'98 Yanks rally to tie All-Time Yankee series with '51 team

Series tied: 2-2
Knobby, Jeet, sparkplugs!
Gil takes El Duque downtown!
In dramatic appearance, Joe D ignites stadium!
Mo flubs lead, then comes through!
Billy fails!
Next up: Vic Raschi v David Cone!

Monday, January 25, 2021

So... in Jameson Taillon, did Brian Cashman finally land his white whale?

Surely, you know by now that the fully functioning Death Star yesterday traded for Jameson Taillon, who might always be remembered as the guy chosen Number 2 in an MLB draft, between Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. 

To obtain Taillon, we traded four prospects from the Yankee Deep State - Charleston, Tampa and Pulaski -none of whom was expected to contribute in 2021. If Taillon pans out - that is, if he shows what once made him so highly coveted - this would be an incredible Yankee bargain, a steal for the ages, the Gammonites tell us. 

And they are right: If this bold strategy of high-risk bets works out, the Yankees will win the AL East in 2021. It would be like drawing a royal flush, and it's hard to imagine another AL team beating them. They'd be on a level with the Dodgers. 

Clearly, this is a deal Brian Cashman had to make. Wherever he's looked this winter, he's seen insane high price tags for pitchers. (The Reds wanted Gleyber Torres for Luis Castillo.) Nobody would accept low-level prospects for anything remotely resembling a sure thing. Thus, they get a pitcher who has twice undergone Tommy John surgery - a troubling history for a team that has been riddled with injuries. Pitchers with two TJ surgeries are generally viewed as ticking time bombs; Taillon could have two or three seasons on his elbow, but probably not more. At any time, a pop can be heard, and the experiment will end. Troy Tulowitzki.

Still, Taillon offers us the Fantasy Land option: We dream of everyone returning at full strength, singing Aude Lang Syne like the ending of It's a Wonderful Life. This can be our escape from reality, and of course, we will take it. 

But today, anyway, let's ponder two soberting notes.

1. You can never truly access a deal until the prospects run their course. The Yankees yesterday gave up Miguel Yajure, Roansy Contreras, Maikol Escotto , and Canaan Smith. Any of them could become a star and make us ban the sound of Taillon's name. 

Yajure, 22, pitched three games for us last year. John Sterling thought he looked good. (John has a tendency to do that.) The Pirates say he'll compete for the rotation this year. He represents the first judgment: It will hurt if, say, in September, Yajure turns out to be the starter we need. Contreras (21), Escotto (18)  and Smith (21) missed last year, so WTF does anybody know? Each seemly had a breakout season in 2019, albeit deep in the minors. The Pirates GM is Ben Cherington - yes, the former Redsock cluck - who surely did his diligence on the Yankee system. Escotto sort of scares me. He plays SS, he hit well in a rookie league, and I never heard of him (Yankees hiding him?) Cherington didn't just pick his name out of a hat. He might well be the most important piece on Pittsburgh's side. But he's a long, long way from The Show.

2. The Yankees have assembled a remarkable risk pool of pitching. 

Thus... hyperbole! If Taillon, Corey Kluber and Luis Severino return, they could have the best rotation in baseball - no, why stop there?... the best rotation, ever, anywhere! Add Deivi Garcia and Clarke Schmidt - candidates for Rookie of the Year! - and don't forget Jordan Montgomery and Domingo German, fighting it out for Number 5! Then there is Jhoules Chacin, Asher Wojciechowski and - a new guy, signed Friday - 25 year old Stephen Ridings who is 6'8" tall (and last seen in Single A, though) Future Hall of Famers, every one! 

If casino odds are what we want, March should be fun. 

But we all know Brian Cashman's Waterloo: His inability to land that one starting pitcher - the Verlander, the Beckett, the Scherzer - who leads us to Valhalla. His failures - from "Pine Tar" Pineda to "Big Maple" Paxton - remain too depressing to list. For 25 years now, Cashman has chased the white whale. When he started, he was a young man. Did he finally succeed? Jameson Taillon? The roll of the dice? The missing ingredient?


Local Bargain Jerk said...

I spoke with a Pirates fan yesterday afternoon.  He wasn't pleased with the Jameson Taillon trade.  This either means:

     1) It was a good trade for the Yankees.

     2) Everyone hates the GM of their own team.

     3) Nothing.

I'll go with all of the above.

13bit said...

All of the above.

Brian is the raccoon pushing over your garbage can to see what's inside...

DickAllen1964 said...

Royal flush my ass.

More like trying to draw to an inside straight.

Anonymous said...

Some thoughts...

1) A Cash Dump / Cash(man) Dump - Ottavino to the Red Sox

I really had hopes for this guy. I liked the whole "rented out a store front and put a pitching machine in there" storyline. But, truth be told, using Duque's "Am I happy he's on the mound... no. I was not. We get back 9M for our self-imposed salary cap. We had to include Frank German.

2) Hank Arron/Barry Bonds

RIP Hammerin Hank. It's still your record as far as I'm concerned.

3) Jameson

Of the more commercial whiskeys it gets the job done. I prefer it to Bushmills but, 95% of my consumption of it is in Irish Coffees so by the time the coffee and the whipped cream have their say it doesn't really make much difference.

Doug K.

HoraceClarke66 said...

In fairness to Brian Cashman—I can't believe I'm writing those words—he is faced with the dilemma that HAL simply won't spend.

A HAL who went all Farragut on our asses—who said, "Damn the luxury tax, I'm 51 and already have more money than the next 10 generations of Steinbrenners can successfully burn, let's sign Realmuto and Bauer and get another ring!"—would make the Yanks the favorite for the title.

But as that ain't happenin', I guess dumpster diving is the way to go.

Yankee Daddy Roger said...

I don't understand on how a guy who had TJ surgery in JUNE passes a physical, let alone pitch again in the major leagues in April of May. I must have the years mixed up, but wasn't the TJ surgery in June of 2020? And whatever stress he puts on that arm that required two surgeries, how will it not react to the same stress in the same way once he starts pitching again.
Is there any precedent for this gamble actually paying off?

Scottish Yankee fan said...

Adam Ottavino and a prospect to the Red Sox in a salary dump

I may be talking out of turn but this self-imposed austerity to get under the luxury tax is quite pathetic and sad that a Yankees owner would act in this way

HoraceClarke66 said...

Not that I know of, Yankee Daddy Roger.

And I hear ya, Scotland. Plus, we have to give the Sox a prospect, too? Good grief.

Kevin said...

Yankee Daddy Roger and Horace Clarke66: Taillon had TJ surgery in 2019. A partial list of pitchers who have had two TJ surgeries: Chris Capuano, Joakim Soria, Daniel Hudson, Nathan Eovaldi, and Mike Clevinger. Do I feel confident in the trade? Hell no! But if Hal is going to be cheap, this was probably a decent roll of the dice as Taillon "reportedly" is throwing around ninety-five, and is spinning the ball faster than before. Totally pisses me off if we in fact lose Tanaka. Big brassy bullocks to Hal!