Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Starlin Castro is a Yankee, Adam Warren is not; and Rob Refsnyder will die in Scranton: The Yankee Mystery Scout strikes again

Like with Bigfoot and Nessie, reports have persisted over the ages of a mythical, semi-human presence in the lost upper tiers of the Yankee front office. Some say this terrifying creature is a giant calculating machine, where the mind of Bill James was implanted into to the "Lost In Space" robot who used to yell, "Danger Will Robinson." Others say it is the electrified corpse of Billy Connor, the legendary coach who was said to rise from the grave every 5 p.m. to assess the Yankee farmhands and down enough gin to sideline six C.C. Sabathias. It is known as the Mystery Scout.

This is the presence who long ago decided Francisco Cervelli could never catch. It is the entity that twice craved Javier Vasquez the way Donald Trump does hairspray, so much that the Yankees traded for him twice, both times with disastrous consequences. This is the thing that said Eduardo Nunez could play SS and, later, that Brendan Ryan was the solution to the fact that Nunez couldn't. It correctly assessed Nick Swisher's potential, and last year it picked Nathan Eovaldi out of a pile of Miami beach glass. And this Mystery Scout has always, always, disliked Rob Refsnyder.

Yesterday, the Mystery Scout struck again. The Yankees got former three-time all-star (and Sports Illustrated cover boy) Starlin Castro - whom the Cubs have sought to deal now for six months - for Adam Warren and (as some sites are reporting) Ryan.

Well. WTF? I guess you can look at it in several ways.

Too Rich to Fail: After all the talk about cutting costs, Hal Steinbrenner is once again tethering himself to a whale of a contract. Castro has 4 years left on a $60 million deal, so all of you who hoped for an honest competition next spring at 2B: Go away. Once again, the Yankees will be paying a guy too much money to bench him for somebody else. Castro is our 2B, whether he plays well or not.

Getting Younger: Castro is 26. Warren was 28, and Ryan (if it is Ryan, hope-hope-hope!) seemed 1,000 years old. Technically, the Yankees are younger, and that's always good. Castro is heading to his peak years, output wise, so maybe he can reclaim his status as a star. Nick Swisher did. Scott Brosius did. With Aaron Hicks now in the outfield, the Yankees are becoming the Team of Second Chances. That's not the worst thing to be.

Up or Down? The Gammonites today emphasize that Castro finished strongly at 2B last year, hitting .265. But he once led the league in hits. In two of the last three seasons, his on-base percentage was below .300. That's what we got in Ichiro's final Yankee incarnation. Castro either turns his career around - some former stars treat a trade like a kick in the pants - or we're stuck with a guy the Cubs wanted desperately to get gone.

We will really miss Warren. The guy did everything the Yankees ever asked of him, but the Mystery Scout never saw him as anything more than middle innings fodder. He'll find pitching in the National League so much easier. Last year's 3.29 ERA will probably drop by 30 points, and that could make him the next Ted Lilly, the next one who got away. Unless Castro thrives, don't look for the YES team to do a lot of comparisons between what we gave up and what we got.

Refsnyder's third year in Scranton. Once again, I ask myself, why bother watching Scranton? It doesn't matter if it's Kyle Roller or Adonis Garcia, or Zolio or Igawa, once the Mystery Scout makes his (or her, or its) decision, God help the player who falls on the wrong side. The Yankees can bluster about getting younger, but the Cubs actually cleared the path for a rookie, while it's clear now that Refsnyder will never see the light of day. Banished again to Scranton, he will be demoralized and get off to a slow start, and the Mystery Scout will say, "See? I told you so." Maybe someday, Refsnyder will get a chance. But not with us. The Mystery Scout has spoken... For better or for worse.

14 comments:

John M said...

I wish there was an alternate Yankees team where all of the promising young players would be starters and all of the washouts, has-beens and never-weres with massive salaries didn't play at all.

Adam Warren is going to be a really good starter, like he was for us before the bullpen baloney. In fact, I think at the time he was our best starter. So naturally, we should trade him for a guy who's lost it and will block another promising young player from being a Yankees starter.

Except on the alternate team. Which, sadly, is in Scranton and not the Bronx.

Whaddya say we switch that? I'd start going to games again if they'd do that.

ceeja said...

Come on El Duque. I hate the management of this team too, but this was a good trade. Sure, if Warren turns out to be a top starter, it's not so good. But bottom line is you are giving up a bottom-of-the-rotation-starter / bullpen guy in return for a 26 year old All star who can play any position in the infield.

Oh you also through in a bag of balls (Ryan) into the deal.

Yes, Refsnyder is getting screwed, but it's not like we gave big money to a has been like Kendrick or Womack. Castro is just 26. Don't think Ref has a higher ceiling than Castro.

Might get something good in a trade for Ref and Nova.

Alphonso said...

I think this is a bad move in every respect.

He will hit closer to .245 than be the guy who led the league in hitting. He is the Baltimore trade for Roberts, re-incarnate. He is younger ( supposedly ), but has no power. And I have heard zero about his defense. I can only say; the Cubs ( a franchise re-building to win it all ) don't dump a 26 year old, potential superstar for Adam Warren. It doesn't happen.

They know he has an in-correctable flaw. They know he is not a clutch guy. They know that when it really matters; he will strike out, pop up or hit into a double play. They know it. It is not speculation.

Watch and record what happens this year. This guy will fail where Refsnyder might have hit a game winning homer over the big wall in Boston.

It means that one of the core young Yankees will now be traded. There is no point in keeping Refsnyder. He won't play for the Yankees unless three guys get injured for the season. Scranton is suicidal for him and other " prospects," who now know they will never see the light of day in the Bronx.

Maybe we can get another young prospect to ruin, in a trade for Refsnyder . And you might as well throw in Aaron Judge. We still have Beltran.

This team, and more importantly, the assholes pulling the strings, those idiots thinking out the strategy for re-building (without saying or doing so,) makes me hate baseball.

Who wants to watch yet another group of players I have never heard of, suck?

I just hope they collapse.

el duque said...

No you don't.

You're just saying that because you think, by saying that, it won't happen.

I think we have to reverse our reverse-juju, because normal reverse-juju is not working. If we run reverse-reverse juju, we might get better results.

Wait... didn't we try that last year? If so, are you running reverse-reverse-REVERSE juju?

Anonymous said...

Don't you see what they're doing? They have now freed up Didi to include in a package for Fernandez!

BernBabyBern said...

Baby steps, guys.

Yes, Reif is getting buried, like we do to all of our prospects.

BUT ... we traded for a 26-year-old, not a 36-year-old.

So, we're heading in the right direction.

Baby steps.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE YOUR TAKE ON THE "MYSTERY SCOUT".....IT IS SO ACCURATE....(AND THANKS FOR MENTIONING THE NOT 1, BUT 2 DISASTERS OF JAVIER VASQUEZ)- THAT WAS A CASHMAN (OR MYSTERY SCOUT), DOUBLE CLUNKER THAT ALL BY ITSELF, SHOULD HAVE GOT SOMEBODY FIRED......I NEVER ROOT FOR AN EX-YANKEE, BUT IN THE CASE OF REFSNYDER, IF HE EVER GOES TO A NATONAL LEAGUE TEAM, I WILL ROOT FOR HIM LIKE CRAZY. MAYBE HE CAN TORTURE THE METS FOR YEARS?....I WOULD LOVE TO SEE HIM DEVELOP INTO A SOLID MAJOR LEAGUE PLAYER (IN THE N.L. ONLY), JUST TO MAKE "THE MYSTERY SCOUT" LOOK LIKE SHIT AGAIN........I WILL SAY, I AGREE WITH CEEJA, THIS COULD BE A GOOD DEAL FOR US....BUT I BELIEVE IF GIVEN THE CHANCE AND COMMITMENT, REFSNYDER COULD HAVE GIVEN US SIMILAR PRODUCTION FOR VIRTUALLY NO MONEY AT ALL...

ceeja said...

What if they now traded Beltran to the Mets for a bag of balls? Beltran would have to approve it, but maybe he would. Wouldn't that be a truly inspired move? Wouldn't that mean they are actually serious about getting younger and better?

Then they would either play Judge in RF or sign Heyward.

I can dream.

Anonymous said...

So the Yankees got the Horace Clarke of the 21'st century; he'll end up being a .257 (with Yanks) career hitter, just like The Hoss but without as good of a nickname.

jdrny said...

These kinds of trades are demoralizing to a Yankee fan who has been rooting for Refsnyder to make it.
He was never given a chance to develop his potential.
The Cubs made a good move.

I'm Bill White said...

I think it's time to make this a Pittsburgh Pirates blog. Pretty sure Reaf will have a nice career there. Absent that, I think we should make it a Wilford Brimley blog. I love Wilford Brimley.

Damon said...

If a guy is fading, he's fading. Cashman and company, along with countless sportscasters, daily newspaper columnnists, and twelve-year-olds believe in the superstition of the "change of scenery." The brainy GMs will have none of it--they are always on the "sender" side of these dumps, idiots like Cashman always on the receiving end. That's what the Yankees have become under Cashman's reign of stupidity--a garbage dump for fading, overpriced ex-all stars.

jdrny said...

Totally agree with Damon. Well said.

Der Kaiser said...

This move makes no sense. With Didi and Castro in the middle infield, where are the Yankees going to play Stephen Drew after they inevitably resign him?