The Yankees are known as the New England Patriots of the MLB. Or should we say that the Patriots are to football, what the Yankees have been in baseball for as long as we can all remember. Though there have certainly been dark times for the franchise just like any other, many fans of my generation (20 and younger) have never experienced any real adversity as a fan watching the team.
However, times have certainly changed in the past four years, as the Yankees have made one cameo appearance in the playoffs. The appearance occurred last season, which would see the Yankees get eliminated by the Astros in the wild card game. One and done. Which is another sign that times have changed, considering the Astros have been a team that young fans were so used to seeing struggle. The same point could be made for 2015 champion Kansas City Royals. Or now, the 2016 Cubs’ who won the big one for the first time since 1908!
While, young fans may not be used to the struggles that the Yankees have experienced, the educated ones know that this is a part of every teams’ history. The Yankees have struggled for many years, despite winning 27 championships. After the Babe Ruths, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantles, CBS purchased 80% of the Yankees fresh off their 1964 World Series appearance. So much so that the Yankees wouldn’t make an appearance again until 1976.
It was until the late and great George Steinnbrenner purchased the team with a group of investors from CBS and ultimately buying most of the team out. The “Boss” would rebuild the Yankees into a great franchise. To add on to his wonderful renovation of the old Yankee Stadium, he would sign Catfish Hunter and hire legendary Yankee manager Billy Martin, which would ultimately turn the team around for the better. He followed the moves up the following year, signing Reggie Jackson.
The Yankees would see success until once again going through struggles during the until the era that fans were graced with Don Mattingly’s presence. Though, he was beloved, his era would see the Yankees’ longest playoff drought since before Babe Ruth’s time on the team. The drought lasted from 1982 until 1995. The Yankees also did not win a World Series campionship after 1978 all the way until a new dynasty was created.
In 1996, the Yankees would win the World Series. The team would dominate the MLB, as the Chicago Bulls the NBA did in the late 90s. They would win 4 championships from 1996 until 2000. The Yankees would reach the playoffs dominantly until 2013, while winning a chip in 2009 under the famous “Core Four.”
While other droughts were longing for the Yankees, I’ve come up with 4 reasons why the drought will not be as long as the team’s history has seen in the past. In fact, I expect the team to contend in 3-5 years at the most. Let’s get started, shall we?
4. New Yankee Perspective
A big reason why the Yankees’ future seems bright despite their struggles, is really credited to the new perspective on the game that the Yankees have seemingly adopted. Winning a World Series, is no longer as easy as just dipping into the free agent pool. That point was proven when the Yankees let Robinson Cano walk, deciding to sign Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, and Carlos Beltran in the same off season.
Despite Beltran being productive, the trio hasn’t had the impact the Yankees were quite hoping for. That should be a clear point, considering the Yankees only have 1 cameo playoff appearance to show for the trio’s signings. The Yankees have learned from that mistake and adapted to what the game is today, by making an effort to build a strong farm. They also have made strong efforts in keeping their prospects, rather than trading them away.
3. The Farm Is Extremely Strong
The Yankees haven’t just made an effort in building a strong farm, they have been successful in doing so. The Yankees would vastly improve their already strong farm. After trading away Andrew Miller, Aroldis Chapman and Carlos Beltran, the Yankees tied themselves for having the most top 100 prospects in the league with a total of 7.
The Yankees have a variety of different prospects with different skill sets, that could create a “dynamic dynasty” for the Yankees in the future. Of course, it’s a given that not all of the Yankees’ prospects will become stars.
2. The Yankees Can Afford Some Busts!
The United States law states, “All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in the court of law.” The idea is the same in terms of building on prospects. All prospects are green until they have proven themselves on the major league level. As for every Mike Trout, there are a Matt Bush and Vince Young. Yeah, I get you may have to look those two names up before you continue on with the article.
These busts are extremely disappointing and can set teams back even further from the bright light at the end of the tunnel that they all strive for. However, with the Yankees’ farm being so deep, they can afford some players to be busts, while still not being set back by much.
I can guarantee you right now, a majority of the Yankees’ top prospects will fail in becoming stars in the league. However, for every 3 or 4 busts, the Yankees could have a star. And if none of them plan out, then they need to focus on firing some scouts.
1. Still One Of Baseball’s Richest Teams
One thing that is always going to be a factor for the Yankees in building or adding on to their team, is their wealth. To many non Yankee fans demise, the team has the ability to lure most free agents to New York with the money that they possess. This is something that doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon.
If certain prospects don’t work out, a void could be left on the team’s lineup and/or rotation. The team will always have their money to back them up, in filling in those holes through the free agency pool.
Players like Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and others could combine with the successful Yankee prospects to once again create a dynasty that would help the team dominate the league once again.
Do you also see a bright future for the Yankees’ or will the Yankees fall into another drought like they have in the past?