Yankees fans all over the metro area are wildly celebrating tonight at the news their favored franchise has been unexpectedly absolved of its one fatal flaw. That’s right, Kyle Farnsworthless has been traded. With the move, the Yankees essentially eliminate their chances of an untimely late season collaspe, all but guaranteering themselves a postseason berth.
In return, the Bombers will receive Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, a 14-time All-Star GM Brian Cashman hopes will be able to replace injured catcher Jorge Posada, who will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery. You can’t agrue with the logic here: replace an aging, overpaid, injury-prone catcher by trading for an aging, overpaid, injury-prone catcher. Rodriguez will earn $13 million this year.
If the 36-year-old Rodriguez is able to stay healthy, he could prove a valuable addition to the Yankees already-formidible lineup. Though his power numbers (5 HRs, 32 RBIs) are bit off his career averages, he is batting .295 this season in 82 games. Since 2003, he has played about 130 games per season – not bad for an old guy who crouches for a living. (Speaking of old guys, has anyone else noticed how Derek Jeter has lost a step this year? I had the privilege of watching his decline firsthand at the stadium Monday night, during the Yanks 13-4 massacre at the hands of the mighty Orioles. Not only did he kill a rally by grounding into his 16th double play of the season, but he also failed to field two balls that were hit his way. Granted both were tough plays, so he wasn’t charged with an error, but these are the types of spectucular plays he has been known for converting routinely throughout his career. My point is, the core of the Yankees is getting old, so the team should be conservative with giving up prospects if the Steinbrenner Bros. have any other moves up their sleeves. But I digress…)
Bt unlike most trades, what the Yankees got in the Farnsworth deal was not nearly as important as what they gave away. The fact that they’re getting anything more than a bag of Doritos and a Diet Coke in exchange (Farnsworthless’ true market value) only sweetens the deal. Frankly, I think most Yankee fans would have given him away for free. In two-plus seasons with the Yanks, Farnsworthless, best known for his propensity for surrendering game-changing, late-inning home runs, has had a less-than-stellar 4+ ERA and more than a few ugly losses. (To be fair, he has performed a bit better this season, with a 3.45 ERA in 44 innings.)
The move was apparently prompted by the Yankees recent 3-game losing streak, which had the team’s brass and fans alike fearing they might never win again.
The impact was immediate. In the midst of a day game while the trade was being executed, the Yanks ended their skid, defeating the O’s 13-3 on the strength of two homers from Bobby Abreu and another solid outing from Joba, who won two games in a row for the first time in his career.
In other trade news, the Marlins are reportedly exploring a deal with the Red Sox for Manny Ramirez. The move would be awfully out-of-character for an organization known for being cheap. Ramirez ‘s $20 million salary nearly exceeds the Marlins entire $21 million payroll. And buyer beware: Babe Ruth notwithstanding, the Sox have proven remarkably prescient in recent years in dealing their stars just before their performace declines, leaving an unsuspecting suitor to foot the bill (see Garciaparra, Nomar and Martinez, Pedro).