Wednesday, December 30, 2020

At what point does waiting on LeMahieu become a problem?

Thus far this winter - along with the earth-shaking, Yuletide signing of Nestor "Octavio" Cortes Jr. - the Yankees have made one major proclamation: 

They proclaimed a ban on proclamations until D.J. LeMahieu proclaims his intentions for 2021.

Until then, Team Austerity will sit on its hands (and wallet), and patiently doom-scroll, hold Zoom parties, and binge-watch episodes of Centerstage with Michael Kay. The Yankee brain trust will invoke this Zen-baked version of Absolute Nothingness in honor of LeMahieu, whom the Yankees covet more than life itself, (notwithstanding the outrageous asking price from his agent.) They won't make a move until D.J. decides.

Unfortunately, the rest of the world is not joining in. 

This week, humanity watched the exodus of Blake Snell, Yu Darvish and a Korean SS named Kim - (aren't they all?) - to San Diego, a city desperately seeking to overcome the loss of its NFL franchise. 

The Snell deal didn't matter. The Rays would never have traded him to the Yankees, whom they hate with the torch fire of a billion suns. But Darvish might have been worth making an offer and - depending on LeMahieu- the Death Barge might have even taken a flier on the Korean shortstop. 

This week, the citizens of Earth weighed in: They will not wait for the Yankees, while they wait for LeMahieu.

Probably, no proclamation will come this week, as LeMahieu and Brian "Cooperstown" Cashman are frozen with hopes over their $2,000 U.S. government stimulus checks. But if LeMahieu hits an impasse, and it stretches into mid-January, it will start crushing Yankee alternatives. 

Two could happen soon: 

The Cubs are said to be actively shopping two-time all star catcher Wilson Contreras, age 28. Not only would he be a clear defensive upgrade over Gary Sanchez - (big deal, so would Zsa Zsa Gabor) - but Contreras would allow the Yankees to do the right thing with Gary Sanchez... that is, send him to a city where he can start over. 

The recent flap over Gary not being told why he was benched in the playoffs - (assuming it really happened that way) - ignores one mottled truth: Somebody should have sat down with him in August and warned that his job was on the line. The day when Kyle Higashioka hit three HRs, Aaron Boone should have taken Gary aside and said, "Listen, pally, either you improve, or this guy replaces you." 

Listen: I have no grudge about Sanchez. One of the most reassuring images of the last few years was Sanchez out at the mound, draping his arm over a pitcher who just got whacked. He's a hulk, a monster, looks scary in the dugout. But somewhere along the line, his game started regressing. For a catcher, that's career death. The Yankees need a gritty, defensive, Joe Girardi-type of catcher. Their offense can carry a .147 hitter, but only if he plays solid defense. Sanchez needs a new start. Can he ever really do it with the Yankees?  

Then there is Francisco Lindor, whom the future Cleveland Indians Football Team intends to trade this winter, rather than lose next year in free agency. It would be a blockbuster deal, bringing Lindor to NY. We'd start with Clint Frazier and Deivi Garcia, and go from there. You'd think Cleveland would wait for the Yankees to join the bidding - the more the merrier, right? - but as we saw this week, the world won't put itself on hold for the mighty, do-nothing Yankees.

Soon, D.J. must make his move. With him or without him, the Yankees have work to do.


Unknown said...

This winter is just meh

JM said...

Sign DJ. Trade Sanchez. Seems so obvious, so simple. They'll never do it.

Anonymous said...

A few things...

1) According to the NY Post "We Are Winning By Doing Nothing"

If I read this in the Winter Issue of Tricycle (The Buddhist Review Magazine) it would make sense.

Who doesn't love a good koan?

However the article

Is a real piece of work . The thinking goes like this: Rays got worse by trading Snell so we got better BY COMPARISON!


If our goal is to make the playoffs, and let's face it, apparently, it is. Not build a championship team but build a legacy of above averageness... then the writer is correct.

If our goal is to tear down all the monuments in Monument Park
and replace them with participation trophies... then the writer is correct.

If baseball is the land of the blind and we are the one eyed king then...

The premise is stupid and we should all be insulted.

2) Replacing Gary

Yes! If that's true then by all means get Wilson Contreras. I know it will cost us but it's easier to replace pitchers and left fielders than it is to find above average catching. We need to be solid through the center again. Since he's 28 that would cover us for five years.

Lindor is a one year rental. Not sure if he's worth the price.

3) Signs Signs Everywhere (but here) Are Signs, Clogging Up The Scenery and Blowing My Mind.

My question is this... what is taking DJ so long? What info doesn't he have? He's got an offer from us. Presumably he has offers from somewhere else. Pick one.

The Yankees need to get on with the business of putting together a better than average team. In or out?

Doug K.

Local Bargain Jerk said...

My question is this... what is taking DJ so long?

Perhaps DJ, with the Yankees' offer and other teams' offers in hand, can afford to wait a little while to see how the other teams' trade activity shakes out. For example, he might be more inclined to join the Padres today than he might have been 3-4 days ago.

As long as there are no time limits on the offers, waiting will allow him to select a landing place that offers the best combination of personal salary and team likelihood of success.

Just a guess.

Too stretch the guess-ery a bit further, DJ could also have said to the Yankees, "Hey, your offer is acceptable on its face but, if you really want to lock this thing down, you've GOT to do something about the pitching staff. I'll be a gentleman and give you N days to get something done but, after that, I have to go where I'm likeliest to succeed."

I could be 1,000 miles off, of course, but guessing is fun.

Anonymous said...


"DJ, with the Yankees' offer and other teams' offers in hand, can afford to wait a little while to see how the other teams' trade activity shakes out. For example, he might be more inclined to join the Padres today than he might have been 3-4 days ago."

That's an interesting take. The Pads are up and coming that's for sure.

I suppose it could be as boring as I'd rather play for you but Team X is offering me $10M more and even though I don't want to play there. $10M is a lot of money to leave on the table. Can you give me $5M?

Doug K.

HoraceClarke66 said...

A Five Man Electrical Band reference, Doug? Sweet!

Yes, Gary must go. Trade him for Contreras. Get Lindor—and then, maybe, trade The Gleyber.

But any of the million ways the Yankees might reconfigure the team do not get us past the basic roadblocks:

—Brian Cashman never admits mistakes. Hence, Gary—and The Gleyber—will stay, no matter how much they continue to deteriorate.

—Brian Cashman never admits mistakes. Hence, the Yankees will never get rid of G.C. Stanton until he has benchpressed his last model.

—Brian Cashman never admits mistakes. Hence all Yankees will continue to get worse and to get injured. (Wonder whatever happened to that comprehensive investigative report on the team's countless training fiascoes.)

Hmm, I'm sensing a pattern here...

13bit said...

We're not waiting on him. We decided a long time ago. This is a bullshit dance, a kabuki, a charade, all for the benefit of - who the fuck knows? Hal? Brian's frail ego? We suckers?

It's standard operating procedure for decades now from the four-dimensional chess master, Brian Boris Spassky Cashman.

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