Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Posted by el duque at 9:16 AM
Surely, Cash is as delirious as we are at the notion of a 22-year-old Yankee slugger who could anchor 1B for the next 15 years. And when you see Bird swing so easily, so effortlessly, you can imagine 40 HRs a year flying into that right field porch. What a delight! And then Cashman's little voice whispers, "Uh-oh."
The reason: The Yankees have painted themselves into a corner, and the coat won't dry for at least another year.
Next season, Mark Teixeira will be our 1B, and Alex Rodriguez will be our DH. There is no negotiation to be done. If A-Rod tweaks a thingy, Carlos Beltran will take over as DH. And in two years, Brian McCann will move to 1B. It's all pre-written in the stars. (Or contracts.)
The Yankees - after going practically a decade without developing a star position player - finally may have one, and there is no place for him.
So what will they do with Greg Bird? Seat him on the bench, so he's denied the at-bats needed to grow? Send him back to Scranton, leaving him demoralized and maybe wasted - (a common Yankee procedure these days.) Or trade him - another Jesus H. Montero for Big Mike Pineda?
Arguably, that may be Cashman's best recourse - especially if Hal Steinbrenner is obsessed with cutting payroll. Nobody will take A-Rod or Tex in a trade. But everybody wants a young slugger. They'd probably give up a young 2B or a pitcher. (No sense getting a 3B, because we are stuck with Chase "Air Mail" Headley for another three.)
So Cashman may have to trade the most exciting homegrown Yankee since Derek Jeter. Come December, Bird will be at peak prospect foliage. They might never get more for him in a trade. But trading him would break our hearts - at a time when the city may still be slobbering over the Mets' parade down the Canyon of Heroes. And if the trade goes south - that is, if Greg Bird has a great career with another team, while we end up with a head case or Tommy John patient - well, NYC can be a cruel place. So the voice says "Uh-oh."