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Friday, November 28, 2014

Tis the season for the front office to start trashing the prospects it intends to trade

A joyous tradition in the Yankiverse is the annual "trashing of the youth," where anonymous scouts and cab drivers plant negative stories about the one or two Yankee minor leaguers who are so ridiculously flawed that some other team actually covets them.

Thus, when they get traded, the Yankiverse's Gammonites and Blogging Bloggers of Blog collectively say, "Wow, Cashman did it again! We gave up nothing!"

Last year, that's what the sayers of sooth said about Peter O'Brien, who was challenging for the home run lead throughout all of Minor League baseball. "No position," the ghosts whispered. "Hole in his swing." This fall, O'Brien was one of the five best hitters in the Arizona League. We traded him for the earnest and valuable Martin Prado - along with his $22 million two-year contract, which effectively eliminated the Yankees from bidding on the Cuban "Brett Gardner with Power," Rusney Castillo - who the Redsocks are penciling in at CF. Oh, well. We'll see.

Same thing happened earlier last summer when the Empire dealt Raphael De Paula and Yangervis Solarte to San Diego for three months of Chase Headley. No problems with giving Solarte a second chance elsewhere. But in the weeks before the deal, De Paula fell from being a coveted Futures Game alumnus to a middling, fringy future bullpen maybe. (Actually, he might be just that; San Diego could lose him in the upcoming Rule 5 draft.) No loss. Oh, well. We'll see. But Headley is gone, and all we have to show for it is the AL East Bronze Medal.

So... keep your eyes open, Yankiverse. The first sign of a system-emptying trade for Tulo will be the undercutting of the young players who are destined to go. This won't affect Colorado's view of them. It will only matter to the town criers. Who will be groomed for Colorado, or Texas, or somewhere? Does Rob Refsnyder use the wrong lobster fork? Too bad about Aaron Judge and his case of ringworm. Oh, well. We'll see.

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