The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

Yankees top talent comes near the bottom of the system

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Nov 10, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

At this time last year, the Yankees top prospect was Jesus Montero. The long-awaited catcher who’d made his big league debut late in 2011 and seemed finally ready to play an everyday role in 2012.

Until Brian Cashman traded him.

This winter, the top of the Yankees prospect list might not have the same sort of trade value. The Yankees elite young players — and really, the top four on Baseball America’s list are all pretty elite — are also very young and relatively inexperienced. None has more than a handful of at-bats above High-A, and that limits their value on the trade market.

“If you’re talking about big chips, they’re younger guys that are farther away,” Cashman said. “Montero was right there and major-league ready. If you’re talking chips that are major-league ready, you’re talking Phelps, Warren, those guys. If you’re talking about high-end ceiling projected everyday position players, you’re talking about Mason Williams, Tyler Austin, Slade Heathcott, Gary Sanchez. They’re father away. They’re not going to help anyone this year at the major-league level. They would certainly make Baseball America jump somebody else’s prospect list significantly.

“I’m not interested in moving those guys. I’d like them to be here for us, but I felt the same way about Montero. It depends on how your team shakes out, what your needs are. If there’s a need that compels you to be forced to move something, I’d be open-minded to it. I’m a reluctant trader, but I think I’ve proven that I’m not afraid to make a trade with a big name. I’ll give something to try and get something, too.”

Associated Press photo





31 Responses to “Yankees top talent comes near the bottom of the system”

  1. tucker November 10th, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    The only explanation I can come up with is the Steins and/or limited partners are setting this franchise up for sale. They see the astronomical sum the Dodgers sold for and realize the Yanks brand may be worth twice that amount.

    So they are maximizing cash flow and profit, limiting debt (just one-year contracts) and trying to appease the fanbase by keeping the team somewhat competitive. This could make this a very attractive acquisition target.

    From a fan’s perspective, you either want to see them rebuild by trading guys like Cano and Grandy. Or you want to see them invest in the product. The 189 talk is frankly, an excuse. They could have hit 189 while infusing the franchise with young, affordable talent (Cespedes, Darvish, etc.). They decided not to, which tells me this is a money issue solely, not a salary cap/penalty issue.

    Really think the Steins want to sell the franchise. The one last Hurrah was the 2009 splurge to give George some comfort as he went gently into the good night. Now it’s time to sell.

  2. jacksquat November 10th, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    They might be looking to sell, although I don’t know why as mlb teams seem to be cash cows. I think they are tired of paying the luxury tax and financing mlb. They think that will increase the profit margin, we’ll see if they are right. They may have a fan mutiny just dropping to 189.

  3. tucker November 10th, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Well, there is no guarantee MLB will continue to increase in popularity. Selig has pulled nearly every lever he can think of to maximize ratings/attendance — interleague play, expanding playoffs, MLB Network, world Baseball Classic to showcase the league worldwide.

    Baseball was THE sport 30 years ago. Now the NFL has surpassed MLB in revenue and popularity.

    So there is no guarantee MLB will continue to grow as quickly as it has in the past. So, it’s possible the Steins see this and want to sell the family asset at its peak value.

  4. Jerkface November 10th, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    Well it may not grow in popularity, but its still a billion dollar industry.

  5. PacoDooley November 10th, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Personally, I think that the team needs to become more lean and efficient, so not spending doesn’t necessarily bother me. They need to use their financial position to ensure ongoing success, and they have learned the hard lessons from A-Rod, Burnett etc (even R. Soriano) that sometimes you need to say ‘no’ and deploy your resources better. The Dodgers are spending like drunk sailors on leave, and they will probably come to regret it.

    If the Yankees can avoid some long term contract disasters, reduce their luxury tax liability and eventually shed the likes of the A-Rod albatross, they could become a more reliable winner.

    I would like to see them become something more like the Rays with money to spend, so they don’t have to lose all of their players when they start to cost money…

  6. YankeeCharlie November 10th, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Tampa and Trenton aren’t exactly “the bottom” of the system. A few years ago, when Montero was in Charleston, there was almost nothing worth following from Tampa up through Scranton. Last year Tampa was a prospect desert to start the season, it ended up very strong. This year Tampa and Trenton both look to have a number of high-upside guys to start the season. People are skeptical and perhaps for good reason, but the system is deep. Four or five years ago the back half of a Top 30 prospects list had a lot of filler, this year they’re all prospects and a number of promising kids are left off. The best of the positional prospects are in a position where they’re a year and a half to two years away.

  7. Jerkface November 10th, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    And in fact, it will only make more money as more media options become available to more people. MLBAM is one of the richest sports companies in the world. The TV contracts for teams are ballooning. The national contracts are going up and up.

  8. Triple Short of a Cycle November 10th, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    Cash is so full of crap when he says he didn’t want to trade Montero. He was never part of the future of this team

  9. joeman November 10th, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    how about calling the Dodgers and see if they would like to add CG…

    a full season will turn everyone on BG..he can’t steal 1st base

    But where is Torii going to play? They already have Crawford, Kemp, Ethier. Are they that confident of trading Ethier? Platoon Ethier and Hunter?

    they don’t sign Hunter, Yankees trade CG to the Dodgers Yankees get Either plus back

  10. Triple Short of a Cycle November 10th, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Yankees trade CG to the Dodgers Yankees get Either plus back


    Either costs more then 1 million so that is a no go.

  11. austinmac November 10th, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Joe man,

    Granderson is owed $15M and Ethier is owed $85M. Not happening.

  12. Jerkface November 10th, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Not to mention Ethier is a platoon hitter who is terrible defensively. He is the good kind of platoon hitter that excels against righties, but his lack of defense & speed and huge contract makes him a less ideal player to acquire. Choo would be better.

  13. Sam G November 10th, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Let granderson go. The plan was give him and cano long term contracts but after last seasons average there’s no need for him our greatest depth in the system isn’t really catchers anymore but it’s good hitting and solid fielding outfielders. Give it two years until the Yankees outfield is made of 3 young guys maybe Brett Gardner will still be there.

  14. tucker November 10th, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    My point is the game’s growth rate is unsustainable. The game will continue to grow, just not at the rate it has since the 90s.

    I don’t know what new media options will become available. MLB package, MLB on demand, MLB mobile. How much more can there really be? Already you can get an game at any time.

    The game will grow — just not at the same rate it has.

  15. Jerkface November 10th, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    MLB holographic. MLB virtual reality. MLB thing that hasn’t been thought of yet. Always room for growth. And as I said, even if it doesnt continue to grow it is already a billion dollar industry.

  16. Benny Blanco November 10th, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Every gm, to a certain degree-over hypes their prospects. That’s how they build leverage. If you announce a certain player is available it diminishes their value to a certain extent. Its all poker.

  17. Tar November 10th, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    “Always room for growth.”

    Yankee attendance down 220k from two years ago. But I do get your point

  18. mick November 10th, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    Why can’t you people accept reality and stop the whining about who you want?
    They are not reinventing this team.
    For those who preached patience, then have some.
    We have quite a few prospects that will be ready in the 3 year period of 2014-16.
    Seems like perfect timing to me. Develop a core then go for broke again after that.
    This place has become a classic bore…

  19. MTU November 10th, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    The Yankees do not need to keep all of their OF prospects.

    They should decide which ones to keep and trade the others.

    They have Williams, Heathcott, Santana, Flores, Almonte, and Austin.

    I can almost guarantee that only one or at most 2 of them are going to make the Majors.

    The rest are trade chips.

  20. RhapsodyInBlue November 10th, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    The organization certainly is not being run the same way it would if George was still with us.

    He knew to put people in the seats that had to provide the talent on the field first and always found a way to try to do it.

    A lot of the trades and moves that GS made did not turn out as well as he had hoped, but he always tried.

    I sincerely doubt George would not have been involved with a few of the Cuban players that have been signed in recent years when all it took was money.

    Losing Cepedes to the As. How far we have sunk.

  21. The Return of Stoneburner November 10th, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    It appears the Yanks do not match up with the Indians for Choo – via Sherman.

  22. Jerkface November 10th, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    They dont match up with anyone :x

  23. tomingeorgia November 10th, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Mr. MTU,
    Wish I had the legs to go hiking, rather than listening to the carping about things we can’t control. I have a control problem of my own, that I’m going to do something about tomorrow: about a hundred squirrels in my oak trees, on my bird feeders, and trying to get into my attic. New pellet gun arrived today (can’t use a .22 in the city limits), sighted it in today. I haven’t killed anything in a long time, but the time has come again. Die, rodents.

  24. fuster November 10th, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    too bad that we don’t have outfielders ready to be promoted to the bigs, but there is no shortage of them available

  25. rl1856 November 11th, 2012 at 8:17 am

    I agree that the family wants to sell. The Yankees are likely a $2Billion team and the family can keep YES Network, which is the real cash cow. $2B in the bank and no headaches from running the team. Makes a lot of sense.

    Phelps and probably Warren are MLB ready. I would like to see Kevin Whelan given an opportunity to play at the MLB level. Beyond that most of our prospects are 1yr+ away.

    Loosing Kuroda would hurt, hope it is only money that has kept him from re signing….

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