So Brian Cashman and the New York Yankees stood pat as the July 31, 2011 trading deadline passed. I guess fans have been so conditioned at Cashman making a trade that it was shocking. For me, the only Yankees storyline that didn’t make sense at the trade deadline was having both Phil Hughes AND Ivan Nova in a 6-man rotation, and I thought- perhaps- that some move may have cleared that up. Other than that, what moves could the Yankees really have made?
The New York newspaper whores wanted Ubaldo Jimenez, who is having a bad injury-laden year. Would Ubaldo be part of a 7-man Yankees rotation? I mean, what-Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia are having fantastic seasons, AJ Burnett is an immovable sunk cost- a defective robot that thinks he’s the #2 starter, and Hughes and Nova represent the future. [Hughes looks like may be headed to the bullpen down the road, at least until Nova messes up.]
Ken Rosenthal reported that the Steinbrenner brothers wanted Wandy Rodriguez from the Houston Astros, but their asking price was too high (the two kids I liked in Spring Training- Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances). Jesus Montero’s name always comes up, although he has been in a steep decline in the minors now. Wandy Rodriguez????? Mr. League Average? Are you kidding me??????
Erik Bedard? Yeah, right.
Yes, I realize that for some reason fans always have question marks regarding the health of Colon and Garcia. I mean what happens if they get hurt next month and Hughes still sucks? I guess Cashman would have to bring up a AAA player (Adam Warren?) and see what happens. But the so-called experts don’t understand that if you looked at ERA, K/BB ratio, batting average against, Quality Starts, and other stats that show how good a pitcher is, CC Sabathia, Bartolo Colon, and Freddy Garcia have MOWED DOWN the competition this year, and we have every reason to believe they will continue that. Let’s hope Colon and Garcia can stay healthy and Nova or Hughes have the ability to be consistent down the stretch.
The Colorado Rockies allegedly wanted two of the aforementioned prospects PLUS Ivan Nova for Ubaldo. Pass.
A casual Yankees fan called me today and asked me if the Yankees just gave up on the season because they didn’t pull the trigger with trades. That’s an old school George Steinbrenner fan right there!
I also spoke with an avid baseball fan today and he asked me why the Yankees couldn’t get a hitter to compete with the awesome Red Sox offense. What position I asked?
DH? Dump Jorge Posada? Catcher? Send Russell Martin packing because he can’t hit anymore? Might as well promote Jesus Montero and have him split time at DH and catcher. Problem solved. I asked for names, but received none. I told him that every position was locked. Upgrade Nick Swisher or Brett Gardner? Yeah, right! Swisher has been hot for a long time now. Gardner is awesome.
Get a third-baseman until A-Rod comes back in two to three weeks? Eric Chavez and Eduardo Nunez are good stop-gaps with their bats.
Granted, I am not happy with the way the Yankees roster is skewed towards bullpen arms and not great bench with solid utility players, but that’s thinking too outside the box for Cashman and Joe Girardi.
I guess some fans expected something big on the trade front (King Felix), but the bottom line is Cashman had to stand pat because of how he painted himself with the current roster.
Besides, I’ll say it right now:
The 2011 Yankees will not win the World Series. What I am about to say may seem like I am contradicting myself, but hear me out. This team is your standard 2001-2007 + 2010 Yankees team- good enough to get into the post-season (most probably via the schlock Wild Card, which means no home-field advantage on the West Coast), fun to watch, has flashes of brilliance, has great and likable players, but is not good enough to go deep into the post-season unless the batters get hot at the same time. The Red Sox and Rangers look tougher in the American League playoffs, and the Phillies remain the team to beat in the National League. The Braves, Giants, and even the Brewers or Pirates can be sneaky.
I say this because there are times with the Yankees suck bad with Runners in Scoring Position, just like how the batters choked during the 2010 ALCS. This is the same team, but with a better bullpen.
The 2011 Yankees don’t have that magic like 2009, and can’t seem to dominate with runners in scoring position or when AJ or Hughes start, so why trade prospects? The Yankees infield is completely locked in for years and can’t be traded away or cut. In the outfield, only Swisher may be moved next year due to his contract. For catcher, we know Martin will not be back in 2012. Posada will be gone as DH. So perhaps there will be 2-3 new faces in the everyday lineup in 2012 out of 9, A-Rod and Jeter will be visiting the DL again, Teixeira’s batting average will stay low, Robinson Cano and Garder will probably improve, Curtis Granderson may keep up the good work, there will some new arms in the bullpen, and probably Colon and Garcia will not be back, since they have one-year El Cheapo deals. Trust me, Yankees fans will be up in arms when Colon and Garcia will be allowed to walk after the season is over.
Will the Yanks drop $28 million a year on Albert Pujols to be a DH for 10 years? Nope.
When you consider the Yankees probably could have had Roy Halladay and/or Cliff Lee for names like Jesus Montero, Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, Austin Jackson, and Eduardo Nunez, the more and more you have to suspect that none of the guys from the current Yankees farm system could duplicate the production of established superstars.
Isn’t it ironic that Theo Epstein and the Red Sox are much more aggressive with tossing money around on free agents and making trades, even though Epstein is also a Moneyball Bill James admirer? The Red Sox want to win every year. Cashman seems to be following Billy Beane’s 5-year plans, which is a crack in the face to die-hard Yankees fans.
Look, there’s nothing wrong with making the playoffs every year via Wild Card, is there? Every GM will tell you it’s a “roll of the dice”. But it gets embarrassing if a team makes it every year and goes home [Braves].
Anyway, can Cashman quit after the season and go to the Padres or someplace like that? I think it’s time for a change.
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