LIVE YANKEE IN-GAME CHAT: TONIGHT AT 7:45

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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

For Christmas, Yankee fans can unwrap a big box of rumors

A toast to the memories of joyful Christmases past!

I woke up before dawn, eyes wide open, thinking, "Did Christmas happen? Did Santa come?" I wriggled from bed and scampered barefoot down the stairs, in awe of the miracle that might await me. There, I beheld an unforgettable yuletide vision: Perched under the tree, wrapped in bright bows and tinsel, was Jason Giambi - naked and cradling an empty quart bottle of Jim Beam. The milk and cookies we had left had been puked into the fireplace, but I didn't care. Santa had fulfilled my dreams - a DH/1B who could hit 30 HRs. "Mommy, Daddy," I cried. "We just won the AL East!"

These days, just a memory. Come Sunday, I'll wake up at noon, pop a handful of Zantacs, turn on the NFL Pre-Game and open the empty three boxes under my tree - knowing what's inside: Rumors.

Rumor Number One: The Yankees are "interested" in Jose Quintana. (By the way, so is everybody else in baseball, along with whatever Kardashian is still available.) Clearly, the White Sox are playing the same strategy that Hal adopted last July, after six years of swimming against the undertow: They want to horde prospects. The question is whether they - or us - will show the discipline to see that plan to its fruition.

Listen: I'd love to have Quintana. He'll turn 28 next month. He's a lefty. He's one of the AL's best pitchers. But he has thrown 800-plus innings over the last four years: Folks, that's Javier Vasquez Country. And Chicago will demand a couple kidneys and a liver. Lately, we've gotten drunk on Top 10 Prospect lists, which usually put the same names up top (Gleyber, Frazier, Mateo, etc.) But our real strength is in numbers, not just the jewelry. Aaron Judge could be a flop. But Mason Williams could be a surprise. Trade either, and we can end up on the wrong side of the mirror.

One other thing: Six years ago, we had Quintana. We pissed him away. His very image should act as a Skinner Box electric jolt to remind us of the need to hold onto prospects. Somewhere in our system, maybe in Scranton, maybe in Charleston, is the next Quintana. This time, let's keep him.

(I know, I know... I sound like a prospect-hugger, which a lot of so-called "expert" Yankee bloggers love to mock. Frankly, I think it's time the Yankees tried prospect-hugging, because the quick-fix deals sure haven't worked.)

Rumor Number Two: For a month now, we've heard Brett Gardner is being shopped. Lately, the scuttlebutt is that Cashman didn't like the offers, so he'll stand pat and give Gardy another go in left field. This is another bad idea.

Let me again state my unvarnished love for Gardner. He's my fave. But there is no place for him on this team. In our current lineup, he is a virtual clone of Jacoby Ellsbury - lefty, good glove, fierce competitor, .260, no power, dwindling speed, and an injury waiting to happen. Together, at the top of the order, they leave us incredibly susceptible to even mediocre lefty starters. Last year, their lack of production was a big reason why this team couldn't score three runs in a game.

Gardy has to go. There is no plan B. By the end of next season, our left-fielder will be the One of the Aboves - Mason Williams, Tyler Austin, Aaron Hicks, Jake Cave, Clint Frazier, maybe even Matt Holliday. By then, Gardy will surely be traded. The longer we wait, the less we'll get.

Rumor Number Three: By trading Gardy - or Headley - Cratchet will clear some of Scrooge's money so that we can afford a Christmas turkey. Imagine running downstairs in your pajamas to find, amid the ribbons and bows, Boone Logan. Jeez, were we that naughty?

12 comments:

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

Re Gardy: Can't we just pay Ellsbury to stay home, instead?

Tom said...

... and Headley Lamarr, too?

KD said...

too bad Ells is essentially worthless on the market. I'd much rather keep Gardy. He is a bout the same player, only less brittle. Sucks that the Yankee brain trust put us in this position.

John M said...

I remember reading a story about Giambi written just before he joined the Yankees. It mentioned that he shaved his entire body. Everything. Arms, legs, you know where, everything but his head. Alarm bells went off.

Tino had hit 35 HR the preceding season. He was a great first baseman, he was hitting the cover off the ball, he was still clutch with power. Then, like many ex-Yankees once they are shunned, he gave up, never hit like that again, and was gone (of course, after the mercy return). I think if the Yankees hadn't invited the horrible karma that followed cutting him loose and signing the Hairless Steroid Boy I still think he would have had a few more great years in pinstripes. Instead, we got what we got and didn't win again until 2009--and haven't won again since. Incompetence, yes, but the karma from the Tino debacle still follows us around, too. Not sure what it will take to work that off. Maybe keeping prospects is a big part of it: showing some loyalty and trust and not chasing the shiny new object dangled in front of Cashman's eyes.

Anonymous said...

IT WOULD MAKE ZERO SENSE TO TRADE A LOAD OF OUR SUPER PROSPECTS NOW FOR JOSE QUINTANA WHEN WE COULD HAVE ALREADY DONE THAT A MONTH AGO AND BROUGHT BACK CHRIS SALE WHO IS STILL BETTER THAN QUINTANA...... NOW THE RED SOX HAVE HIM...... NICE WORK AGAIN BY OUR FRONT OFFICE THAT JUST LOVES TO SIT STILL ON THE TRADE MARKET, WHILE OTHER TEAMS IMPROVE THEMSELVES........ IF THERE IS AN OFFER OF A BALL BAG FOR EITHER GARDNER OR HEADLEY (ESPECIALLY HEADLEY), HOW CAN CASHMAN NOT MAKE THE DEAL???

Anonymous said...

When will duque grow up and stop citing batting averages as his go-to stat?? He's the Rip van Winkle of would-be baseballl analysts.

Alphonso said...

Now we might be able to get Nassib to play for us.

Anonymous said...

HEY GUYS, THIS IS WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT..... THE RED SOX JUST TRADED CLAY BUCHOLZ FOR A SINGLE A MINOR LEAGUER........ THE ADVANTAGE? ....THEY JUST SAVED THE $13 MILLION PER SEASON THAT BUCHOLZ GETS (ON TOP OF THE FACT, HE JUST ISN'T THAT GOOD).......... WHY CAN'T CASHMAN EVER DO A DEAL LIKE THIS WITH HEADLEY, OR GARDNER??...... HE JUST CAN'T GET IT DONE WHEN IT COMES TO TRADES....... REMEMBER, HE MAY HAVE COST US A WORLD SERIES NOT PULLING THE TRIGGER FOR CLIFF LEE....DAVID ADAMS WAS THE PIECE THAT HE REFUSED TO PART WITH........DAVID ADAMS........................ JACK AND COKE.

Anonymous said...

Have to disagree a bit, re: Gardy & Ells essentially being the same player: perhaps in the field, yes, but on the base-paths, Gardy is more willing to take off than Ells seems to be; more significant, at the plate, Gardy sees a lot of pitches, is willing to take walks fouls off TONS of pitches - - whereas, Ells just gets up there and hacks at the first pitch, more often than not. Would be a shame if we have to keep Ells & not Gardy, because of the money.
Duque: Uncle Scrooge (or his cousin Ebenezer, for that matter), hoards his money - - so that the hordes of unwashed (read: you and me) can't get at it....just like Prince Hal hoards his jack, so that only the elites (like Lonnie & Randy & Brian) can open the vault. HO, HO, HO, and a lot more HO's. LB

el duque said...

When a guy is hitting .250, everybody knows what we've got. A one-for-four.

Anonymous said...

.......AND OUR .250 HITTERS (OR LOWER), DON'T HIT IN THE CLUTCH.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous above - - you, with the Rip van Winkle comment: hope you're enjoying life in your Mom's basement, wasting time with all those subjective, meaningless stats: please stuff your UZR, your BWAR, your fWAR, your FIP, et al., where you won't easily find them. The game survived about 150 years without all that K-RAP....and most of it boils down to someone's opinion, as to what May have happened. I'm with Duque, a 250 hitter is just plain 1-for-4 - - although if he wears down the opposing pitcher, like Damon did, or Gardy does often, that's useful - - but none of your oh-so-mod stats that I know of, take things like that into account. Pitches seen per plate appearance doesn't count - - it's been around for a long, long time.
Why don't you take your stats to a fantasy league, where they might appreciate them?
LB