Monday, February 13, 2017
Posted by el duque at 7:23 AM
Last week, we learned the truth about the Yankees: They'll sign anybody, if he's cheap. It doesn't matter if they need him. If he's cheap, he's ours. So we should consider 2017 a gap year. Instead of going to college, Hal Steinbrenner plans to take the year off, tour Europe, climb mountains, read poetry, find himself and maybe get laid. Come 2018, he'll return with tattoos and a plan. In the meantime, we should be patient and supportive.
For now, we have an outfield mess. And it might mean we trade Brett Gardner, who has done more for the Yankees than Hal ever will. But why scream? It does no good.
Early this winter, Brian Cashman shopped Gardy, to no avail. Now, he must try harder.
And why? It's because of Chris Carter, the second coming of King Kong Kingman. Carter "plays" OF and 1B, though by all accounts, he's a disaster with a glove, a blight upon humanity. Also, for every HR, he will strike out five times and hit into a bunch of DPs. But... he was cheap.
So here is our current outfield situation.
LH: Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, Mason Williams.
RH: Aaron Judge, Matt Holliday, Chris Carter, Rob Refsnyder, Tyler Austin.
SH: Aaron Hicks.
Right now, our lineup likely would be Gardy in left, Ellsbury in center and Judge in right, with Holliday as DH. That leaves Hicks and Carter as backups. The ballyhooed "competition" for the final roster spot has been canceled. Thus:
1. The career confinement and torture of Rob Refsnyder will finally end, with a verdict pronounced based on opportunities he never received. Scouts said Ref couldn't play 2B, and we went a whole year with Stephen Drew. Now, they say he can't hit for power, and - well - that is that. He'll either get traded for next to nothing, or - gulp - he'll be sent to Scranton for a fourth year. I really can't see that happening. Maybe he'll just disappear, like in a Twilight Zone episode, and nobody will recall him ever existing, you know, like Paul Manafort.
2. Mason Williams and Tyler Austin both will return to Scranton, clogging the arteries of the entire farm system. Austin could platoon at 1B with Greg Bird, but why kid ourselves? He has minor league options, and Carter doesn't. As usual, the size of the contract is key. So Carter will get the playing time. We won't escape those 200 strikeouts, folks.
3. The Yankees can bundle Refsnyder, Williams, Austin and/or somebody else in a trade for some craggy veteran innings-eater. They won't get a young stud pitcher - but somebody pushing 33 and fading. No rising team - the kind that would take a chance on Ref or Williams - will give up a young arm. So we'll trade youth for old age. Sound familiar?
4. Cashman goes back on the market with Gardy. He waits waits waits for some key OF on a contending team to tweak a gonad. He packages Gardy with a low-level prospect for one of those 27-year-old arms - the next Nathan Eovaldi - that Cashman knows from wet dreams. We would replace the best fielding left-fielder in baseball with Holliday's achy knees and Chris Carter's concrete glove. Prepare for a shock.
It's a quagmire, a Rube Goldberg machine. But why torture ourselves? What's done is done. Let it go. If everything works, maybe we win that wild card. But here's the reality: We are an expensive team run by a cheap owner, and 2017 could be the year everything collapses. But it won't matter to the mountain. It never does.