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The Yankees are at a crossroads

Are the Yankees on the downswing?

While some may still consider the New York Yankees playoff contenders at (54-51), they seem to be stuck in a peculiar position.  As the roster for the Yankees is getting older, the farm system is not getting any better.  Even though GM Brian Cashman is making moves to try to keep the team afloat, they are not long term transactions.  As the last link of the core 4 is retiring at the end of the season; Derek Jeter's retiring will mark the end of an era for the Yankees.  The question then becomes, who is next in the minors?  The alarming answer right now is nobody.  The Yankees have a scarcity of minor league prospects which is a not a good sign.

The one thing about the Yankees is that they will be in the A.L. wild card race until the last week of the season, solely because they go for the playoffs every year and won't give up on the season.  However, similar to last season, they just don't have the horses to make that deep playoff run that they used to year in and year out.  It is almost shocking to fathom the fact that the Yankees could miss out on the playoffs for a second year in a row.  That has not happened since before 1996 which seems like a lifetime ago.

The 1990's Yankee dynasty was predominantly homegrown, but this current Yankee team is almost all  filled with players who have been bought from other teams.  Lost in Derek Jeter's farewell tour is the fact that the Yankees have very few players coming up through the pipeline.  If I were the Yankees, I would trade a guy like Carlos Beltran or Brett Gardner to a contending team for a boatload of prospects.  The Yankees face a similar problem to the Philadelphia Phillies.  That problem is that if they don't get younger, they will fall into an abyss of mediocrity.  

The Yankees have a tremendous winning pedigree and should turn out to be just fine.  However, Yankee fans should start to be a little concerned about the lack of long term solutions the Yankees possess in the farm system.  The lack of prospects does not mean they are going to stink.  It just means that they are going to have to break the bank for free agents to continue to compete for the playoffs in the American League.

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