Friday, March 15, 2013
The impending trade of Joba says less about Chamberlain than the sorry state of what the Yankees have to offer
Posted by el duque at 8:15 AM
Both the Axisans and the Gammonites tend to look at Brian Cashman's trade record through the prism of what's happened lately. So be it. Lately, I see a Buffalo Bills first-round draft pick streak of deals, including the AJ Burnett giveaway and the Iraq War of Yankee trades - Jesus Montero for Venus de Milo - which I think will haunt me for the rest of my life. (Yeah, I'm old.) But Cash also traded a handful of magic beans for Ichiro, so - hey - you never know.
We can also try to assess Joba, the player, rather than Joba the Yankee hope and man-child. It's not easy, because in his first incarnation, Joba he seemed the re-embodiment of Babe Ruth, or at least David Wells. His dad sat in the wheelchair, his mom sat in jail, and I remember him shutting down Boston in Fenway for eight innings and thinking, for sure, this was the next great Yankee pitcher. Didn't we all? Then - well - either we screwed him, or he screwed himself. Take your pick. It's led to this: The Yankees don't seem to like him - which is sad, because Yankee fans do. He remains perhaps the most human player on this team. Right or wrong, he's the Yankee we'd expect to pull over and help change the tire. If he's soon pitching for the Rangers - (damn, does it have to be the Rangers?) - God, that's going to hurt.
But, hey, baseball isn't lineups. It's spreadsheets. And the real story, for my money, is that the Yankee brass is slowly revealing to the world how screwed the 2013 team looks to be. They have nobody to play 1B or 3B, depending on Youkilis, who is always one tweak from the DL. We could have a scrap heap lineup through May 30, and by then, it may not matter if ARod is returning. So why would we trade Joba? Well, folks... he may be the only thing anybody wants.
We could package our big four position prospects - Heathcott, Williams, Sanchez and Austin. And be afraid, folks, be very afraid, because we might yet do it. Trouble is, they won't get much, because none of them will be ready this year - and maybe next year, either. After that, who can we trade? Gardner? He's our leftfielder. Romine? No way. Adam Warren fell off the bean truck. David Robertson is critical. Nunez has self-destructed. Yeesh.... we have one trading chip right now, one, and his name is Joba. Isn't that sad? Isn't that awful?
Last week, in an interview with Mark Feinsand, Hal "Austerity" Steinbrenner defended the Jesus Montero trade, saying Michael Pineta will be a great pitcher, and he'd do it again. This came just as reports surfaced about "The World According to Dick Cheney," a documentary where the Beastmaster defends the invasion of Iraq, the search for WMD and waterboarding in almost exactly the same terms. OK, sit back down: I'm not equating a bad baseball deal to a historical botch that costs 200,000 lives - though as Bukowski said, money is piss and the sparrow is immortal... still, it's amazing to see what people can deny when it's in their interests to do so. Joba... pitching for the Rangers? God, it's gonna hurt.