Excuse my language but... HOLY SHIT.
As a Red Sox fan, I take great pleasure in watching the Yankees struggle which, admittedly, hasn't been too often since I began seriously following baseball in the early 2000s.
Until very recently, I was pretty sure that Benjamin Franklin had it wrong. There were actually three certainties in life:
Death, taxes, and the Yankees contending for a playoff spot.
So when the Yankees shipped closer Aroldis Chapman off to Chicago in exchange for Adam Warren and three prospects, something felt off. The Yankees don't collect minor league assets. That's not their style.
When the Yankees want to get better, they compete, wait until the end of the season, and then overpay some free agent who may or may not be worth the money. But who cares! The Yankees can afford to overspend on anyone they damn well please.
They're the frickin' Yankees for christsake!
So I really thought nothing of it. With Miller and Betances, who really needs Chapman anyway? Let's be honest, it's not like the Yankees are really getting themselves into a ton of save situations this season.
But when I saw that former Cape Cod League legend (seriously, check it out) was getting sent to Cleveland in exchange for four more prospects, it hit me:
What did Miller do to get his ass sent out to a place like Cleveland? Just kidding (kind of).
This is what actually hit me (about as hard as The Decision hit a bandwagoning Cavaliers fan from a wealthy Cleveland suburb):
The Yankees are actually giving up on their season!
Now I know that if Michael Kay was reading this right now, he would stick his hands through my computer screen and strangle me, yelling about how I'm a spoiled baseball fan to have only known the dominant Yankees and not the struggling Bombers squads from the early 1990s, but.....
I doubt he's going to read this, so the Hell with him! (However, if you do somehow read this, I listen to your show everyday, and I didn't mean it when I told you to go to Hell). I never thought I'd see the day, but the Yankee way (overspending and stealing from small market teams) doesn't cut it anymore because, well, let's face it:
Every single team in the MLB has the ability to overspend now. With local TV deals and an insane surge in revenues, even a team like the Diamondbacks can afford to give a guy like Zack Greinke $31 million a year.
Just about 10 years ago, in 2007, when Alex Rodriguez signed his massive, $275 million contract with the worst team in professional sports, there were ten teams with payrolls over $100 million.
That number has nearly doubled to date, with 18 teams reaching that benchmark during the 2016 season, and two teams (the Yankees and the Dodgers) actually eclipsing the $200 million mark.
Revenues are at an astonishing $9 billion a year and rising, and the lowest payroll is the Houston Astros, who are coughing up just under $70 million to their players this year. Even though baseball may be losing some popularity, it certainly isn't losing any money, much to the Yankees chagrin.
There was a time when, if you wanted to sign for a king's ransom, you had to go to a team like the Yankees to get it, but that's no longer the case. Star players and free agents are now free to do whatever they want.
Stay. Go. Hell, they can even go to Miami if they want.
So the Yankees are stuck with a 40-year-old outfielder anchoring their offense, a 36-year-old liability lounging around at first base, and... oh would you look at that! Another 36-year-old liability in the pitching rotation, surrounded by a bunch of much younger, much more in-shape liabilities. And Masahiro Tanaka (but that's beside the point).
The truth is, the Yankees have lost their upper hand. They have no choice but to rebuild like the rest of the plebes in the MLB. So good riddance Andrew Miller! You didn't deserve to be on a team as evil as the Yankees to begin with.
And as for Yankees fans, I'm going to be honest here: Don't worry. Cashman's got this. Seriously.