The Yankees’ pursuit of Rockies shortstop Trevor Story, reported by ESPN’s Buster Olney, is apparently serious enough that Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, not the throw-it-against-the-wall-to-see-if-it-sticks type, speculated Friday about the implications that acquiring the All-Star would have on New York with regard to the salary ca— uh, luxur— uh, competitive balance tax.
There’s one really big holdup, though: the Yankees suck.
A 6-1 loss to the first-place Red Sox on Friday night at Fenway Park dropped the Bronx Bombers to 50-46 on the season, nine games behind Boston, eight behind Tampa Bay, and one in the loss column behind a young and exciting Toronto team that’s less than a week from playing an actual home game for the first time since 2019.
For the season, the Yankees have scored two (2) more runs than the 32-64 Orioles, Their plus-5 run differential ranks seventh in the American League. And against the three other playoff contenders in the East, the Yankees are a combined 13-23. They can’t trust their bullpen anymore and now have two more games in Boston this weekend after losing Gerrit Cole’s start.
Because they’re the Yankees, they’re always in the mode of trying to win, but Sunday will mark one month since the last time New York was even within five games of Boston. Once they leave Massachusetts, the Yankees head to what might be their least favorite ballpark in the world, Tropicana Field, for three games against the Rays (now with Nelson Cruz!) that look a lot like they’ll be the final nails in the coffin of this season.
If it were any other team, you’d rightfully say they were out of their minds to even be thinking about making a huge trade for Story, who is a free agent after the season. Just sign him then for nothing if you like him as your shortstop for the rest of the decade and want to move Gleyber Torres back to second base.
Whatever this is, it isn’t working, and instead of trying to squeeze their way into a wild-card game on the road and a losing lottery ticket for making the World Series, the Yankees need to take the final two months of this season to examine where it’s all gone wrong since they made their run to the 2017 ALCS and looked like titles would be on the way in short order.
This trip to Boston was billed as do-or-die for the Bronx Bombers. They haven’t done. They are done.