Monday, July 25, 2016

Yankees Trade Great Closer for a Failure and 3 Hunches

The Yankees beat the San Francisco Giants yesterday, taking 2 out of 3 from one of the best teams in baseball, but that pales in significance to the incredibly stupid trade they made today. I'll get to that later.

Carlos Beltran hit a home run in the 1st inning, his 21st of the season. Mark Teixeira hit one in the 2nd, his 9th. The Yankees picked up 3 more runs in the 6th inning.

That was all that Nathan Eovaldi needed, because he pitched maybe his best game of the season. He had to, since Joe Girardi said that he wasn't going to use any of No Runs DMC: Not Dellin Betances, not Andrew Miller, not Aroldis Chapman. He let Eovaldi pitch into the 7th inning, then sent in Chasen Shreve to, yes, pitch to only 1 batter, and then let Chad Green pitch the rest of the way.

Yankees 5, Giants 2. WP: Eovaldi (9-6). SV: Green (1). LP: Jeff Samardzija (9-6).


There are now 10 weeks left in the regular season. Here's how the American League Eastern Division stands, going into today's games: Team name, won-lost record, number of games behind, number of games behind in the loss column:

Baltimore Orioles 57-40, 0, 0
Boston Red Sox 55-41, 1, 1 1/2
Toronto Blue Jays 55-44, 3, 4
YANKEES 50-48, 7 1/2, 8
Tampa Bay Rays 38-60, 19 1/2, 20

The Yankees still have a chance to win the Division. It's not asking too much to be able to gain 1 game per week, so if there are more weeks remaining than you are games behind, you legitimately still have a chance to win the Division.

Nevertheless, the Wild Card seems more likely at this point. The Jays currently hold the 2nd Wild Card position. The Yankees are 4 1/2 games behind them, 4 in the loss column. They are in the race, no matter what apologists for general manager Brian Cashman tell you.


But Cashman may have blown the Yankees' chances at either the Division or the Wild Card with this stupid trade he made. He sent Aroldis Chapman to the Chicago Cubs, weakening the Yanks' one real strength.

Now, we go back to what we had last year? Betances to pitch the 8th inning, and Miller to pitch the 9th. But who will pitch the 7th? The starting pitcher? Not as long as Girardi continues to let his damned binder manage for him! Who? Green? He was fine yesterday, but is he a long-term solution? Shreve? Don't make me laugh. Nick Goody? No goody. Richard Bleier? Forget it. Anthony Swarzak? I don't trust him yet. Somebody from the minors?

Luis Severino has been brought back up. Do we put him in the bullpen? Or move Eovaldi or Ivan Nova back there? No, because both Nate and Ivan have pitched well lately. Maybe Severino becomes the 7th inning guy, and the presumptive heir to the closer role?

Face it: Whoever the Yankees got from the Cubs had better be damn good, good enough to help us get through the 7th inning with a lead, because, as long as Girardi is managing, that's going to be an enormous hole in our staff.

So who did the Yankees get?

* Adam Warren. Yes, that Adam Warren, who has already failed as a Yankee relief pitcher. Maybe he's gotten better? No: His ERA this season is 5.91, his ERA+ is 68, and his WHIP is 1.429. That's right, boys and girls: Adam Warren has gotten worse. I don't want him pitching the 7th inning for the Yankees, or any other inning. Let him screw things up for some other team!

* Gleyber Torres, a 19-year-old Venezuelan shortstop. currently in A-ball-plus.

* Rashad Crawford, a 22-year-old outfielder currently in A-ball-plus. He and Torres are both at least 3 years away from being ready for the majors.

* And Billy McKinney, an outfielder about to turn 22, who is currently at Double-A, and missed the last quarter of last season with an injury. The odds of him ever becoming a major league contributor are slim.

Essentially, the Yankees traded the best closer in baseball for a proven failure and 3 hunches.

Even of all 3 eventually pay off, they've essentially thrown away a shot at the Playoffs this season.

Don't tell me they didn't have a shot: They did.

Now? It will require somebody to step up and be the 7th inning pitcher.

And we still haven't improved the offense. Maybe for 2019. But we have to get there first.

Brian Cashman, you blew it.

Cashman out. Girardi out. Bring Willie Randolph in as manager, and he'll let the starters pitch 7 innings. Bring Gene Michael back as general manager for the rest of the season, and let him make a trade for a good hitter and pick the next GM.

Otherwise, we're hoping against hope that the bats will pick up, and that the 7th inning won't be a nightmare for the rest of the season. Or that Girardi will burn the fucking binder, and use his eyes to manage.

It's going to be a long 10 weeks. Even if we make the Playoffs.

UPDATE: The Yankees did not make the Playoffs in 2016. They did in 2017, but lost the ALCS. They made it in 2018, but lost the ALDS to the Red Sox. Chapman was regained for 2017, after helping the Cubs win the 2016 World Series, but he hasn't really been the same. Torres had a fine rookie season in 2018. Warren was a disaster again. McKinney played 2 games for the Yankees before being traded Toronto as part of the package for J.A. Happ. Crawford spent most of 2018 in AA, plus 6 games at AAA.

So, for the moment, this trade is Chapman for a lesser version of himself, Torres, and Happ. Two full seasons into the trade, it is not yet worth it.j

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