The New York Yankees have not had the season they envisioned heading into 2021. So far, the Yanks have underperformed in almost every aspect of baseball, from the rotation to lineup to front office and coaching staff. Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner came out and told reporters on Thursday during a press conference that coach Aaron Boone and GM Brian Cashman aren’t going anywhere. Steinbrenner also mentioned the Yankees won’t be sellers at the MLB Trade Deadline.
Hal Steinbrenner said that he is not "contemplating or even thinking about" the #Yankees being sellers ahead of the Trade Deadline.— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) July 1, 2021
On Wednesday night, the Yanks were up 8-4 late in a rain delayed game against the Los Angeles Angeles heading into the 9th inning before allowing 7 runs and losing the game. New York has lost five of the past six games and are 8.5 games out of first place in the AL East. The Yankees are only 5.5 games out of a Wild Card spot in the AL, so there’s still hope of getting into the postseason considering it’s only about mid-way through the 2021 season. Still, this isn’t where anyone expected the Yankees to be after entering the season favorites to win the AL East and among the favorites to win the World Series.
The Yankees have had to deal with injuries like every team this season. It isn’t any excuse for a lineup that features multiple All-Stars and young promising players who were supposed to step up this season. Gary Sanchez, DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Judge have been OK, while Giancarlo Stanton continues to work through injuries. Beyond them, the lineup is mediocre and the defense is an issue. That isn’t even taking into account how poorly the pitching staff has performed.
Gerrit Cole is still an above-average pitcher with the crackdown on sticky substances in MLB. He isn’t nearly the Cy Young-caliber pitcher he once was, however, which isn’t getting it done when you’re being paid $36 million a year to perform at the highest level on the highest stage. The injuries to Corey Kluber and Luis Severino are unfortunate. Domingo German and Jameson Taillon are barely back-of-the-rotation guys. Michael King shouldn’t be starting games. Jordan Montgomery has been solid at times but he can’t be your second-best starter. Plus, the bullpen has serious issues, starting with closer Aroldis Chapman, who imploded on Wednesday night with a 4-run lead.
So if the Yankees aren’t sellers, how do they fix things through the deadline? Adding a lefty power bat in arguably the best stadium to have lefty power bats would make sense. The Yankees also need to make a big splash in the rotation, adding a legit 2nd arm behind Cole. A few bullpen arms and maybe another bat and sure, the Yankees can get back into this thing with around 90-100 games left. That’s why it’s a long season.
So when you consider all of that, this is likely why Boone and Cashman aren’t going anywhere until at least after the season. If both of them can right the ship and get the Yankees to the postseason, it’ll be a pretty big accomplishment. The issue is getting to the playoffs again isn’t going to cut it. The Yankees would have to overcome all these struggles to AT LEAST make it to the World Series, which seems like a very tall task. Can they do it? Of course. We’ve seen this happen in baseball (Washington Nationals, 2019). Will this Yankees team rise up to adversity and become legend? We’ll see.