It is hard to imagine that the New York Yankees, winners of 27 World Series championships, are SELLERS at the trade deadline. Many saw it coming, but just go ahead and say it out loud, “The Yankees are selling at the deadline.” Ol’ George must be rolling over in his grave, thinking about the last time the Yankees were sending good players away for prospects.
The Yankees dealt closer Aroldis Champman to the Chicago Cubs today for a slew of prospects. According to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com, the Yankees acquired Adam Warren, Gleyber Torres, Billy McKinney and Rashad Crawford for the fireballer. Torres is said to the prized piece of this package.
Torres, a 19-year old shortstop, was widely considered to be the top-prospect in the Cubs system. According to Baseball America’s John Manuel, Torres has a tremendous work ethic and borders on being a five-tool player with the potential to be an “impact” shortstop.
You can find an analysis of each player in two thousand other places, but what we at BoT find to be the most interesting is that the Yankees really have not been “sellers” since 1990. In that year, the team made a move in June which seemed to have some resemblance to that of waiving a white flag.
On June 4, 1990 the Yankees sent 26-year-old Lance McCullers, Sr. (yes, the father of current Astros pitcher Lance McCullers, Jr.) and 27-year-old pitcher Clay Parker to the Detroit Tigers for 26-year-old catcher Matt Nokes.
At the time of the trade, the Yankees were 18 and 30 (and right in the midst of what would be an eight game losing streak) while the Tigers were 23 and 30, but seemingly looking to improve. The Tigers would go on to finish the year four games under .500, but the Yankees finished and embarrassing 67 and 95.
While this June 4th deal may be a bit of a stretch to label the Yankees as having been “sellers”, they certainly were not “buyers”. Interestingly enough, this was in the same season that George Steinbrenner would be suspended (just a month and a half later) for paying a gambler to find dirt on Steinbrenner’s underperforming (in his eyes) slugger, Dave Winfield.
Whether the “Boss” was angry or accepting the fact that he was going to be suspended, that was the last time there was a whiff of the “seller stench” (pardon the pun) in the Bronx. These Yankees, although not as bad, are now in the same boat.