Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Posted by el duque at 7:36 AM
Quickly, the expert panel of veteran baseball scouts screamed down any notion of the Yankees as sellers. The Yankiverse could never trade Derek Jeter's pals. Still, this team is generating more hate and frustration than any in memory. If you meet a kindred fan, you end up covered in bile. One of these days, the next wave of hammy tweaks will put our aging lineup out of its misery. My friends, the end is near. And the Yankees could be sellers.
But it's not easy. The Yankees collect veteran clubhouse presences, players who do not deserve to be humiliated, or run out of NYC. This is not a case of dumping Mel Hall. Last year, Travis Hafner and Vernon Wells proved to be class acts; they tried their best and never complained. Trouble was, they were done. They couldn't hit a major league fastball. This year, Carlos Beltran is probably playing in pain; he has a bone spur, for godsake. Remember him hitting that wall in April? Trouble is, that was his most solid hit of the season. We can't just trade him. The Yankees must do right by the players it scrap-heaps.
Here is how a sell-off could evolve.
1. Brian Roberts to Baltimore, or any team with a sudden 2B issue. Simply stated, Roberts needs to go. He could help some team with a need. He cannot help us. We won't get much for him. Hell, why kid myself? We'll get nothing. But the Yankees could try Rob Refsnyder, the fast-rising prospect, at 2B. Refsnyder might be a jolt of lightning, or he might be over-matched. Either way, he'll learn from it. And Yankee fans will have a reason to watch. Currently, we do not.
2. Ichiro back to Seattle. The Mariners this year will be all in - buyers at the deadline. Having spent the house on Robbie Cano, they have no choice. Obviously, Seattle has great emotional ties to Ichiro. If an OF or DH gets hurt - (that's you, Jesus) - Seattle might consider Ichiro, and the Yankees would be doing the humane thing by sending him home. We won't get much. Hell, why kid ourselves? We'll get nothing. But we can try Zolio Almonte, or anybody, and Yankee fans will at least have a curiosity in right field.
3. Sabathia to a West Coast team or Milwaukee. Here's the best scenario: CC returns, pitches well for a few games but - of course - gives up 2 runs and loses, because 2 runs is an impossible deficit for this lineup to overcome. So we put him on the market - to NL teams (he'll be happier there) who he approves. He's a West Coast guy. The Dodgers and Giants could bid on him. Or he could return to Milwaukee, where he once carried the Brewers into a post-season. He might pitch in the World Series. We might get a decent prospect. More importantly, we escape a huge contract for a pitcher who is near the end.
4. Cervelli or Romine... somewhere. If a team has catching woes, Cervelli could be an attractive notion. Moreover, Frankie needs to go. Right now, Gary Sanchez - the Yankees No. 1 prospect - may sit the entire season at Trenton, where he played a month last year. Good grief, you don't want your best prospect to languish a second year at Double A. Yet with John Ryan Murphy and Austin Romine in Scranton, there is no place to move Sanchez, who recently was disciplined for bad behavior. I have no idea what he did, but when a 16-year-old is made a millionaire - as the Yankees did with Sanchez - I suspect it creates divas. It's also possible Sanchez sees the logjam and wonders if he'll ever get a shot. If the right team needs a catcher, they might give us something for Cervelli. Everybody wins.
5. Soriano... anywhere. It hurts to see him. It's like going to a oldies concert, where the singer can't reach the notes. You wish you stayed home. For weeks now, I've rooted against Soriano - convinced that a base hit only prolongs the agony of watching him. That's a terrible situation for a fan. He needed a change of scenery last August. He will this August, too.
Listen, the Yankees wouldn't necessarily be worse. The AL East does suck. Who knows if a bunch of nobodies from Scranton couldn't lift this team? They could also bring up Pat Venditte, the switch-pitcher. September could still be interesting. It's strange how some sellers actually revive their seasons. Hey, you never know.
Trouble is, we've seen enough of this team to know. It's time to do something differently. It's time to be a seller.