Remember just a few years ago when everyone thought it was so unfair that the Yankees had the money and resources to make all the big deals just before the trade deadline? The haves picking the pockets of the have-nots, and all that.
Well, it sure does look as if the Yankees are no longer one of the haves, not when it comes to making the big deal when it needs to be made.
I love Ichiro, too. He’s a terrific defensive pickup and maybe the smartest base runner in baseball, though he no longer has the punch at bat to be a standout player. But that’s it? A team with injuries to its slugging first and third basemen (even though Teixiera didn’t go on the DH), a shaky rotation (Andy Pettitte not due back fro a month, Phil Hughes ugly even in victory, as he was today, giving up 9 hits to the Orioles in 6 innings) and management doesn’t think they needed to make any significant moves??
The progressive front offices now are in Los Angeles, Arlington and San Francisco. The Dodgers Gm Ned Colletti made two deals of the kind the Yankees once did – both plums. Hanley Ramirez, picked up in a trade with the Marlins, can still hit with power and play at All-Star caliber at both 3rd and short. The Dodgers got him on July 26, the day after Alex Rodriguez went on the DL with a fractured hand. How do you like Ramirez replacing A-rod at 3rd and filling in for Jeter on his rest days?
In another coup, Colletti traded with the Phillies for Shane Victorino, who is batting just .261 but hitting with considerably more power than Ichiro and is at least his equal as an outfielder.
How does Hunter Pence sound? The Giants countered the Dodgers’ acquisition of Victorino by adding Pence, who has 17 home runs this year. Pence would have been an upgrade from any outfielder the Yankees now have except Curtis Granderson.
Or how about the bomb Nolan Ryan and the Texas Rangers dropped one everyone by picking up Ryan Dempster from the Cubs? Could it be that the Yankees simply looked at Dempster’s 5-5 record and missed his 2.25 ERA for his last 16 starts? Did they not realize that Ryan Dempster, were he now in pinstripes, would be the ace of the Yankees rotation?
And so at least 3 teams that the Yankees might conceivably have to face in the postseason – better make that 4 if you include the Los Angeles Angels — who acquired Zack Greinke a few weeks ago – that are now younger, more talented and have better stud starting pitchers.