Yankees need to become sellers, retool for 2017, and here's how

When was the last time the New York Yankees were sellers prior to MLB's non-waiver trade deadline?

This is not a trivia question … I honestly don't know.

Has it ever happened? If so, certainly not recently. Year after year, the Yankees take the position that their fan base will not accept a sell-off of top talent; even in down years, they must always strive to put the best product on the field even if it's obvious the team needs to be retooled.

But here's the reality for the Bronx Bombers in 2016: If they want to get back to being a championship contender anytime soon, they need to be sellers over the next couple months. It will take some effort, and it could be tough for the fan base to witness, but if they do it right, they can go right back to being buyers again this offseason.

It's called a "quick rebuild," and here's a blueprint for how they can do it:

1. Look to trade their best assets: the big three relievers