WASHINGTON — The Yankees netted a titanic haul in dealing Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller, Carlos Beltran and Ivan Nova before the trade deadline, the return from which GM Brian Cashman says could help build New York’s next “uber team.”
“We’re trying to get back to a situation where we can build an uber-team and a sustainable one,” Cashman’s full quote reads.
Cashman made no mention of Nationals slugger Bryce Harper hitting free agency in 2018, around the time the Yankees should begin to see their amplitude of prospects reach the majors, but you wouldn’t know it if you happened upon Andrew Marchand’s Tuesday entry on ESPN.com.
Marchand takes a staggering leap with his lead:
NEW YORK — Imagine it’s the winter of 2018 and Bryce Harper is sitting on a stool during his introductory news conference at Yankee Stadium. Next to him, Manny Machado and Jose Fernandez giggle as Harper holds the mic close to his lips, predicting, “Not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven.”
LeBron James, a Yankees fan mind you, once said those famous words about Miami Heat championships after Pat Riley orchestrated some offseason sorcery in 2010.
On Monday, the Yankees did wave a white flag, but in burying 2016’s mediocrity, they have established the ground floor for what could be their next “uber team,” to borrow GM Brian Cashman’s phrase.
Indeed, Harper, Machado and Fernandez all are on pace to hit free agency after the 2018 season. And, yes, the Yankees — historic free agency spenders — are now laying the financial groundwork to be out from under the luxury tax by then.
Should Harper return to his MVP 2015 production in the time between now and then, the Yankees, Harper’s favorite childhood team, would probably make a pass at offering him the $400-plus million he could command. The same could be said for Fernandez, and Machado.
The Yankees have given their fans renewed optimism. Cashman hinted that Sanchez, Judge and another prospect, Tyler Austin, could be in the majors soon, as the Yankees try to figure out who will make their “uber team” that might feature this lineup on Opening Day 2019:
Clint Frazier, LF
Bryce Harper, RF
Manny Machado, 3B
Aaron Judge, DH
Greg Bird, 1B
Gary Sanchez, C
Didi Gregorius, SS
Gleyber Torres, 2B
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
All of these things could happen.
Or none of them could. “Not one, not two, not three,” to borrow Marchand’s borrowed phrase.