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Times are Changing for the New York Yankees

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – This upcoming Yankees’ season will be a very important one in regards to the future of the franchise. Last year the team did something that was previously unheard of in Yankee land: they were sellers at the trading deadline. They shipped off superstar relief pitchers Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller for a haul of top prospects from the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians. So let’s begin there.
Aroldis Chapman Trade
On July 25th, the Yankees traded Chapman to the Cubs for four players, including phenom shortstop prospect Gleyber Torres, who is widely regarded in MLB circles as one of the five best minor leaguers in the game. In addition, the Yankees got back relief pitcher Adam Warren, outfielder Billy McKinney, and outfielder Rashad Crawford. McKinney, much like Torres, was once regarded as a top prospect, but after a couple of subpar seasons, he’s taken a minor step back. The talent remains there, however, and the future is still very bright. Torres is the real prize in this trade. The 20-year old just won MVP of the Arizona Fall League, where he slashed .403/.513/.645 with eight extra base hits and 11 RBI in just 18 games. Torres will likely start the 2017 season in the minors, but he is simply too good to remain there for very long. There is no doubt he will make his presence known at some point this summer.

Image taken from NJ.com

Andrew Miller Trade
A week after the Chapman trade, the Yankees then shipped off fireballer Andrew Miller to the Cleveland Indians for a bevy of young talent. The blue-chip prospect in this trade was outfielder Clint Frazier, who is currently ranked as the 24th best prospect in Major League Baseball. The 22-year old hit .263, with 16 home runs and 55 RBI in 119 games across all levels of the minors last season. He is said to have extremely quick bat-speed and huge power in his swing. Right now, the Yankees have Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge manning the outfield, but if any one of them struggle, Frazier could easily be in the majors by the middle of May. In addition, the Yankees also got back 20-year old starting pitcher Justus Sheffield and relief pitcher Ben Heller. Both have monster ceilings if they stay healthy.
2017 Outlook
Last season was uncharted waters for the Yankees, as they have never really been sellers at the trade deadline before. This signals a new era and a commitment to building a dynasty. With huge contracts off the books, such as Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez, the payroll is getting lower. So, by 2018, New York will be in great fiscal shape to go after superstars Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. As for this upcoming season, they will look to let the young players develop, such as phenom Gary Sanchez and masher Aaron Judge.
Image taken from NY Post

Beyond that, the pitching staff is very shaky with Masahiro Tanaka being the only reliable starter at the moment. Combine the likely growing pains from the young talent with the Boston Red Sox’s huge offseason, and it’s unlikely that the Yankees make the postseason in 2017. However, the future is as bright as it’s ever been, and it will not be long before the Bronx Bombers are competing for championship number 28.