FIFTY THOUSAND MOONS
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Posted by el duque at 7:45 AM
Soler, 24, is exactly the kind of long-range player the Yankees need. But it's a bad fit. Their OF is full of aging, injury-prone players in decline, and their best prospect in Scranton remains RF Aaron Judge. Don't get me wrong: I don't mind them wheedling the Cubs for more in a deal. What I fear is that we'll be ones trading a prospect: We'll beat a few tomato cans, get three games above .500, and start trading our future for some Justin Morneau-type 1B, or to fill whatever positions become vacant after the next clown car of injuries. What I fear is that the Yankees have no long-term plan, other than to chase Wild Card Away Games for the next decade. Besides - whenever I hear the name "Jose Soler," bile rises in my throat because - dammit, we should already have him! We could have signed him five years ago, when he slipped out of Cuba as a 19-year-old prospect. All of baseball figured we would. We had the money. We had the prestige. Of course, it was a time before we realized the vapid, money-grubbing emptiness of Hal Steinbrenner's ownership.
Soler was the first Yoan Mocada - that is, a no-brainer Yankee signing, which the Yankees - having no brain - failed to consummate. Hal hid in the cellar until the Cubs signed Soler to a nine-year deal. Then the dutiful YES team launched a non-stop loop of praise for the owner's keen frugality. Today, many Yankee fans even play that game - weighing players by contracts rather than wins - because for some ridiculous reason, they want a billionaire family to bank even more money. But in the period since the Yankees refused to invest in Soler, they doled out lavishly for the likes of Chase Headley, Brian Roberts, Stephen Drew, et al - paying players for what they did in the past, rather than what they could do as Yankees. Blugh.
Anyway, yesterday Yulieski Guorriel - a 32-year-old 3B, generally considered the best player coming out of Cuba - was declared an MLB free agent. He has publicly discussed his dream of playing for the Yankees. Moreover, Guorriel has a 22-year-old brother Lourdes, who plays 2B, with a bright future. There is talk of a package deal, both signing with the same team.
Insert sigh here.
Once upon a time, any international free agent who voiced his desire to be a Yankee was sure to be a signing. Now, it's just a sign that the Yankees are owned by a cheap, spiritless, pants-shitting putz. I fully expect to watch Hal hide under the bed and make no sound until the Cuban brothers sign with some franchise that has a plan. Meanwhile, I can detect the distant smell of a Wild Card Away Game. Excuse me, while I hold my nose.