After this year’s World Series participants combined for a 178-year-old championship drought that goes five decades, there was a team that was crowned as champions last night. It was the Cubs after a thrilling 8-7 victory over the Indians in 10 innings last night in Game 7 of the World Series. The 108-year-old championship drought is over for the Cubs.
The Yankees and Mets are on a drought of their own. Yes, it is a drought. For a big-market team, it’s unacceptable to go on long droughts. The Yankees are in a seven-year-old championship drought, and the Mets are in a 30-year-old championship drought.
It’s hard to believe either team is ending the drought anytime soon. The Yankees are basically rebuilding while waiting to see the big contracts expire. As long as the Cubs are playing in the National League, the Mets don’t have a shot.
It will take at least three or four years until the Yankees become a championship team. That’s if their young hitters from the farm system produces. The Yankees desperately need Clint Frazier to be a star after trading Andrew Miller to the Indians for him. They also need Gleyber Torres to be a star after trading Aroldis Chapman for him. If both guys turn out to be stars, the Yankees have something going.
Even if the Yankees develop young hitters, they have to address pitching. They haven’t developed a young reliable starter since Andy Pettitte. They need to have their next Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard for them to have success. They can’t rely on free agency since it rarely works. Maybe they can a pitcher by trade, but teams don’t trade pitching like they used to.
The Yankees have to draft well when it comes to starting pitchers. Most importantly, they need to develop them well. Unless that happens, the championship drought will continue to go further.
The Yankees could use Luis Severino to take the next step as a starter. This year was a waste since he was on the disabled list after injuring his triceps. It’s too soon to give up on him. He needs to develop next year and the year after before we can determine if he is a great starter or not.
The Yankees should not develop Severino as a reliever. Not when he can throw well. Not when he is capable of striking guys out. They need to harness his talent as a starter.
There’s so much on the line for the Yankees to hope Severino blossoms as a starter. It would prove they have a clue of developing starters from the minors to the majors.
The Yankees don’t scare anyone like they used to. This is a team that is weeding out old players and incorporating new players. Building with youth takes time as the Mets can attest.
The Yankees are on the right course. It’s the only course they have after spending so much money in free agency to win with their Core Four.
Still, don’t expect the Yankees to get back to the 90s yet. They have work to do before they get there. How they develop the next two years will determine how far or how close the Yankees are to get back to contending for championships. Until then, the Yankees are a run-of-the-mill franchise. This is a team that is going to undergo construction.
The Mets are a question mark. Yes, they have great starting pitching, but they need to be healthy. The Mets can’t go through injuries as they did this past season with Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard. It’s time that their five starters be healthy for a full year. That remains to be seen. These guys have been fragile so far.
Even if the starting pitching is great, there are questions about their bullpen and their lineup. Outside of Addison Reed, who can the Mets trust in the bullpen? Then, there’s Jeurys Familia. It was hard to trust him as it is pitching in a big spot after he imploded in the wild-card playoff game against the Giants, which he gave up a three-run home run to Conor Gillaspie in the ninth inning. But now the Mets have to wonder how long their closer is going to be out after a domestic violence incident.
The lineup is another question for the Mets. Yoenis Cespedes is going to opt out of his contract, so he can get another lucrative deal in the free agent market. He is likely going to get a big deal by a team like the Giants or Dodgers. If he does, he is gone. The Mets are not going to give him a long-term deal. Same can be said for Neil Walker, who is a free agent.
It would be a mistake if the Mets let Cespedes walk. He is their offense. He was why the Mets made the playoffs two years in a row. He is a game-changer. He can play in New York based on his ability to step up in pressure situations, which is hard to do as Jay Bruce would attest. Losing him would set the team back in so many ways.
The Mets don’t have a good offense as it is. Outside of Cespedes and Asdrubal Cabrera, who is reliable on offense? Maybe Michael Conforto develops into a power hitter, but it’s going to take time.
This lineup is not scaring anyone. The Mets don’t have a catalyst leadoff hitter unless they really feel Jose Reyes can still play at a peak level. They don’t have that many home run hitters. It’s hard to win these low-scoring games.
One has to wonder if the Wilpons are serious about winning championships. They run their team like a small-market team. That was evident when they did not want to pay Ben Zobrist or keep Daniel Murphy. The front office is not inclined to spend, either.
The Mets should be a playoff team. In fact, they may make the World Series. It remains to be seen if they win a championship.
With the way the Cubs and Indians are assembled, the Yankees and Mets just don’t match up with those two teams, who should contend for another championship next year.
There won’t be any joy in Mudville anytime soon with New York’s baseball teams.