Thursday, December 17, 2015
Posted by el duque at 6:47 AM
Yep. We raised one third-baseman, and we'd have been better off if we didn't. Forty years of nothing. Oh, I guess you could say we grew Mike Pagliarulo from a seedling. Pags was an occasional slugger during the lost 1980s, whose batting average - foreshadowing Stephen Drew - generally hovered between .180 and .210. After that, good night and good luck. Move on, people, there's nothing to see. Go on, shoo!
It's not that we didn't draft third-basemen in the top rounds. Remember Dante Bichette Jr.? Brad Suttle? David Adams? Of course, you don't. We always signed somebody - Graig Nettles, Scott Brosius, A-Rod. It's been a system-wide failure. For reasons I cannot explain, we simply do not make third-basemen.
So last year, we turned to Chase Headley. He stank. There's no better way to put this. He sailed throws into the right field bleachers - 10 more errors than usual (dare I say the name Chuck Knoblauch?) - and contributed little at the plate that Yangervis Solarte, the guy we originally traded for Headley, wouldn't have done. Headley didn't hit for power. He didn't hit for average. And it wasn't jitters from coming to NYC. He'd already been here the last half of 2014.
You know, I can actually understand why Hal "I'm Not Cheap" Steinbrenner preaches against signing long contracts. He goes on and on about how the Yankees cannot get locked into such deals... and then gets drunk and signs Ellsbury for seven, McCann for five, Headley for four, etc. It's like there's two Hals, one who pinches pennies and one who goes out clubbing with Gigi Hadid. So we end up with Headley.
Last winter, the Blue Jays pried current MVP Josh Donaldson from Oakland in a trade. The Yankees watched. We had Headley. Yesterday, the White Sox obtained all-star 3B Todd Frazier in a trade. The Yankees watched. We have Headley. If you look at our current farm system, one position stands out as particularly barren. Guess which. Go on, guess...
WTF? This shouldn't be. Two years ago, we made Eric Jagielo our top pick. They now say he's probably a first-baseman. Deep in the system, around Charleston and Pulaski, you find possibilities. But nothing has changed. They've always been there - fresh crops of the next Eric Duncan and Brandon Laird.
I keep hearing how our "suddenly productive farm system" has turned itself around. That's a drum beat we get every Christmas. The truth is, we have a middling system, which only looks good with a microscope, and when you're not comparing it to what other franchises have. Until we can develop a decent 3B, I'm not buying the crapola. All I see is three more years of Headley. And I'm sorry, it drains me of holiday hope. Merry Knoblach, everybody!