their team and re-tool for the future. Selling would be an admission by the Yankees that they are waving the white flag, but every great run comes to an end. The Yankees must swallow their pride and realize they aren't invincible. They had a great run, but its time to start fresh. The Bombers may have to endure a few last place seasons to regain league supremacy. Before the late 90's dynasty of the Yankees, they were noncompetitive, but they cultivated a farm system with the likes of Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Petite, and Jorge Posada. We all know how that story ended.
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The cons of selling: The Yankees sport a record of 46-46 to date. They trail the Baltimore Orioles by 7.5 games and are 5 games back from the second spot in the A.L. Wild Card race. These deficits are by no means insurmountable. For the mighty Yankees to sell while still mathematically alive, well, that is not something we have become accustomed to. The Yankees are always buyers at the deadline. They always go for it. As a Met fan, I can recall countless times of marveling at the Yankees aggression while the the Amazins talked about winning ten years down the road. Oh how times have changed. The Mets rebuilding actually paid off; Maybe the Yankees should take a page out of their book.
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The Verdict: It seems as if the only plausible reason for standing pat on July 31st for the Yankees is pride. Every reasonable baseball mind can see that it is time to get younger and sell. The Yankees can't buy away their mistakes anymore, but rather, they have to live with the consequences of their poor contracts. GM Brian Cashman has a lot on his plate the next two weeks. Will he be pressured by ownership to hold onto his bargaining chips? Will he sell a bullpen arm for a future star? These questions will all be answered in two weeks. In the meantime, the Yankees have a grueling stretch against the first place Orioles and Giants to prove to ownership that they want to go for October baseball.