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Yankee Silence is Roaring

There is nothing wrong in Tampa, avert your eyes, everything is fine in Yankeeland, no elbow, or core body news or big Injury List announcements yet; at least not until a big free agent or two are hauled in, or a blockbuster trade is announced.

With MRI Monday firing up, understandably the Yankee Crisis Communications Machine rhythmically hummed over the MRI machine and whispered into a player and a manager’s ear talking points to provide nothing.

The quotes carefully tailored to provide cover as phone calls and text messages probed the alternatives to worst case scenarios for the Yankees. Once bad news is confirmed the contract dollars and trade values go up and the Yankee negotiating position dwindles. 

A predictable quote from Aaron Judge on his chances of being in the Opening Day lineup. “I’m pretty sure. I don’t want to speculate or talk about anything that hasn’t come yet. The most important thing is taking some time now and be back there soon.” Aaron Boone in complete “Nothing to see here” mode about Judge’s injury, said “I’m not too concerned about it.” The quotes were what they were–just words of designed silence.

I normally would be tempted to believe the honesty of the remarks, but Yankee fans have been down this road before. The 2023 Yankee team was 35-25 after beating the Dodgers on June 3rd.  But the season practically ended with Judge’s toe injury that day. Judge remained in the game after the outfield wall collision and originally considered just a day-to-day issue, but ultimately keeping him out for 42 games as the Yankees limped through the remainder of the year and their worst record since 1992.

As important as Aaron Judge is to the Yankees, an injury to Gerrit Cole could sink the Yankees before the season even starts. However bad it turns out to be with Judge, the team still has Juan Soto propelling the lineup.

Cole made each Opening Day start for the Yankees since he signed, but it appears it will not happen this year, “It would be difficult” for Cole this year according to Boone. More testing is being done to gauge Cole’s injury, the next couple of days will be used to have everyone weigh in on it, according to Boone.

Without Cole, the team would have to rely upon last year’s Free Agent signing bust, Carlos Rodon, and the injured Nestor Cortes. The truth is the gap between Cole, Rodon, and Cortes is HUGE with Cole being counted on to provide is #1 and #2 value with Rodon and Cortes just trying to combine to be one good #4 starter. Signing Stroman, and not trading Clarke Schmidt looks like shrewd moves by Brian Cashman.

Gerrit Cole has never been on the I.L. as a Yankee, with his last I.L. stint in 2016. The only time missed as a Yankee was for a COVID-19 positive test August of 2021.

It seems like the Yankees are preparing to lose Cole for an extended period including Opening Day; how bad is the injury? The Yankees are in communications lockdown as the trade discussions for Dylan Cease have rekindled. What do the Yankees have to give up for a 2023 4.58 ERA pitcher? The stance of not including budding superstar Spencer Jones supposedly has not changed. Can Gleyber Torres, and Jose Trevino get a deal done? Jordan Montgomery, and Blake Snell are both still available, but come with massive payroll tax implications.

Fans hate being lied to, and how many hot-air quotes can the Yankee players take before nobody believes him anymore? Aaron Boone actually said this after losing in a 7-2 tight game against the Baltimore Orioles last July. “Outside of the strikeouts, I thought the at-bats were building off of last night. I thought we grinded out really well. We made it really tough on Kremer,” said Aaron Boone after the Yankees struck out 18 times in the 9-inning game. The game Boone referred to as a building block was an 8-3 loss the previous night. A manager can act as a shield, but at what point do his words become a farce?

The silence from the Yankees is deafening, but my feeling is Cease to the Yankees for a package without Spencer Jones, and a multi-year deal with Snell or Montgomery containing opt-out clauses.

DYK-Mark Reynolds is the only Yankee to have a home run in his first Yankee at-bat, and then his last Yankee at-bat?  

Patrick Montgomery
Patrick Montgomeryhttps://mlbreport.com/
Please let me know your thoughts at ptmontgomerybooks@gmail.com or on X @MontgomeryBook. I am happy to discuss your feedback or take your questions for future articles.


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