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Yankees Didn’t Quite Get It Done

By Paul Semendinger

July 30, 2021


Half way ain’t good enough.

MAYBE… if the Yankees started the year with players like Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo in the lineup, they wouldn’t be 8.5 games out.

But they got them too late…

They are steps in the right direction, but they didn’t complete the puzzle.

The job wasn’t finished.

The deadline closed with a whimper.


At the close of the deadline, the Yankees picked up Andrew Heaney, a left-handed pitcher.

Andrew Heaney, of the 5.27 ERA.

That Andrew Heaney.

He’s a starting pitcher. In 18 starts this year, he has a 6-7 record.

Lifetime he’s 30-36.

I don’t think he moved the needle.


So, that’s that.

Estevan Florial goes to the minors. Brett Gardner stays. I guess than means Gardy starts.


Are the Yankees better today than they were 48 hours ago?


Did it look like they were going to go ALL-IN?


Did they?


Like they have done so often these last so many years, they went half way there. Half way.

They had a good reason, for taking the easy way out.

They had a good reason.

For taking the easy way out…


You know what happens to teams that go halfway?

They end up with records that reflect that.

Teams that go halfway get records like (I don’t know) 53-48. Good on some days, not so good on others.

Teams that go halfway are usually something like 8.5 games out as they head into August.


The Yankees took huge first steps.

Then they stopped.



When you are 8.5 games out, and you’re buyers, you have to go all-in.

The Yankees didn’t.


Just in case, they didn’t notice, the Rays, the A’s, and the Red Sox also made a bunch of moves.

I did not look closely enough, being focused just on the Yankees, but their moves may have checkmated the ones the Yankees made.


Gallo and Rizzo will be fun. A lot of fun. I’m glad they are Yankees.

I’m not sure they can move the needle enough to get the Yankees to the pennant or Wild Card.

They were steps.

But they might have been steps on a bridge too far.


I can’t help but think that there must have been other opportunities to improve the club but that the owner balked at the cost.

Remember the Luxury Tax.

That’s what defines this team.

That’s what matters.

It is the Yankees’ over-arching rule.

“Don’t exceed the luxury tax threshold.”

For example, Luis Cessa was moved so that Justin Wilson could be moved, to save money, not to make the team better. The better baseball (if not financial) move would have been to keep Cessa and just release Wilson, but that would have been a cost.

That’s not how the Yankees operate.


I know so many believe that Luis Severino is going to come back and save the day and be great. To me that is wishful thinking.

First, when is he coming back?

Next, Luis Severino has not been good since July 2018. That’s over three years ago.

Luis Severino – Innings Pitched by Year

2021 – 0

2020 – 0

2019 – 12

Where does that say, “He’s going to come back and be great?”

Luis Severino is a dream, a hope. He’s not going to be a difference maker.

In the second half of 2018, Luis Severino pitched to a record of 5-6, 5.57. His WHIP was 1.429. That’s not good. It’s bad. It’s not, “Here comes the guy who is going to save the season.”

There is no reason, other than pure hope, to believe that Severino will pitch well this year. That’s the sad, but hard reality.


Corey Kluber?

One can only hope. He showed he can still pitch, but can he stay healthy? Who knows?

Counting on Severino and Kluber is a lot, a ton, to bank on for a team that is chasing, not leading.


So, where are we?

The Yankees have two new left-handed bats. They should help. They will be fun to watch. Gallo can also help in 2022.

The Yankees have three new pitchers, none of whom is a difference maker. All three come with big questions.

The Yankees sent the young outfielder having success to the minors and will stick with the old guy hitting under .200 in the lineup and whose slugging percentage (.307) is lower than his on-base percentage (.311)


I’m of the opinion that the Yankees didn’t go far enough.

They took two big steps when I think at least four were needed.

They took us half way there.

It feels like a tease.

What seemed so bright and optimistic, instead feels empty and shallow.

As always, I hope I’m wrong.

The Yankees have a lot of ground to pick-up.

Let’s Go Yankees.


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