The Yankees had an opportunity to acquire Cole Hamels from the Phillies last year.
All they had to do was give up Luis Severino or either Jorge Mateo, Aaron Judge, Greg Bird or Gary Sanchez. The Yankees decided to take a pass and keep their young prospects rather than make a move to combat the Blue Jays’ acquisition of David Price.
After watching Hamels overpower the Yankees last night, it’s fair to wonder if the Yankees may have second thoughts. This comes in light of him pitching seven shutout innings and striking out seven Yankees in the Rangers’ 7-1 victory over the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees were not crazy about trading their young studs for a 32-year-old starter. They want to start building a young team. They were ready to sacrifice a championship season for it.
It was a wrong approach to take then, and it still is now. The Yankees had an opportunity to win it all last year in what was a weak American League by making one bold move. With an aging team, they had to make a move while some of their players are still in their prime.
They sent a wrong message to the fans and veterans such as Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Brian McCann, CC Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka and Andrew Miller by not going for it. Rest assured, if George Steinbrenner was alive and well, he is trading his prospects for a player that can help him win now. No questions asked.
By refusing to trade for Hamels, it brought back painful memories of the time the Yankees refused to trade Ivan Nova and Eduardo Nunez to the Mariners for Cliff Lee in 2010. Lee not only cost the Yankees a championship by shutting them down in the American League Championship Series in 2010, but Nova has been a bust and Nunez is now performing well for the Twins.
History could repeat itself for the Bronx Bombers. Severino was demoted to the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after ineffective starts this season. Sure, he was on the disabled list at first, but we all knew it was an excuse to get him out of the rotation. Actions speaks louder than words, and the Yankees sent him to Scranton when the opportunity presented itself.
If Severino was doing great in the minors, he would have been called up already and replaced Nova, who should be designated for assignment. The Yankees clearly don’t believe in his ability for them to not call him up.
If the Yankees are so hesitant to trust their rookie pitcher, maybe they should have just traded him last summer. The Yankees were better off doing that.
Who knows how Judge, Bird and Sanchez will do? Everyone assumed all three would do well, but they should remember Manny Banuelos, Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy flopped as Yankees after coming from their farm system.
Playing for the Yankees is tough for any young player. The fans expect the prized prospect to produce right away when it’s unrealistic. The Yankees are about winning now, so Yankees manager Joe Girardi is not going to entrust a role to a rookie. Just ask Rob Refsnyder.
The Yankees provide the worst environment for a rookie to hone his skills. It was one thing for one of the Core Four to play in the early 90s since the team stunk and there was apathy towards the team, so it was easy for the organization to call up Bernie Williams.
It’s a different world now. With tickets being expensive at Yankee Stadium, Yankees fans demand winning and production right away. Patience does not exist anymore.
It’s hard to blame the fans for feeling that way to be honest.
Considering Hamels has been so productive as a Ranger, it’s a good bet he will continue to pitch well for the next five years. He still has it. It was evident last year when he led the Rangers to a AL West title.
The Rangers southpaw improved to 9-1 on the season, and he has a 2.60 ERA while throwing 102 strikeouts.
Hamels could help the Yankees now. He could even have helped them to win the AL East last year. He’s a difference maker. He is a guy that knows how to win in the playoffs. He can pitch all the way to his late 30s. He is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
He makes sense for the team now and in the future than Severino or any prized prospect would ever be.
After watching Hamels make the Yankees look like past their prime, it’s easy to second-guess the Yankees for not making the move last summer.