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How To Fix a Flawed Team

Posted By Brendan Sennott On Jun 2 2011 @ 11:49 am In New York Yankees | No Comments

This entry is an open letter to Yankees GM Brian Cashman.  It is in his and the Yankees best interest to carry this out word for word.  It would all but guarantee the 28th World Series Title for the most successful franchise in sports. 

 Mr. Cashman:

 It is June 2nd and your team just completed a 3 game sweep of the offensively inept Oakland A’s.  You now stand 4 and 2 on this critical 9 game West Coast road trip with 3 games left starting Friday in Anaheim. You lead everybody’s dream team (but equally as flawed) the Boston Red Sox by 2 games in the American League East thanks to this first 4 game winning streak of the season.  You have the best run differential in the game at +69 and currently lead the league with a 3.35 team ERA.  Your club has also hit a major league high 91 HR.

 All impressive, but you know what…it is all a mirage.  This team is closer to the team that lost 10 of 13 between May 3rd and May 16th than a playoff contender.  That is why it is critical you act now as the schedule is about to get tougher.  Your team is playing well and the Red Sox are suddenly struggling so do not get complacent.  Follow the steps below and the franchise will be set up for greatness this season and going forward.

1.  Ignore your own ignorant policy and rip up C.C. Sabathia’s contact before he opts out of his current deal in the winter.  You would be in last place [1]without Sabathia.  He is an ace in every sense of the word.  Give him the same money you were prepared to offer Cliff Lee this past offseason. Sabathia is 2 years younger than Lee, is more overpowering and doesn’t belch in reporters’ faces after bad outings.  If you’re worried about how it will look to the other players on your team, don’t.  He is the heart of the clubhouse now.  Only one player on your roster would have a legitimate beef should you negotiate with Sabathia during the season.  That would be Mariano Rivera and I think he would get over it with winning more rings.  C.C. is the horse to build this team around and lead it to greatness moving forward.   Get this done now. 

[2]2.  Release Jorge Posada or figure out some phantom injury that keeps him out until rosters expand in September.  He is still hitting below .200 and has not homered since April 23. Jorge looks lost on off speed pitches, has zero hits right-handed, and he drags the lineup down when he plays against righties.  Great athletes are always the last to see when they are done.  This is the case here.  I know Posada is a legendary Yankee and a member of the famed “Core Four” but you did it to Bernie Williams in 2007 and he eventually forgave you.  Posada will do the same… in time.

[3]3. Make your Theo Epstein legacy trade by trading Nick Swisher, Delin Betances, Ivan Nova,  and Brandon Laird to the Dodgers for Andre Ethier, Clayton Kershaw and whatever bad contract Dodger GM Ned Colletti wants to dump on you.  If Colletti insists on getting prized prospect Jesus Montero keep one of the pitchers but work it out.  The Dodgers are a disaster with the divorce of Frank and Jamie McCourt. They have issues making payroll for crying out loud.  They need talented and cheap big league ready players.  Ethier makes $9 million per season and is due another bump in [4]arbitration this coming offseason.  Swisher makes exactly the same but has a manageable club option of $10.5 million for next season.  He is a switch hitter, is married to an actress, has a house in Malibu and would thrive in the low pressure of the L.A. sports market.  Quite frankly he stinks in limelight of NY.  The Dodgers could decline his option, pay his buyout and get that salary off their books for next year

     Now trading Kershaw would be heavy duty for L.A.  This is not unprecedented however.  The Florida Marlins traded a more established ace and World Series MVP in Josh Beckett to Epstein and the Red Sox after the 2005 season under similar circumstances.  Kershaw may set a new record in arbitration this winter based on his early career success and that will hurt the Dodgers financially.  He would give you the arm you need to match Jon Lester in the AL East for the next decade.  It would be a crippling blow to Boston to acquire a left-handed, power pitcher who has yet to reach his prime. 

[5]Ethier is a solid gap hitter who doesn’t swing from his heels like Swisher.  He is a solid RF and seems like a good teammate and not as big a goofball as Swisher.  This beer league softball mentality has put your club in offensive trouble far too often this year and it needs help.

    Nova would step right into the L.A. rotation and thrive in the N.L. with the pitcher as a landing spot in the lineup and Betances will reach the big leagues in about 2 years when hopefully this financial mess is behind the Dodgers.  He is a future ace in the Ubaldo Jimenez mold.  Laird could very easily start at 3rd for any team in the N.L.  This is giving up a lot on both sides but makes you a more complete ballclub this year and going forward and helps the Dodgers immensely. 

4     The final deal you need to make is to trade stud catching prospect Austin Romine and 3 lower level prospects to the Twins for Delmon Young, Francisco [6]Liriano, and Jose Mijares.  The Twins are a mess and are dead in a pathetic division.  Young is another guy who is arbitration eligible and should get an increase in salary in the offseason.  Dumping him allows Minnesota to re-sign pending free agent Jason Kubel who is the teams’ best player.   The Twins have over a $100 million payroll and a new ballpark.  They cannot afford to be the worst team in baseball.  This is not as crazy as most will think.

     The acquisition of Romine will allow the Twins to remove Joe Mauer from catching in the next year or so and gives them great roster flexibility moving forward.

      Liriano is hurt right now and should come cheap.  Hell, he may be damaged goods but he is under team control next year so it is worth the risk.  He has fallen out of favor with Twins Manager Ron Gardenhire and pitching Coach Rick Anderson. ( That was mentioned very early in spring training)  He should be back in a few weeks so you can mothball him down in Tampa and get him ready for the stretch drive when the Bartolo Colon wheels will have more than likely fallen off.  Liriano would thrive in a new environment like New York and with the Yankees strong Latin American presence.  Mijares becomes your number one lefty in the pen and in the event that Damaso Marte or Pedro Feliciano comes back you can ship the awful Boone Logan back to Scranton where he belongs. 

     There you have it.  I have laid it all out for you.  This is totally serious and not impossible if you really think about it.  Both of those teams need help and you are giving up a lot to get what you need to win it all. 

     The 2004 Red Sox shook up their roster by trading key, regular players and ended “The Curse of the Bambino.”  This team as constructed cannot win a World Series. It is worse than the team that got punked by the Rangers in the ALCS last year.  Need I say more.

     Kershaw and Liriano replace Nova and Freddy Garcia in the rotation.  Phil Hughes can shift to the bullpen upon his return, where he thrived during the 09 title run.  Garcia becomes the long man replacing Lance Pendleton.  The lineup becomes more versatile with Young and Ethier and less reliant on the homerun.  The DH becomes a roving position for your aging veterans, especially A-Rod.  Brett Gardner becomes the 4th OF and you can release Andruw Jones as Young is a far more consistent righty bat.   This incredible team featuring a circular lineup, a great rotation and a powerful bullpen would allow you to win over 100 games and cruise to another world championship.  Start dialing.  We will help Swisher and the other guys pack and provide rides to the airport.

Yours Truly Yankees Fans

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