Saturday, July 29, 2017

If Sonny Gray is such an economical talent, small market Oakland ought to keep him

A great Yankee week! Five in a row! Joy! Laughter! Ecstasy! I hereby propose that Clint Frazier be christened "The Jury," so future headline writers can shout, "JUDGE AND JURY CONVICT TAMPA!" Everything's coming up roses and lolly-pops. Do your realize that we could be sitting on the greatest HR duo since M and M? They could anchor the lineup for a decade. Screw Bryce Harper and his $500 million price tag! We simply need a homegrown CF, No. 88! and it could be Estevan Florial, or Dustin Fowler, or somebody, anybody - except Blake Rutherford, I guess. The point is, we must think beyond this week, this month. The stakes are the entire 2020s, not the 2017 wild card.

In that regard, it sucks that such a great Yankee week is eclipsed by anxiety, as our front office mulls trades that could kill that Viagra-laced future. It's as if we're not playing Tampa this weekend - but we're facing Oakland. No matter what happens today and tomorrow, the games could be hellishly overshadowed by the hostage-level price we might pay for Sonny Gray, who last year threw only 117 innings because of arm troubles. When economics are posed as a key reason why we should want a guy - the A's contract locks Gray through 2020 - one must wonder... then why is Oakland trying so desperately to trade him? They need an ace, like everybody else. Why are they lifting their skirt to anybody with a cell phone?

The answer, my friends, is blowing in the elbow. Oakland fears Gray's arm will fall off - Eovaldi-style - and they want to cash-out before it happens. They think this weekend is the best time to hold an auction, and that the Evil Empire - which hasn't won lice since 2009 - is so glass-cutting erect that it will pay anything, ANYTHING, for a quick, back alley fix. 

But is there such as thing as an "ace" with arm issues?

Frankly, we already have one. His name is Masahiro Tanaka. Last night, he pitched brilliantly. Not long ago, he gave up 8 runs against Houston. But everything Tanaka does right now comes with an uncertainty beyond the partial tear in his elbow. His contract holds an opt-out clause. This winter, he can declare himself a free agent. Thus, if Tanaka pitches well over the next three months, he can leave. If he sucks, he can stay, with the Yankees paying him $23 million per season through 2020. Not bad, eh? 

If we've learned anything in this millennium - aside from never drinking vodka with a guy named Vladimir - it's that if someone wants to leave the New York fucking Yankees, we should bid him a fine farewell. We have twice redrawn opt-out deals - A-Rod (still getting $21 million this year) and C.C. ($25 million this year) - and though CC is a stoic old soul, he isn't worth that money, and bloated contracts give Food Stamps Steinbrenner the chance to poor-mouth - the absolute lowest aspect of ever rooting for the Yankees.

We can also look to Boston, which is now starting down the sewer pipe of a seven-year deal for David Price. When it's done, Price will be the most aptly named pitcher in history. Boston will pay him $30 million this year, then the costs gradually escalate until 2022, at $32 million. Last night, Price went back on the 10-day DL with elbow "discomfort," with Boston's front office issuing Kellyanne-grade blather about how they're not worried one iota, yatta-yatta-yatta (the Mooch would be screaming obscenities) - but if Price were a Yankee, we'd be spiking our Tang with Draino this morning. Not only is Price on the verge of achieving "head case" status - he's fighting with the team announcer, of all people - but he could be soon paging Dr. Thomas John. I hate to wish injuries on anyone, but wouldn't that be delicious?

The Redsock '17 Hall of Fame Superteam of Destiny (TM) includes the contracts of Pablo Sandoval ($17 million, running through 2020), Rick Porcello ($21 million, through 2019), Cuban-made Rusney Castillo, the pride of Pawtucket ($36 million through 2020), and his 'Tucket teammate Allan Craig - ($11 million this year.) And we're the ones who "buy" pennants?

You know what? Just looking at those wise investments, it occurs to me that

Boston should dive into the Sonny Gray sweepstakes. They should be making calls, wooing Oakland with top prospects, lobbying to obtain this incredibly economical talent? How can they stand back and let the Yankees make this deal? Dave Dombrowski should dress up like a cowboy and ride into Oakland on a tiny pony, like "Little Sweet," the high-voiced dude in the Dr. Pepper commercials, and knock Billy Beane off his feet with an offer. Sonny Gray... 'It's the sweeeeet one...'

Okay, listen... I do realize we have perhaps an overabundance of prospects, and some will turn into Brigadoon Refsnyders, unless they are moved. And if Oakland wants a realistic package for Sonny Gray, it should behoove Cashman to consider it. But this is no time for the Yankees to become rabid shoppers. We're doing just fine, thank you. Next season, our rotation could have James Kaprielian, Chad Green, Justus Sheffield and Chance Adams - if we haven't traded them. If Sonny Gray is so great and economical, Oakland should keep him. Aces don't grow on trees. Let's keep our trade chips and move them next winter, when everybody is on a level field. 

I just hope these last few wins don't turn out to be something we look back on and wince, because they gave us a false sense of need. A few strategic victories should give us the courage to say no - not turn us into crackheads looking for more. 

14 comments:

Tom said...

Fuckin' A right. We've got four good starters and maybe another in Caleb Smith right now, and no weak spots in the bullpen that I can think of before my second cup of coffee. We don't need no stinkin' pitchers. Roll with it, Cash baby!

JJ in MA said...

Hear hear. Tanaka inconsistency aside, he shows flashes every now and again of true greatness. How awesome was it to see him talking to himself out on the mound last night? All pitchers are headcases. That intensity was fantastic though.

If you'll pardon me for veering off-topic, how much more comfortable does Headley look at first than third??? Huge difference apparently between throwing the ball (automatic cringe every time he tried that he'd airmail it) and receiving it with what's always been a solid glove. Neither he nor Toddy Toms River are epic defenders, but at least Headley's got enough apparent confidence now to go on a bit of a much-needed hot streak. He's contributing on both sides of the ball, which he wasn't before, and it shows in his demeanor.

The Ghost of Yankees Past said...

el duque, you are spot on with your analysis. Let Oakland keep Sunny. If Cashman feels the needs to get another starter he should look for a lower price but effective pitcher ,like Lance Lynn from St Louis.

KD said...

Tanaka's trade value could not be higher after last night. Let the bidding begin. Or do we let him walk like Cano and sign another Ellsbury? Or hobble our future with an A-Rodian contract for Tanaka? I say offer Tanaka a decent extension and let's see if he wants to remain a Yankee. If not, give him Jay Zee's number, a silver saki cup, and a heartfelt sayonara this winter. My bet is he would take a generous extension for the possibility of a Yankee WS ring and all that means in Japan. Just ask Matsui!

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...


The questions BCash probably poses to himself include:

A. If the 2017 team makes it to the playoffs, and into the AL Championship series, won't everybody call me a Genius again? That's got to be good for my future. I probably should figure out how to help somehow.

B. All of these young guys either pan out or run into a wall (figuratively or literally). Look at Brigadoon and Bird, just f'rinstance. They are lottery tickets. I SHOULD trade some of these pipe dreams for a guy who can pitch (probably) through Halloween. Which ones? I'm not sure it really matters. I'm not picking up heaps of abuse about not keeping Ivan Nova, am I?

C. No matter what I do, I can't get rid of Ellsbury, Hedley Lamarr, or the Toddf---er. Chappie and Tanaka are head cases. That's 5 of the 25-man roster; I'm stuck with these guys no matter what. The team's prospects, if I do nothing, look very, very iffy. I gotta do something, don't I?

D. Most importantly: What does Hal think? Will he rehire me if I do (x)(y) or (z)? If we miss the playoffs again, or get into the one-game as the visiting team, will he look elsewhere? Isn't being declared a bona fide, Certified, solid-gold Genius GM protection against Hal? If as a BFCSG Genius, I'm sure to be hired elsewhere if the NYYs dump me, right?

Alphonso said...

Hal doesn't give two shits about what BC does, unless it increases the payroll.

That is the truth danger of Sonny Gray. He comes cheap. Hal will calculate the " net cost saving" every night until the trade deadline has passed.

Hal has no interrest in the team's success. He only cares about what is in his bank account.

He is hoping to have more children so that he can name then Baron and Baroness.

And he wants to make sure they never work , think, or understand what it is to survive.

joe de pastry said...

"Okay, listen... I do realize we have perhaps an overabundance of prospects, and some will turn into Brigadoon Refsnyders, unless they are moved. And if Oakland wants a realistic package for Sonny Gray, it should behoove Cashman to consider it."
The most rational statement I've seen on this blog all year.

A Ferengi said...

On my home planet, we worship Hal Steinbrenner as a God.

Austria's Only Baseball Fan said...

In my ongoing campaign for Old Men, the Yanks extended their wining streak to six games today with a score of 5 to 4: two of those runs came with a home run by Chase Headley (stepping in as a pinch hitter), and, for the second game in a row, in the ninth, a game-wining walk-off hit by Brett Gardner with bases loaded.

Anonymous said...

Australia--Gardner was a home-grown prospect the Yankees, miraculously, did NOT trade.

And el duque--Refsnyder was never given a real, sustained shot with the Yankees.

Austria's Only Baseball Fan said...

That's AUSTRIA, not to be confused with Australia which probably has more baseball fans than our entire population. They have kangaroos and something called the outback; we have Alps, schnitzel, and Mozart on the 1 Euro coin.

Tom said...

All the Yankee fans on seven continents and Austria are crying right now. Howie Kendrick was plucked right out from under our noses by the Nationals. Ouch. Now, that's a pineapple loss!

Anonymous said...

OK.....LET'S ALL TAKE A DEEP BREATH.

MOVE AWAY THE BOTTLES OF JACK, AND 1800 FOR A MOMENT.

LETS TRY TO THINK CLEARLY.

WE ALL WANT TO KEEP OUR TOP NOTCH PROSPECTS.

...... BUT THINK FOR NEXT SEASON, BECAUSE THE ONLY STARTERS RETURNING ARE.....

LUIS SEVERINO

JORDAN MONTGOMERY AND,

CALEB SMITH (?)

.......AND THAT'S IT!

P.S.) I LIKE CALEB SMITH'S STUFF, BUT RIGHT NOW, PICTURE HIM PITCHING AGAINST BOSTON
IN BOSTON..... NO SHOT.

WE NEED A DECENT STARTING PITCHER. WE ACTUALLY NEED 2 OF THEM.

I WOULD PREFER DARVISH OVER GRAY (HE HAS NASTIER STUFF, AND ALREADY GOT HIS TOMMY JOHN OUT OF THE WAY).....BUT CASHMAN DOESN'T SEEM TO BE INTERESTED.

..... BUT THE REALITY IS, WE MUST GET A STARTING PITCHER.

IF WE CAN GET ONE WITHOUT GIVING UP GLEYBER, CLINT, ANDUJAR, KAPRILLIAN, AND SHEFFIELD..... THEN WE SHOULD DO IT.

SAY GOODBYE TO ESTEVAN FLORIAL, JORGE MATEO, AND OR CHANCE ADAMS

WE SHOULD HAVE CALLED UP CHANCE ADAMS BY NOW..... WE NEED TO SEE IF HE CAN PERFORM, BUT IT MAY BE TOO LATE FOR THAT NOW.

FLORIAL CAN'T MAKE OUR OUTFIELD OF THE FUTURE

MATEO CAN'T MAKE OUR INFIELD OF THE FUTURE

PRAY THAT ADAMS ISN'T THE REAL DEAL.

DONE, GET THE PITCHER, CASH.

BOTTLES BACK INTO POSITION.

GUZZLE.



Anonymous said...

Austria's Only Baseball Fan--sorry, was reading in haste. You're still wrong about Gardner, irrespective of your nationality or current country of residence. And you're wrong about being Austria's only baseball fan: Hitler loved the Red Sox, and in his sunset years in Argentina closely followed the brief Cardinals career of Kurt "Blitz" Krieger.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_Krieger