Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Posted by el duque at 7:52 AM
But - hey - we won last night! We won't get swept at home by the worst team in the AL! Isn't that all that matters? Tonight, John and Suzyn will treat Headley like the biggest Christmas gift found under the tree. At the risk of rousing the true believers, consider this:
1. The guy has a herniated disc. A frickin herniated disc. Ever had one? It's like having a knife jabbed into your spine. In simple terms, this is Kevin Youkilis II. Of course, he's hitting over .300 since receiving an epidural shot in June. Trouble is, the shots wear off, and his should be nearing the end of its pain-killing life. Surely, San Diego knew this. They didn't wait for the trade deadline. If Headley's back flares - and it will - the second epidural doesn't always work. Everybody's back is different. Maybe this guy can gut it out for the entire season. But jeeze, a herniated disc? If you thought Teixeira is fragile, he's Cal Ripken compared to this guy.
2. Saying goodbye to Solarte is sad, from a lost cat standpoint, but realistically, we said bon voyage two weeks ago, when he was shipped to Scranton and converted into Zelous Wheeler. Solarte's hitting and fielding had simultaneously collapsed - a hard thing to do for most major leaguers. He provides cover for the San Diego front office, who can say that he was hitting more than Headley (who for the year is hitting a meager .229; that certainly fits in with this Yankee team, eh?) Solarte was a nice human interest story, and I believe Yankee fans will look back on this mediocre team, remember him and smile, much in the way we now do about Alviro Espinosa or Stump Merrill. But as a Yankee, he was already gone. And San Diego certainly didn't place much value on him.
3. Trading Rafael De Paula scares me. Yes, he's a 23 year-old pitcher at Single A. But in case you've forgotten, he was our representative in the 2013 Futures Game. (Question: Did anybody mention this on YES last night? If they did, I missed it.) Three years ago, he was signed to a huge contract, then he missed two seasons due to Visa issues. (Question: Was anybody in the Yankee brass ever held accountable for that snafu? Seems to me, they wasted a ton of Hal's money.). Last year, De Paula looked great in low A and led the Yankees entire minor league system in strikeouts. This year, he got whacked around early on in Tampa, but then figured it out. Since June 23, he's been almost lights out. Over his last 24 innings, he's given up 4 earned runs, struck out 33, walked 10. He would have been in line for a promotion to Trenton. Clearly, San Diego likes what they saw. They had Toronto bidding against us for Headley. They wanted this guy.
He could be the Dellin Betances of 2016. By then, of course, 2014 will be a distant memory, and last night's win will be a deeper, much darker context. Today, the most terrifying outgrowth of this deal is the immediate gratification - the instant analysis that the brown-nosing NYC media will give Cashman. It's like Putin after the Olympics; he'll think he's bulletproof. This could spur an invasion of Arizona - a bigger trade of prospects, as he tries to goose a team that - no matter how bad the AL East looks - remains the virtual definition of a dud. Seriously, does anybody out there see this team winning the World Series?
I guess we should enjoy last night's victory. Because here comes the hangover.