Saturday, July 31, 2010

Ghost of Steinbrenner lives on in trade deals



Somewhere, George Steinbrenner is looking on his team and loving what he's seeing.

Steinbrenner enjoyed making splashy deals almost as much as he enjoyed winning baseball games. He would have loved the frenzy of trade activity Brian Cashman engaged in during the last 36 hours. Beyond just making the deals, the Boss would have loved the big names coming to the New York Yankees: Lance Berkman and Kerry Wood. Both have their best days well behind them, but if they can help the Yankees win even one or two extra games, that could make all the difference in the world in the ultra-tight race with the Tampa Bay Rays.

I'm somewhat worried about Berkman's comments: he doesn't seem too happy about leaving the comfort of the team he spent his whole career with, even if the Houston Astros are scuffling in the National League Central. But it was his choice and he waved his no-trade clause, perhaps with an eye toward winning his first World Series championship.

And Wood is the pitcher's equivalent of Nick Johnson, a player who has consistently failed to live up to all the promise and hype because of numerous injuries. But the cost for these players doesn't appear to be too high, with the Yankees sending pitcher Mark Melancon and minor league infielder Jimmy Paredes to Houston for Berkman. And if they don't work out in New York, the Yankees can say goodbye at the end of the season.

Cashman is a man of his word, promising to look at options for his bullpen and bench. With Berkman, Wood and outfielder Austin Kearns, he has managed to plug all the holes on his team pretty quickly. These moves may not work out, but no one can accuse Cashman of not trying.
The Boss would be proud.

Thanks to dremiel and MissChatter/UCInternational via Wikipedia for the photos.

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