The New York Yankees are historically the greatest franchise in baseball because they have won 27 World Series championships, which is almost three times as many as the St. Louis Cardinals, who have won 11 World Series titles, the second most in baseball history.
After 23 consecutive winning seasons and five World Series championships from 1993 to 2015, it appears that the Yankees have finally come down to earth, and there are no signs of things getting better for the historic franchise.
So far this season, New York is 8-16, and currently sitting at the bottom of the AL East. The 8-16 start is the team’s worst through 24 games since 1991, and things are likely going to get worse before they start improving.
When the Yankees were run by George Steinbrenner, they usually had the highest payroll in baseball because Steinbrenner was addicted to winning and was willing to do anything to win, which meant throwing obscene amounts of cash at free agents to lure them to the Bronx.
Steinbrenner’s approach worked because he was able to land players that helped the team win seven World Series titles while he was in charge.
When Steinbrenner died, his sons, Hal and Hank, took control of the team and adopted a conservative approach to spending. The younger Steinbrenners preferred to not overspend on free agents like their father did to avoid paying the luxury tax associated with having one of the highest payrolls in baseball.
Even before they decided not to overspend on free agents, the Yankees decline had been a long time coming. The team had been gradually depleting its farm system over the years while carrying a roster of aging players.
The Yankees gave up highly touted prospects in trades that they made to try and win another World Series. Some of those trades worked out since the team was able to win the World Series in 2009, but father time and injuries caught up to the team, and they haven’t been able to make it back to the World Series ever since.
Players like Melky Cabrera, Austin Jackson, Ian Kennedy, Jose Quintana, and Alfonso Soriano were traded away for more experienced players like Alex Rodriguez, Michael Pineda, and Curtis Granderson.
Granderson is no longer with the team, Pineda is 1-3 with a 6.33 ERA, and Alex Rodriguez has a .194 ERA. C.C. Sabathia, who was instrumental in the team’s 2009 World Series run, has been struggling with personal issues and hasn’t pitched well in over three seasons. He is currently tied for the team lead with one win in four starts and a 5.06 ERA.
Fortunately for the Yankees, a lot of the big contracts they gave to their aging stars will be coming off the books in the next couple of seasons, so they will have some money to throw at some young free agents. Unfortunately, the team will have to go through an ugly rebuilding process, which is something New York fans aren’t going to be happy about.