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USA Today via Reuters

USA Today via Reuters

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  Debate

Debate

Are the Yankees' glory days truly over, or can they still turn things around with their aging stars?

Mayday! Mayday! The ship of the New York Yankees is drowning fast. This statement has been made countless times during Aaron Boone’s tenure. Despite his more than stellar record, the Bronx Bombers have almost always flattered to deceive. However, the scary part is that the Yankees just can’t sustain great form for long. Nearly every season’s strong start has turned into a disappointing finish. And that has raised an important question – is everything okay in The Bronx clubhouse?

No doubt the vibes and enjoyment around the clubhouse are second to none. From Aaron Judge to Anthony Rizzo to Giancarlo Stanton, the players have created a special bond. But could these players be the reason for the team’s current downfall (Rizzo and Stanton, in particular)? While that might be strange to hear during a season when Stanton has performed well, there are reasons to believe it to be true.

An over-dependence on fading superstars

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No doubt the Yankees have an explosive lineup. They have players who can turn even the deadest of situations into a lively one. But it’s also true that this core of Stanton and Rizzo has gotten old. Rizzo has completely faded (luckily for him, Ben Rice is waiting in the wings). But the scariest part isn’t Rizzo and Stanton, it’s the others in the squad.

Poll of the day

Who is most to blame for the Yankees' decline?

Brian Cashman

Aaron Boone

Aging Players

Injuries

The New York Yankees are the 7th oldest team in baseball with an average age of 29.2 years. Multiple players are over 30 in that squad and many of them are beginning to show signs of a decline. That has led to multiple untimely injuries and a weird postseason record (27-37 since 2009). However, the weird part is this – despite declining, Stanton’s numbers remain untouched by the players who are on the younger side.

Apart from Judge and Juan Soto, only Stanton has an OPS+ of over 100 (120). Rest the entire qualified Yankees hitters sit below 100. That is good news for Stanton but bad for the Yankees. Because at 34, Stanton’s body breaks down more every year. As Brian Cashman once insinuated – Stanton’s injury record is growing with age (case in point, he’s currently sitting in IL). 

One can’t build a squad around players who might get injured at any point. But that is exactly what the Yankees have done.  Unfortunately for them, their closest rival has just done the opposite.

New York Yankees’ underwhelming prospect list

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There’s the Baltimore Orioles whose squad’s average age is 28.5 years. On top of that, they have an array of prospects and rookies to choose from. This strategy of building a young power core has led to the team sitting on top of the AL East for the second year in a row. And they’ve done that rather consistently. But the same cannot be said about the Yankees. They were on top, but just one injury to Stanton has turned everything upside down for them.

Then comes another issue – the lack of prospects in their farm system. Because of their huge trade for Juan Soto, the New York Yankees lost many top prospects. And as of now, they’ve only 3 prospects in the MLB’s top 100 prospect ranking. So with a squad that has aged and a relatively empty farm – the Yankees have a big issue. 

Do they stick with Aaron Boone and the aging players with hopes of creating a miracle? Or do they take some revolutionary steps?

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Whatever the case, the New York Yankees have made a habit of collapsing hard every season. And that isn’t a sign of a World Series Champion (though ironically, the 2000 Yankees squad had a slump of its own at the end of the regular season).

But until a miracle happens, the Bronx Bombers remain a decaying dynasty, an old horse in a race filled with youth. They can sprint fast, but a marathon turns things south rather quickly.