Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Cito Culver is back and only a Chase Headley-trade away from his dream

We love to rage at the moon about Hal Steinbrenner's cheapness, because when the Encarnacions and Scherzers hit the open market, Food Stamps hides under his groundskeeper's bed. But nobody can accuse the boy-owner billionaire of penny-pinching on penny candy.

Whether it's Yangervis Solarte, Gregorio Petit or the return of Slade Heathcott, nobody rules the rummage sale like the nebbish of nepotism. Our Scranton larder is always stocked with Cole Figueroas and Chris Parmelees... and don't get me wrong: If you treasure each tiny nickel, you'll end up with a great big dime! Every year, some scrap-heaper wins us a game or two. Remember Cody Ransom's home runs, or Greg Golson's epic throw from the right field foul line? Or that rolly-polly guy, Bartolo Somethingorother? Never underestimate a yard sale, where the Yankees remain the kings of coin.

Yesterday, we exercised our fanny pack power and re-signed the perennial whipping boy for draft day critics, none other than Christopher S. "Cito" Culver himself. The 32nd pick in the 2010 draft - taken two players ahead of Aaron Sanchez and four above Noah Syndergaard - has always been a magnet for furious fans - as if he should be blamed, and not the Yankees. (In fact, they played a failed strategy - drafting Culver, who was willing to sign cheaply - so they could later grab Mason Williams, to whom they bestowed the big bucks.)

Cito never hit. A shortstop, he wasted four years batting from both sides, then became a full-time righty. He still has a rifle arm - for years, fans speculated he should pitch - and last season, something funny happened. At age 24, after finally reaching Triple A - much like Kyle Higashawa, the late-blooming catcher - Culver started to produce. He batted .263 in 88 plate appearances - that's not Jeterian, but it's not Eddie Brinkman, either. If he improves, he could become a serviceable MLB utility infielder or maybe even a defensive 3B who hits .250 - which is what the Yankees now have, except they're paying the guy $13 million.

Okay, let's talk about Chase Headley...

Listen: He isn't baseball's worst player, or even the Yankees worst contract. It's just that when Headley comes to bat, fans go to the bathroom. Right now, he and Jacoby Ellsbury are carbon sinks within the Yankiverse; we've seen enough to know that if they're red hot in June, it's gonna snow in July. We should not blame either: It was the Yankees who foisted so much money on them that they became immovable. But it's Christmas, right? And this is when we are still supposed to believe in miracles, right?

So here's my sloppy, feel-good Christmas wish: May we find a taker for Headley. We can eat half his contract and send him to a city where nobody cares how much he's being paid, and where he can climb out from under the shadow of all that money. Then next spring, instead of trading for another pricey veteran, we hold honest tryouts at third. Yeah, I know it's a miracle. I might as well be asking for a pony under the tree. But wouldn't it be nice if the legend of Cito Culver was just beginning?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

THINK ABOUT THIS........ CHASE HEADLEY (WAS!), THE WORST PLAYER IN BASEBALL FOR HALF A SEASON......... HE WAS DOING A GREAT STEPHEN DREW IMITATION FOR THE FIRST FEW MONTHS OF THE SEASON LAST YEAR......MUST WE SUBJECT OURSELVES TO ANOTHER YEAR OF A PLAYER WHO PRODUCES NOTHING FOR HALF A SEASON??? ...... EVEN WHEN HE DID FINALLY START GETTING A FEW HITS TO GO FROM THE SUBLIME TO THE RIDICULOUS, YOU HARDLY NOTICED IT.....HE RARELY GETS A "GAME BREAKING" OR GAME SAVING HIT.....TO BE HONEST, HIS BEST MOMENT WAS THE FIRST DAY WE GOT HIM, YEARS AGO, AND HE GOT A BASE HIT TO WIN THAT ENDLESS EXTRA INNING GAME.

John M said...

When was the last time we had a guy named Cito on the team? My guess is never.

Let's do this.

Local Bargain Jerk said...


I agree with this:

Trade Headley simply to get salary relief and perhaps a Low-A prospect.

Let Culver play third and hit 250.

Given our low expectations, this would be a pony under the tree vs. just the manure we have now.

Alphonso said...

I think you are all smoking something very strong to think that Cito Culver will ever be a productive Yankee.

He does have a strong arm, so maybe he can become a pitcher. But he can't hit at all and I promise you he can't bunt ( which infielders who can't hit, must be able to do).

Third base requirements ( my position 100 years ago ):

Gun of an arm
Amazing reflexes
Hit for average
Hit for power.

I never hit for power.

Anonymous said...

Wow, we got Cito back?? Cash-Puss is a flat-out genius!! Like he's told us, you can never have enough shortstops. How many of them do we have now?? Seven?? Eight?? Wow a GUN for an arm - - just like Hicks!(He of the Hot Licks); can't hit?? Just like Hicks! (and Drew, and Roberts, and most of Cash-Puss's infield acquisitions - - Ackley, anyone?? Aaack!! Thought so....and all of those acquisions together only add up to maybe ONE great starting pitcher - - and since the Genius has told us we are more than one player away from championship-caliber, well, why NOT piddle away our resources on reclamation projects?? Bravo, Brian! I think you're great enough for a job in the tRUMP administration - - someone call Rudy!! Quick!!
Fonz, you sound like we need you on the team - - how much would you take to sign?? Does anyone have Bri-Bri's CP#?? You can never have enough light-hitting 3B, either....Hmmmm....Dammit, I was a first-baseman, and nobody want us. LB

Alphonso said...

Are you kidding? We need first basemen by the dozen. Start your workouts. See you in Tampa.