Thursday, December 8, 2016

In signing Aroldis, Yanks channel Sally Fields

M
Mission accomplished. We got our man. Today, we are Arby's: WE HAVE... THE MEAT!

When winter began Nov. 2, that stick of pepperoni hanging next to the ice skates, the one we most coveted, was Aroldis Chapman. For six weeks, we forded a river of saliva over that wonderful, spicy prong of muscle. Meanwhile, all we heard was that El Chapo wanted to come home, to play for us, and that we wanted to sign him.

And yet... we'd become so conditioned by Hal Steinbrenner's penny-pinching that nobody - not I, anyway - anticipated last night's triumph. Nope. We figured the Nats or Dodgers - some team looking to win - would grab him. We'd spend today watching talent leave through the Rule 5 draft, while the YES happy talk machine touted the virtues of Reuben Tejada... another ride to Boone Logansville.

No. Aroldis is ours. He liked us. He really liked us. He wasn't just saying so, to be kind, to be gracious, or to gin up the bidding. MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYBODY! HE LIKES US, HE REALLY LIKES US. 

I, of course, am typing this from the tub, in a celebratory Calgon Bath Oil Beads haze. I will spend the day in these curing waters, contemplating contemplations, such as:

1. Signing El Chapo doesn't sabotage the Yankee youth movement. In fact, his presence should calm a young bullpen, lessening PTSD from bad outings. Luis Severino can return to the rotation, rather than pitch the eighth. Both Chapman and Matt Holliday should fit our long term plans. (If we signed a 3B, what about Miguel Andujar? If a 1B, what of Greg Bird?) We've supplemented prospects rather than blocking them. Hot damn!

2. Just days after the new players union agreement has been fully digested, we are seeing a scramble for top prospects. The White Sox launched a fire sale, and in one day scored enough young studs to put them above us on the suddenly all-important Baseball America prospect rankings. I think we're seeing the results of the new CBA: In its quest for parity, baseball is becoming the NFL.

3. With that in mind, here is a very real fear: The Redsocks could become the New England Patriots. For starters, they're willing to cheat. They have plenty of money. And they've had a fruitful farm system for so long now that we take it for granted. Teams want their prospects, because of the track record. Boston has assembled a stable of veterans and rising stars that very much resembles the Yankees of 1996-2000 - even a future Core Four: Bradely, Bogartes, Betts, Benintendi. Moreover, they have a smart owner, who built an empire rather and inheriting one. Yikes, the water in this tub just turned colder.

4. If you were to rank teams in the AL right now - I mean, today, this minute, right now - not bothering to think about where Jose Bautista and Mark Trumbow wind up - here's my guess:

Divisional Champs:
Boston/Cleveland/Houston
Wild Cards: Texas/ Kansas City
Close But No Cigar: Seattle/Yankees/Baltimore
Close But No Camel Filter: Detroit/Oakland/Toronto
Tomato Cans: California/Oakland/Tampa/White Sox/Minnesota

On this scale, the Yankees sell tickets into September - the most critical objective of the team these days. Without Chapman, we would fall in that lower tier. And if a few prospects don't pan out, we could be so bad that President Trump is tweeting about us.

5. Once again - third year in a row, in my opinion - the most important figure in the Yankiverse is Aaron Judge. If he becomes a star, there is hope. If he fails, we are fukkinay screwed. It's that simple. The worst scenario is utterly terrifying: He's a bust, we punt on him, then he becomes a star elsewhere. Fortunately, we also have Clint Frazier. But everything hinges on some outfielder to evolve. We cannot afford more Slade Heathcotts. (Wherever he is, I wish him the best. No hard feelings, not from this bathtub, not today. Hey, it just didn't work.)  

6. El Chapo has an opt-out clause triggered after 2019. I hate those things. But if he pitches well for three years, the opt-out could actually be our salvation. If he wants to squeeze us for more money through the next decade, maybe he'll hit the open market and spare us the final two years, which everyone assumes will see us owning a Papelbon. But hey, you know what? I donna giva sheet. For Hal, this is clam dip money. Besides, if the Yankees haven't developed a raft of young pitchers by 2019, well, we're going to have far worse problems than an overpriced bum pitching the ninth.It's a good day. WE HAVE... THE MEAT! Calgon Beauty Bath, take me away!

7 comments:

John M said...

The Chapman deal may come back to bite us, but it might not. Fireballers have to pivot at some point when they can't be firing fireballs anymore, but Chappie has a few years left with that. And maybe we just let him go after four years when he's an august 32. So what? Only the salary cap is effected. (Or is that "affected"? That one always gets me.)

The first sign that this deal is a good one comes from the Red Sox Network, ESPN, which featured Millar blathering about it on the air, and an Inside story by Keith Law that starts thusly:

"The Yankees’ record-setting, five-year, $86 million deal with Aroldis Chapman might never hurt the Bombers financially, given their massive revenues, but it’s highly unlikely to work out for them on the field, given the unhappy track record of long-term contracts for relievers, and it’s a reprehensible signing, given what they know about Chapman’s character and actions."

Oooooh, he's a BAD MAN! Tsk, tsk. Screw Law and the Soxian horse he rode in on. We no longer have to beat poor Betances to death, which makes him more valuable as Chapman starts to wind down, assuming no injuries and proper adjustments, yadda yadda. Plus, we can now develop middle relievers properly...I know, it's a fool's game to hope with the Yankees, but it is possible.

Even if Chappie is a bad guy, it wouldn't be terrible to become the Rolling Stones to Boston's Beatles. Even if our guys look more poppish with their clean-shaven mugs. Nothing better than being more evil than you look, it's kind of cool.

KD said...

Such moral preening by the redsock minions. I suppose they feel that the guy shouldn't be able to rise to the top of his chosen profession without redsock absolution.

Chappy may give us 5 WAR or so, depending on how Binders uses him. That's what really has them crapping in their Me Undies.

Alphonso said...

How quickly they forget. And those that pay no attention to history, are doomed to repeat it.

If he " opts out" after three years, the likelihood is that the Yankees bid against themselves to sign him for ten more years.

Remember A-Rod?

His opt out clause was a bane, not a salvation.

Only because the Yankees are stupid and poorly run.

John M said...

Yes, the Yankees are stupid and poorly run. Which is always the horrifying wild card in the deck with deals like these.

I'm still smarting from that A-Rod contract. Dumbest move ever, next to Pavano, 2X Vasquez, Ellsbury, etc. etc. etc.

KD said...

Here's to hoping that Joey Binders learned something this post season regarding modern, imaginative use of relief pitchers. Chapman should be used in late inning high leverage situations and not saved exclusively for closing. Use Chapman for the high leverage situations and Betances for the low. Probably just too much to hope for, I know.

Anonymous said...

WELL, I GUESS I SHOULD BE HAPPY IN GETTING CHAPMAN, BUT BECAUSE I'M ALPHONSO'S NEGATIVE COUSIN, I'M NOT........... WE HAVE THE SAME TEAM AS LAST YEAR, WE JUST REPLACED BELTRAN WITH HOLLIDAY...... NO REAL IMPACT HAS BEEN MADE...... AS I KEPT READING RIDICULOUS RUMORS OF US GETTING OFFERS FOR BRETT GARDNER AND CHASE HEADLEY, MY MIND WANDERED INTO THINKING THAT MAYBE CASHMAN COULD FINALLY SWING A DEAL OR TWO THAT COULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE.....DOPEY ME TO THINK THAT HUH?........ I STILL SEE A LINEUP IN WHICH BRETT GARDNER, JACOBY ELLSBURY, CHASE HEADLEY AND GOD FORBID, AARON HICKS, WILL ALL BE IN AT THE SAME TIME....... THAT, MY FRIENDS, IS NOT PROGRESS.

Anonymous said...

A guy who throws 101 to save what? This is about ticket sales and promotion, not about sound team-building strategy. It's clearly a Randy Levine signing. This is the most inept and self-destructive organization in baseball.