It’s nothing new when I admit that the Yankees haven’t always pleased me with trades, whether they have occurred during the offseason or at the deadline. The deadline especially is an extremely nerve-wracking time of year where you NEVER know what’s going to happen. Since I’m weird in my choice of favorite players (Francisco Cervelli is my favorite despite being in Triple-A), I know that none of my guys are ever safe from being shipped away. And I hate when they’re shipped away for no one.
The Yankees – although having just been swept by the A’s out west – are in undeniably solid shape this season. Everyone knows about their fair share of injuries, but the guys who have come back have come back strong, like CC Sabathia. And the guys who are going to remain out, like Brett Gardner, have surprisingly successful guys filling their shoes, like Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones.
Guys like Ibanez and Jones, along with Eric Chavez, Jayson Nix, and Chris Stewart, in my opinion have proven to be the best bench the Yankees have had in awhile. It hasn’t been this good since the 90s days that I barely remember – but I do remember that the 90s were filled with championships for the Yankees, and a good bench is important if you want to win.
I was playing guitar before, and in honor of my idol Slash’s birthday, was attempting to improvise the outro solo to the song Nightrain. Through the killer riff, I heard the faint voice of my little brother, yelling, “MOM! MOM! HEY MOM! THE YANKEES….”
The rest of what he said wasn’t clear, but I heard my Mom’s reaction, “OH MY GOD! WOW!”
Turns out, my family was ecstatic over the latest Yankees news: ICHIRO HAS BEEN TRADED TO THE BRONX! It was just for two pitching prospects, D.J. Mitchell who I saw a few times this year (wasn’t overly impressed) and Danny Fahrquar (who I’ve never heard of).
It seems like it’s been awhile since I’ve said this, but I’m ecstatic over this trade, too.
Ichiro amazed the world when he came to America from Japan – and actually performed above and beyond our expectations. I truly believe he’s the best Japanese player who has come here, and without a doubt he’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Naturally, guys don’t play like they’re in their prime forever, and at age 38, Ichiro has slowed down a bit. He’s hitting just .261 this season. But still – the Yankees acquired a future Hall of Fame veteran for barely anything. He’s the kind of guy that I never saw coming – and perhaps the kind of guy who can really help this team.
Something interesting about Ichiro, which may have influenced the Yankees’s pursuit of him, is his success against AL East teams. For his career, Ichiro hits .300 against the Rays, .304 against the Red Sox, .333 against the Blue Jays, and .356 against the second-place Orioles. If nothing else, I think Ichiro will help the Yankees beat these teams and continue to gain the ground they need in the AL East. This may be just what the Yankees need.
Even if his overall offensive numbers are not where we’re used to them being, there’s no denying that Ichiro is an incredible outfielder. Where’s he going to play? I’m not sure. The whole Yankees team this season seems like a giant platoon system, with this guy DH-ing every other day, that guy hitting against lefties, and those guys resting because they’re old. Ichiro will probably just slide right into this platoon system. Combine him with starters Granderson and Swisher, and Ibanez and Jones from the bench, and the Yankees have a killer outfield system.
Tonight against the Mariners (how ironic!) Ichiro will hit 9th and play left field for my Yankees. It will be interesting to hear how the Seattle crowd responds.
And I know it’s going to be fun to see him on my Yankees. He’s not what he used to be, but he’s still Ichiro, and is still a legend. Legends – that’s what the New York Yankees are made of, am I right?
Still have another week until the deadline….I wonder what other surprises the Yankees will come up with next.
Nothing much is happening in the world of the Yankees, as I’ve become accustomed to all winter long, but I feel like writing something. Actually, “nothing” is “something” for the Yankees this offseason.
Lately, it seems that even the non-exciting moves aren’t happening. When I thought of Japanese players that the Yankees would win the rights to negotiate with, I had my fingers crossed for Yu Darvish to be that guy. No. Although starting pitching was, as Cashman has tirelessly noted, the team’s number-one priority this offseason, they didn’t go wholeheartedly for Darvish, or for any other top starters, for that matter.
But what the Yankees did do, was they won the bidding for exclusive negotiating rights for Japanese shortstop, Hiroyuki Nakajima. Since the Yankees are playing the fiscal responsibility card this offseason, that’s probably why Nakajima appealed to them. They won his bidding with just $2 million.
Now I wasn’t excited about this at all, I mean aren’t there enough suitable utility infielders that already have Major League experience that they could have gone after? Why go after Nakajima?
Oh well. On Thursday, it became official that the Yankees had not reached a deal with Nakajima, so he’s going back to Japan, and the Yankees get to keep their $2 million.
I wonder, though: will they spend it?
$2 million isn’t enough to get a #2 starter, that’s for sure. But they do need a backup corner infielder, so why not bring back Eric Chavez? I know they signed Jayson Nix to a minor league deal in November, but Chavez is a better value in my eyes.
I was extremely pleased with Eric Chavez last year. Although me missed a huge chunk of the season with that foot injury, he produced in the 58 games he did participate in. He hit a respectable .263 avg with 2 HR and 26 RBI. More importantly, Chavez played perfect defense, ceasing to make any errors at third base or first base. One thing I like about Chavez is that he knows his limits. Even though he’s just 33, he understands that his role now will most likely be a part-time player, because he’s very fragile and has been worn down by various injuries over his 14 year career. He’s fine with being a bench player.
I definitely think the Yankees should bring him back. He’s a quality veteran ballplayer who when healthy can be productive at the plate, and his smooth defense is a guarantee. And he only cost $1.5 million last season. The upside is huge for Chavez, I mean why didn’t they bring him back yet? Not for anything, he also happens to be one of the most handsome men I’ve ever seen on the baseball field. He looks fabulous in the Yankee pinstripes.
My tone towards the Yankees organization this offseason has been one of disinterest, simply because I’m getting bored with predicting what they’re going to do – or what they’re not going to do, rather. It’s getting annoying. So they probably won’t bring back Eric Chavez, simply because it makes a ton of sense to do so…
The winter is wearing thin now! I want to see some baseball!