Dear Yankees Management,
I hope this letter finds you well. On behalf of all Yankee fans I just wanted to reach out and let you know that we appreciate what you do for us year in and year out. My favorite thing about being a Yankee fan is your dedication to keeping the team relevant through reinvesting profits into the on-field product. In a time when many ownership groups will pocket profits, you continue to try and “win now”, no matter what the cost may be. Most fans would kill for owners that took the same approach, but for 2016, I’m going to have to ask you to stop.
In 2014 we took a shot and signed four players, to above market value contracts, in the hopes that we would give Derek Jeter one last championship while also manufacturing a solid team core artificially. At times the numbers have looked good, but we have no World Series titles to show for it and it doesn’t look like that’s about to change. You took a shot and missed, and that’s okay. What won’t be okay, however, is standing pat with our current team and jeopardizing future opportunities because you want to sell tickets this September.
Today we sit in 4th place, 9.5 games back in the division and 5.5 games back in the Wild Card, with 6 teams ahead of us. Now I’ve never run an MLB organization, but it doesn’t look like 2016 is The Yankees year. This is why, on behalf of all Yankees fans, I’m asking you to sell. The magical September run in front of a sold out stadium isn’t going to happen this year. But if we trade away the right players for a solid return, Yankees Stadium will be sold out in September AND October for years to come.
So let’s stop having Randy Levine say, “We’ve said it over and over again. All this talk of buying or selling at this point in time is just speculative. We believe in this team. The Yankees have never been quitters. We have two weeks until the trading deadline. We’ll see where we are then.” Based on 90 games, I can tell you that things aren’t going to get better in 2 weeks and making good baseball decisions, that secure our future as contenders, doesn’t make you a quitter.
You want butts in seats? Go out and make deals to secure our future. Real fans will still come out in September knowing that you’re planning for our future, but we’re not going to come out to watch Carlos Beltran play his last games for a .500 team. Especially since the team will be getting nothing in return for his expiring contract. Not only that, but if you make no moves, you risk empty seats starting in May and June of 2017 because our future was mortgaged for this year.
We all know that you’re looking forward to the 2018 season, when you’ll have $130 million off the payroll, and our top prospects will have MLB experience. Admitting that is a concern and I get it. Still, you have the rare opportunity to sell high on both expiring and not expiring contracts that can bring back the players to give 2017 a shot in the arm and build excitement around the team for the future.
As fans we’ll respect you more for being smart than being tough, so go out and make the deals that need to be made. There are 6-year-olds in the world that have never seen a Yankees championship and soon there will be 7 year olds in the same boat. However, if you play the next 2 weeks right those kids won’t hit double digits before they see you take another trip down the Canyon of Heroes.
JJ on behalf of all level headed Yankee fans