Sunday, December 7, 2014

Elevated Moments

Most of you will find this shocking, as I did.

Last night, I was getting royally hammered at the Harvard Club bar in NYC with a lifelong friend, and Yankee fan.  I am not the Harvard grad.

As you may suspect, he is a bit higher educated, and far brighter, than I.  Beyond his Harvard creds, he is an adjunct professor in Graduate Studies at Oxford University, with a specialization in something called," Socratic Reasoning, Rationality and Probability Theory."

Filtering through all the blather, he finally posed this targeted question concerning the Yankees and their earless ( I meant to type fearless, but I like the imagery ), General Manager, Brian Cashman.

The question posed went like this:

" Shane Greene is a rare, homegrown, starter who showed he could pitch under pressure in New York. Why then, and under what guise of thinking, do you trade a young, quality starting pitcher ( Shane ) -  when you already don't have any depth in your rotation, for a shortstop ( Didi Gregorious ) who couldn't even hold the regular job for a last-place team?"

 We are both still looking for the logic, the rationality and a defense of this Yankee deal.  The probability of success favoring the Yankees, over the long term, on this trade was estimated at about 5%.

I just sat there with my mouth opening, nodding fiercely, and swallowing heavily

He nailed it.

Mr. Cashman;  "Care to respond?"


ceeja said...

Yes I really like Shane Green. This trade only makes sense if the "baseball people" really like Didi and if they are competent in reaching such conclusions. Like you, I'm always skeptical.

But, in theory, better to go with a young position player than a young pitcher.

John M said...

Cashman has since said that he was after Didi last offseason but the former prez of the losers who had him wouldn't make a deal.

And that, friends, is what they call sticktoitiveness. Or lunacy, whichever works.

Mister D said...

We didn't have a shortstop. Cashman did try other avenues (like Castro) but they didn't work out. We got a talented, young, cost controlled player in a position that is hard to fill. I have to imagine the scouts believe he will improve, and that last year was just a down year. No one is asking him to be Jeter, just an average short stop, which is better than what we had the past two years. Cashman believes he bought low; we will see.

Greene was a nice starter for half a season, but with a 103 ERA+, he's nothing more than average. Many feel that the Yankees sold high here. Again, we shall see.

But let's say what we have here really is just a swap of a league average shortstop for a league average pitcher. Didi is younger. Middle infielders are harder to get. We live in a pitching dominant era, where league average starters are readily available in free agency and at the trade deadline.

This is not to say that the Yankees "won" the trade, even at the outset. The Yankees got what they wanted, but so did Arizona, which was dealing away surplus. Until time proves otherwise, this seems like what a trade should be, each side giving up something they value to get back something they value a little more.