Should the New York Yankees Have Kept Austin Jackson and Jesus Montero?

Peter AlfanoContributor IIApril 19, 2012

Austin Jackson is off to the best start of his career
Austin Jackson is off to the best start of his careerLeon Halip/Getty Images

Call it the curse of the big-market teams.

The New York Yankees just don't have the luxury of giving their young prospects time to develop.

For example, would Yankees fans have been patient enough to allow Austin Jackson and Jesus Montero to grow into their roles at the major league level?

Would fans have endured the growing pains of Ian Kennedy, Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes if the Yankees gave them a longer leash to establish themselves as starters?

Probably not. The problem with being a big-market team is that the fans and media expect you to spend your way into contention.

Look at the New York Mets.The financial problems encountered by owner Fred Wilpon as a result of the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme is a blessing in disguise. The Mets will now have a chance to see whether the players that came up through the organization can cut it at the major league level.

Attendance may suffer, but in the long run it may help to develop a farm system that is a supply line to the Mets and not just chips for making trades.

The Yankees, on the other hand, usually are reluctant to sacrifice a year or two waiting for their young players to mature. That wasn't always the case.

Jesus Montero was considered the Yankees best hitting prospect
Jesus Montero was considered the Yankees best hitting prospectStephen Brashear/Getty Images

Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera were nurtured in the minors and allowed to reach their potential in the Bronx.

But the Yankees act as if that isn't an option nowadays. So Austin Jackson was peddled to Detroit in a trade that brought Curtis Granderson to the Bronx and Montero was sent to Seattle for potential top-of-the-rotation starter Michael Pineda.

You can argue that Montero for Pineda involved an exchange of  young prospects, but the Yankees' position players are showing their age, and an infusion of youth wouldn't hurt.

Jackson is off to a hot start with the Detroit Tigers, but no one should get carried away after two weeks. By the same token, Yankees fans shouldn't fret about Granderson's slow start.

Still, it would be interesting to speculate what the Yankees would look like with Jackson batting leadoff and Montero hitting sixth.

With Robinson Cano and Brett Gardner (before he was injured) also in the lineup, the Yankees wouldn't be as old or home run-dependent.

Granderson helped the Yankees make the playoffs in 2011, but they haven't won the World Series since acquiring him. And while Jackson is probably not going to be a superstar, he has been a fixture in center-field for the Tigers, who have also been in the postseason.

It is hard to fault the success the Yankees have had over the years with free-agent signings and trades. Still, it would be nice to see some of their prospects be given a chance to earn a chance to succeed in pinstripes.

It's about time the Yankees developed another core four.