Release the Killer B's

It would seem that the Killer B's (Betances, Brackman, Banuelos ..) will never get an opportunity to showcase their talent in any significant way in the big leagues. The Yanks are again making a splash in the free agent market. Well it does appear that the foundation of the Bronx Bombers is now going to be different. The "core four" have been reduced to just one. Derek Jeter is the last stalwart. Before we talk about rebuilding the roster, I believe it worthwhile to discuss some personnel management issues.

English: Jorge Posada (#20, left) with Mariano...

English: Jorge Posada (#20, left) with Mariano Rivera (middle) and Derek Jeter (right) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Starting with Alex Rodriguez and the Biogenisis allegations. The ball desperately wants to have his contract nullified. Regardless of what you might think of Alex, he deserves to have his day in court. Cashman and Yankee braintrust decided to offer the 10yr deal without caring about the consequences of an aging athlete. That is not the fault of Alex Rodriguez. He certainly did his part in helping the club earn a World Series title in 2009. Regardless how this plays out, Cashman looks to be quite to ruthless negotiator.  Thus far the hot stove is piping hot for the Bronx Bombers, and rightly so methinks the club did very little in the way of safeguarding the franchise against aging veterans.

Although, the 2013 campaign could be considered an anomaly, it became painfully obvious that injuries can wreck a season without having sufficient depth of players above replacement level. Unfortunately,  the ballclub used players who were marginally above replacement level for the entire season and this eventually was their undoing. While people applaud Cashman as a genious who pieced together a club which stayed in the hunt until the final weeks of the season, many fans wondered with seemingly infinite financial resources ( payroll of $180M), how did the Yankees get into that predicament anyway?  Absolutely, amazing if you analyze the problem.  How could a club whose farm system developed Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, and Derek Jeter (we'll get to Robinson Cano later) now become totally inept in producing viable candidates to replace this aging core of veterans?

I am sure that Cashman would argue that the Core Four only happen once in a lifetime. He would be correct, their accomplishments are remarkable indeed. Five World Series titles (Four in five years), 15 playoff appearances in 17 seasons. Countless AL East division titles.  In fairness to the club, it did produce Robinson Cano who will likely be the best 2nd baseman on the planet for years to come. However, he is perhaps the only youngster that the club has matriculated to utility. The verdict is still out on Brent Gardner and Ivan Nova. The aforementioned "Killer B's" are perhaps years away from contributing to the ball club.

It could be argued that the most recent crop of Yankee young pitching prospects were a large disappointment.  Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain will likely change uniforms this off season, which would have been unthinkable as just 2-3 years ago Cashman earmarked these two as untouchable. While both pitchers are unquestionably talented for whatever reason they could not meet expectations in the Bx. It would appear that Chamberlain is a bit arrogant and never sought much counsel from other pitchers who were shuttled between the starting rotation and the bullpen. He seemed a bit challenged emotionally. I guy like former Atlanta Brave, John Smoltz, was a good example of someone that could have mentored him. For that matter, he could have stayed within the organization and conferred with Dave Righetti, as he too shuttled between the bullpen and starting rotation.  Hughes appeared more open to criticism and mentoring, he simply did not have the ability to command all of his pitches consistently.  He pitched to contact and became a fly ball pitcher which does not equate to success in Yankee Stadium. Somehow I think they will both eventually be serviceable in other uniforms, but nothing close to the mega hype both received before they came to the big leagues.

Perhaps the Killer B's will eventually find there way to the Bronx and contribute for the ball club. I suppose time will tell, but to be clear I am captivated by the activity this off season. The last time the Bombers were this active, they won it all. We'll see.
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    This page contains a single entry by AG published on December 8, 2013 8:20 AM.

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