Friday, March 17, 2017

Deals over the next two weeks will shape the Yankee season - and maybe longer

Last month, the Yankees reclaimed the humble fishing village of Tampa - home to the Salvador Dali Museum - with an ad campaign seemingly cropped from Pepsi in 1965: "For those who think young." The "Baby Bombers" were born, and the future looked as flexible as one of Dali's clocks. 

Five children would vie for two open rotation slots, and hopes ran high that the two Luises - Cessa and Severino - would pull swords from the boulder and claim the monarchy. Simultaneously, Brian Cashman hinted that several teams were inquiring about Brett Gardner, and the White Sox whispered that we could have the immortal Jose Quintana, in exchange for merely a left testicle of young talent.


For the last month, Yankee fans have hoped some NL contender in a place we never visit would suddenly crave a 33-year-old lefty OF with good chemistry and declining speed. They could have Gardy or Jacoby Ellsbury. In a perfect Yankiverse, we'd trade one of them for Quintana and start printing tickets for the October one game Wild Card.


Well, fuck that. Despite a 15-5 spring record - best anywhere - the holes in our roster are big enough to swallow the city of Scranton. Between now and April 1, Cashman will almost certainly cut a deal or two. The reasons... 


1. Nobody has claimed the two starter spots. The brain trust seems to favor Severino (3.68 ERA in 7 1/3 IP), out of pure muscle memory: They've been touting him for years and can't quit the habit. (He's almost becoming the new Pineda.) The fifth appears to be Bryan Mitchell  (3.77 ERA in 14 1/3 IP), but we've seen this movie before. Last year, Mitchell wrapped up a bullpen slot and then stubbed his toe, missing four months. The fact is, if anybody throws well next week, he can wear the crown... and folks, that's not a good sign.

2. We have too many outfielders - way too many; they're like an overgrown crop of tomatoes. We have enough for not only NYC, but for Scranton, Trenton and the European Union. Somebody's gotta go, and that dreamed-of suitor for Gardner or Ellsbury has yet to materialize. After tweaking his shoulder, Mason Williams - sent to Scranton today - never had a chance. Thus, the Anthracite Capital of Pennsylvania will now see Williams, Dustin Fowler, Clint Frazier, Jake Cave, Mark Payton, Rob Refsnyder and the suddenly intriguing Billy McKinney, who had a great spring. Considering that IF Tyler Wade is supposed to add OF to his resume, something's gotta give. We either trade an old guy, or we trade prospects. And thus far, nobody wants old guys. 


3. Then there's Quintana, the rumor that will not die. I've ripped this notion for months - no sense going there again. We hoped the events of spring would force some team to need Gardner, giving us leverage for a deal. In fact, the joys of spring - such as McKinney's ascension - might make a Quintana trade more likely. We're like the shouting TV pitch man: We gotta move these cars! Be afraid. Be very afraid.


4. No matter what happens, all the roster churning will not fundamentally change the 2017 Yankees. To win anything, we must still close our eyes and imagine that somehow - magically, I guess - Ellsbury, Chase Headley, Starlin Castro, Michael Pineda and Aaron Hicks turn into all-stars. Frankly, we have a better chance of dating Emily Watson, but that's the level of surreal, Dali-esque reality to which we've been reduced.


We have big holes to fill, and I am dreading the deals ahead. They will shape 2017 - and perhaps years to come.

7 comments:

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

How 'bout we make someone an offer they can't refuse? They get Jack Cave, Rob Ref, and the great A Hicks -- as long as they also take Headley, Ellsbury, and maybe $80 million of Hal's money?

They can even have a catcher -- one that you can spell (Romine) or the other guy with the unspellable name.

In exchange, we don't get back anything......a half a salami and some cole slaw, maybe. With potato pancakes on the side and a Dr. Brown's Cream Soda.

Anonymous said...

FOR STARTERS, WE CAN RELEGATE 2 OUT OF THE 5 NAMES YOU MENTIONED, HEADLEY AND HICKS, TO THE BENCH, OR BETTER YET, TRADED FOR ANYTHING, AND OFF THE TEAM........ HAL NEEDS TO THINK ABOUT THIS AS A BUSINESS, WHERE, IN THE END, WINNING, WILL MAKE HIM THE MOST MONEY........ IT IS PERFORMANCE BASED......YOU MUST CONTINUALLY PRODUCE TO CLAIM YOUR SPOT, OR YOU GET REPLACED BY SOMEONE ELSE.

Leinstery said...

Hal should just offer to cover a team's entire payroll for a year or two if they take Headley and Ellsbury.

John M said...

Ref hit a homer. Trade him now before peak value disappears. Make him the centerpiece, and put fake mustaches and long beards on Ellsbury and Headley and call them "prospects." Tell them to keep looking at their phones constantly so the other teams think they're young up and comers.

Make Hicks the centerpiece of another deal. Market him as the subject of the classic Variety headline, "Sticks Nix Hicks Pix." Some GM out there must like show biz as much as Hal "Kinky Boots" Steinbrenner. If there's hesitation on the part of an interested team, throw in Joel Grey wearing his "Cabaret" makeup.

Cave will be easy to move. Tell any potential employer to look up the MLB Man Cave to see how he handles online graphics. If they're confused, explain that he's the "Cave" in "Man Cave." Somebody will be dumb enough to buy that. Start with the Phillies.

Tom said...

Put together a package of Hicks, Ellsbury and Headley and a prospect like Refsnyder for the White Sox. In return we get Quintana or something less. Doesn't matter. This is addition by subtraction. Take the Sox braintrust out to eat at a fancy restaurant and then get them a few hookers for dessert. It worked for those Navy guys and many others over the years. What could go wrong?

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

I didn't think it all the way thru. If I had, I wouldn't have omitted the hookers...

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but that meal sounded pretty enticing, already....and who needs hookers, when we already got the IBS Lady?? Bravo, Viberza!! Fork Emily Watson, anyhow, Duque - - if I can't have the IBS Lady to myself, then I want Emma Stone, not Emmy Watson!! Or AT LEAST Isla Fisher.... LB (No J)