Ubaldo to the Indians? Really?
Well, hey, more power to the Tribe, I suppose. The cost ultimately paid for Jimenez was right in line with what the Rockies had been requesting over the past several days now – that is to say, two elite prospects plus a couple of others. Or, simply put, a haul that would “wow.” And so, Colorado’s farm system instantly became that much stronger with the addition of right-handers Alex White and Joe Gardner, first baseman/outfielder, Matt McBride, and a player to be named later. The mystery player to be named later is largely expected to be Drew Pomeranz (once he becomes trade eligible later this August). Simultaneously, Cleveland’s newest rotation member could wind up being the final piece that allows the Indians to surpass their fellow AL Central rivals in the standings and achieve the much desired playoff birth.
Interestingly, Pomeranz may eventually be viewed as the most valuable component of the deal down the road. The 22 year old lefty is ranked 14th in Baseball America’s top 20, and has looked mighty impressive with Cleveland’s High-A squad. Alex White was the 15th overall draft pick in 2009 and was ranked in Baseball America’s top 50 list heading into the season.
Although he’s currently on the disabled list with a strained finger ligament, White was pitching well prior to the injury at the big league level. Overall, I think the trade represents a pretty solid haul for the Rockies (and a curious departure from typical organizational practice for the Indians). It also leaves me somewhat aghast at what the Yankees would have had to trade in order to make this happen for themselves; I’m thinking Banuelos, Betances, and Ivan Nova along with a possible complimentary player like Laird.
So, where does this turn of events leave the Yankees? I guess that depends on where your priorities lie. For an organization such as New York, the emphasis is always on the present tense rather than that of the future. Judging how much of the future can acceptably be mortgaged away is really a matter of opinion. As it turns out, Brian Cashman‘s opinion was one of reluctance and faith. Time will tell whether this was the prudent move or not. Admittedly, there’s still the possibility of a big trade with another organization, but given the short time frame remaining today, the chances have to be smaller.
Obviously, the Yankees rotation would have been deeper with Ubaldo in the mix than it is without him. There’s no arguing what he accomplished the past few seasons, just as there is no denying what he’s capable of doing going forward. Still, I maintain that Yankees fans *should not* jump off the ledge just yet. Time will tell whether the Yankees would have experienced buyers remorse with Ubaldo, and with every transaction, we’ll have plenty of time to scrutinize the move retrospectively.
It’s looking more and more likely that the Yankees will make the postseason again this year, and as cliché as it is, anything can happen once you get there. As the rosters are currently constructed, I do believe the Yanks are a better team still than either the Rangers or whatever team emerges from the AL Central. Boston is beastly, no doubt about it. Still, their rotation like everyone else, is far from perfect. There’s a legitimate reason the Sox made a strong bid for Rich Harden — who Joe expertly discussed last week — just as there are plenty of reasons why we, as fans, should be thankful the talks fell through thanks to a failed physical examination. Overall, the Red Sox may be the better team, but if they are, it’s not by a substantial amount.
Also, regardless of whether one agrees or not with Cashman not pulling the trigger on some of the club’s more notable prospects, it’s always a good thing when the farm system has an abundance of talent. I know this brings very little solace to some — I am all for trading prospects under the right circumstance too — but in today’s baseball climate, valuable cost-controlled young players are more important than ever. At least for now, the Yankees have flexibility in that regard.
New York may “pay the price” in the immediate future (i.e.- the postseason) by not having another very good arm in the rotation, but with a little luck, perhaps the return on prospect patience will be worth its weight in gold down the road. Sure some of the prospects will undoubtedly not pan out, but given the potential of some of their young players, don’t be surprised if some of them do contribute in a big way in the future. The obvious question remains the same; does cost controlled talent outweigh the salivating-inducing thought of another successful World Series run?
I, for one, am okay with how things turned out. Yes, I realize this may just be a Yankee blogger’s way of rationalizing. I would have loved to have Jimenez on the Yankees roster, but honestly, I wasn’t nearly as disappointed when this trade didn’t work out as I was when Cliff Lee departed to the Rangers last season.
For what it’s worth, I do believe the Bombers have enough talent to contend in the postseason this year. I’m also delighted the team still has guys like Jesus Montero waiting in the ranks, and bringing reason optimism for the future. Who knows; perhaps, we have the best of both worlds at this point.
* * *
I’d also like to share some news on a more personal level. Yesterday afternoon, I went hiking with my wonderful girlfriend of six years, Kylee. We reached a secluded spot with an absolutely breathtaking view of the lake. I proposed and she said, “Yes!” Ky is now officially my fiancée.
Kylee, you mean the world to me. I love you. I’m the luckiest man alive.