Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Deals for the Sake of Deals

Last week MLB had its non-waiver trade deadline. This meant that players could be traded without having to pass through waivers first. There will still be more trades but for the most part July 31st is the day that everyone focuses on.

This trade deadline day there was more activity than usual as a number of players switched teams. Teams like the Rangers, Yankees and Phillies all added to their club to try and secure their division crown while teams such as the Astros, Royals and Indians did their best to dump salaries and kickoff the rebuilding stage.

Of all the teams that made trades the Rangers made out the best as they acquired Jorge Cantu from the Florida Marlins to upgrade at 1st base, Christian Guzman from the Washington Nationals as insurance for both Elvis Andrus and the oft injured Ian Kinsler and Scott Feldman to add depth to the bullpen. All this added to the fact that a few weeks ago they traded for Cliff Lee and it becomes clear that the Rangers are going for it this year.

The Rangers trades all made sense. They got better at every position and had to give up almost nothing in return (minus Justin Smoak in the Cliff Lee deal, but he's batting .198 right now so really not a massive loss). The Yankees on the other hand didn't really upgrade and if anything did more to hurt their team than help.

On the July 31st deadline the Yankees made 3 seperate deals that netted them reliever Kerry Wood and outfielder Austin Kearns from the Cleveland Indians and 1st baseman Lance Berkman from the Houston Astros.

Now the Yankees didn't have to give up very much to make these trades happen (a couple minor leaguers and some roster players but no one of any real value) but looking at these trades one can't help but wonder if these deals were done simply for the sake of making deals as Yankees fans might be upset that their team didn't do anything at the deadline.

Pressure from fans in New York is insane and after having read the Steinbrenner biography I have a better understanding of what the front office had to do to appease their fans. Still I can't help but second guess the direction the Yankees took on deadline day.

In Mark Teixeira the Yankees have the best defensive 1st baseman in all of baseball. The guy is a vacuum over there and he also has stupid power and has hit 23 HRs with 78 RBI this year to go along with a .255 average. Berkman on the other hand is more suited to be a DH and only played 1st because he was in the National League. He is currently hitting .243 and has only 13 HR and 50 RBI.

So whats the problem is the Yankees got Berkman? It's not as if he is taking playing time away from Teixeira. He was brought in to DH. That's fine if not for the other superior players who could DH instead of Berkman. Marcus Thames, Kearns, Curtis Granderson, and Jorge Posada all need their at bats and all have either better or comparable numbers to Berkman. I get the move if you're trying to add some depth but a 34 year old who is having the worst year of his career doesn't seem like the best move.

When the trade was first announced Berkman was quoted as saying to the Associated Press, ""You don't want to play games that don't have anything riding on them. This is a chance to get back into that mode of playing games that are meaningful and that there's an excitement about."

Maybe Berkman needs more time to adjust as so far he is batting .182 with 1 RBI in 4 games for the Yankees. He has also looked pretty terrible at 1st base dropping some balls and missing some catches he should have had. I just don't get it.

John O'connell better known as JackO from the BS Report summed up Lance Berkman best with his tweet the other night, "new sports book coming out this November: Pop Up to Short - The Lance Berkman Story."

Berkman you can sit there and defend. He is a guy that still has some pop, if he ever connects with a ball, and a little depth never hurt anybody. Kerry Wood on the other hand is an indefensible move.

So far in 2010 Kerry Wood has pitched 21.2 innings and has given up 15 earned runs. That doesn't include all the inherited runners he allowed to score. He has 3 blown saves and and a WHIP close to 2. He is a certified scrub. He has only pitched 1.2 innings for the Yankees and has already allowed a run. He is a useless reliever that hasn't been the same since he was in Chicago.

What were the Yankees thinking trading for this guy? I am by no means a Yankee fan I just find deals like this fascinating. Were they thinking if they traded for Wood they could put him in a time machine and send him back to 2003 when he didn't suck? This was a move for the sake of making a move.

Lastly there is Austin Kearns. Yet to record a hit as a Yankee in 3 games and last night made a costly fielding error in an 8-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. He is a career .257 hitter that lacks both speed and power. He hasn't hit double digit home runs since 2007 and has had more than 58 RBI just twice in his 8 year career. Solid pick up though right?

Is it any surprise that since July 31st the Yankees haven't won a game (as I type this they are leading the Jays 5-1 in the 8th inning)? Coming into this year the Yankees seemed like favorites to repeat and I thought their team had great chemistry and balance. Now I feel as though they might have ruined that.

If you are the best team in baseball with the best record at the trade deadline shouldn't that be a sign that you don't need to change anything?

Random YouTube Video (Hilarious Because Kid Moves on Purpose)

No comments: