The New York Yankees are a prime example of a team that has been able to build lasting dynasties. It started with the Core Four in Jeter, Posada, Pettitte, and Rivera. That’s a dynasty in sports that can be compared to Jordan’s Bulls and the recent Golden State Warriors, but baseball is shifting to a different way of building a team. It still has blockbuster trades such as the Machado and Harper deals that went through this past year, but more and more teams are starting to build from within and the first team I’d like to highlight are the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Blue Jays are having a pretty miserable year at 51-73. They are well out of playoff range, but have been playing better baseball as of late. If you take a look at their roster, baseball fans will marvel at some of these guys. Some of their future studs are sons of past great ball players.
They have Vladimir Guerrero Jr. who can hit a baseball as hard as Mike Trout, Bo Bichette, son of former 4 time All Star and Silver Slugger Award winner Dante Bichette, who is a menace at the plate and has been putting up big numbers in a hurry, and Cavan Biggio who is the son of Craig Biggio. Craig Biggio won 5 Silver Slugger Awards along with 4 Golden Gloves and 7 All Star appearances. If Cavan lives up to half of that, we’re looking at an easy entrance to Cooperstown at the end of his career. Like everything in life, it takes time. The Jays are going to be a threat in the upcoming years.
The other team I’m going to highlight are the New York Yankees. You can’t help but question how bruised and battered the Yankees are while leading the AL East by 9 games over a very talented Tampa Bay Rays team. Giancarlo Stanton got off the IL just to get back on it and Dellin Betances and Luis Severino have yet to play a game for the Yankees this season. Luke Voit, who highlighted the great run in the beginning of the season, hasn’t played since mid-July, and mid-season acquisition Edwin Encarnacion won’t be walking a parrot around the bases for a while either.
Remember Miguel Andújar? He’s not expected back until next season. Gary Sanchez has been battling injuries all season along with Aaron Judge. Didi Gregorius has also been on and off the IL, and if it wasn’t for Masahiro Tanaka, Brett Gardner, Gleyber Torres, Aroldis Chapman, and maybe a few other guys who have managed to stay on the healthier side of the Yankees clubhouse, I don’t know if they would be where they are now. And of course, DJ LeMahieu, who might be an MVP favorite if Mike Trout didn’t exist.
The Yankees farm system has been more of an asset than acquired players. Giancarlo Stanton is inked to a huge deal, but he hasn’t played much this season. Past acquisitions in the Yankees long history of inking huge superstars have not all been great. There’s been a lot of players that have come and gone, but the recent stars are all from the farm system.
These players have been drafted or trained for greatness in the minors. Both Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez are a product of that. The Yankees didn’t have to give away any big names for those two. Torres was the prized acquisition from the Cubs in the Aroldis Chapman trade, and now Chapman is back on the Yankees.
These are not the only two teams that have copied this system of building from within. The Rays, Brewers, and Braves have built their success off of this, while the Astros are a threat to win it all every single year. You shouldn’t be surprised when you see these teams strive for championship runs every year. I know that the Yankees are an exception given the payroll they dish out every year, but there’s a new wave coming through the Bronx.
There will always be a chase for top free agents during trade deadlines and free agency, but this new era of baseball? Waiting a few years to be even better than ever? I’m in.