on four-years of Yoenis Cespedes - more than $27 million per season. In theory, that deal now defines the market for Edwin Encarnacion - everything but the kitchen sink - which underscores what we already knew: The computer known as Brian Cashman will "make inquiries" on Edwin and then hide under the bed, praying the player's agent doesn't return the call.
A few thoughts on yesterday's deal:
1. Apparently, Mets owner Fred Wilpon has finally "recovered" from Bernie Madoff. It's only been eight years. Frankly, it's never been clear whether Drop Dead Fred won or lost in the Madoff scandal. He poor-mouthed pretty well - billionaires always do - and accepted big loans from MLB and Bank of America to stay afloat, nearly sold 49 percent of the team to an equally evil hedge fund. But in 2012, Fred settled a lawsuit from the small Madoff investors, the ones who truly lost everything - by paying $162 million - even more than for Cespedes. For years, the Mets used Madoff money to thrive. It's a cruel jungle for Hal Steinbrenner - life among the billionaires.
2. For the third straight year, the Yankees will loom as NYC's inferior baseball team. (We're still ahead of the Staten Island Yankees and Brooklyn Whatevers.) This will be reflected in ticket sales, YES ratings and the refusal of Comcast to roll over in cable disputes. When the Evils were swept in the 2012 ALCS, did any of us imagine that we would go four years without a post-season win? Did anyone foresee such a dark period in the Yankiverse? Well, yeah, Alphonso did - but that's his thing.
3. If it's true that the Jersey Giants and Dolan-cursed Knicks have improved - (and, seriously, that's a big "if" on both) - the 2016 Yankees could be NYC's fourth most popular sports team. (Thank you, Jets, for your constant mediocrity.) And that's not even pondering the unponderable: That Aaron Judge, Greg Bird and Gary Sanchez turn into complete flops. If that happens, watch out Brooklyn Nets: We're coming for you.
4. Newton's Third Law says for every action, there is an equal re-somethingorother. Last night, news reports said the Yankees are in "full pursuit" of the late-blooming veteran pitcher Rich Hill, probably for a three-year deal. The guy is 36. Thirty-six. After Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, Chase Headley, et al - we're going to give a 36-year-old pitcher a whopping three-year-deal? Well, it's Hal's money, not mine - and maybe the front office is shitlessly scared of what being the fourth most successful team in NY might mean. Still, I think it's a touch of madness... or just an attempt to momentarily divert attention from the Mets looming superiority.
Clearly, if we were to sign Rich Hill, Aroldis Chapman and a DH - a Steve Pearcer - we can chase the 2017 AL Wild Card - with or without Aaron Judge. The bar is rather low for chasing wild cards. A .500 team is contending until September. I'm just worried that Rich Hill will become Exhibit A for why the Yankees sit out next year's free agent auction, and - worst of all - yet another sign that we have learned nothing from Madoff, the Mets and everything else in recent years.