OF Abraham Almonte to Seattle yesterday for pitcher Shawn Kelley, a 28-year-old bullpen cotter pin who been designated for assignment, leaving the Mariners near zero leverage in cutting another sweet Jesus deal.
It's hard to spin these sub-atomic particle movements, which can only be seen through River Ave electron microscopes, or the Scranton Tribune. It's hard to care. Abe Almonte is most famous within the Yankiverse for being "the other Almonte" - not Zolio, the OF who hit some homers last spring before vanishing into the Sbaros cafeteria lasagna displays of the New York State Thruway. Abe played between High A and Double A Trenton, where he stole 30 bases and restored himself to the official Sickels World Prospect Registry. He'd been lost in a thicket of Yankee nobodies whose baseball destinies lie in some future Caribbean League pennant race. We have a bunch. The Expendables.
Kelley is an arm with major league experience, who had Tommy John surgery back in college (Austin Peay), he can give you innings, he hasn't shot anybody that we know of, and theoretically, you can't have too many of these fodder types.
The Insider Baseball/Get a Life, Dammit clown inside my head says Abe's fate was sealed when the Yankees recommissioned those two aging warships, the S.S. Juan Rivera and the ever-leaking Travis Hafner, who will float North with the team in April even if all they swat in Tampa are sand fleas. That means Ronnier Mustellier, Melky Mesa, Zolio, et al, will be recycled back to Scranton, which would have meant Abe seeing another cruel season at Trenton. Cash probably figured the poor guy needs a new location, and Abe wasn't going to see the bacon-fat skies of Moosic. (That is, until the injuries start mounting; we've already lost 3B Mike Adams for the spring.)
One last thing: Seattle seems to be one of the few teams in baseball that is comfortable in trading with the Yankees. Some GMs seem to think a deal with the Big Bad Wolf has to include larceny, or their 20-person fan bases will revolt. The Mariners don't have to worry. It'll be a long time before any accuses them of being the 1959 Kansas City Athletics. Welcome Shawn Kelley. So long, Abe. The grinder turns. Don't lose a finger in it.