Michael, We Hardly Knew Ye
If ďDonít trade with the New York YankeesĒ isnít No. 1 on the list of Erikís Unwritten Rules for Baseball GMs, itís because the following is No. 1 on that list:
- Donít trade to the New York Yankees something they desperately need.
The 2012 Yankees desperately needed front-of-the-line starting pitching. So what happened yesterday? Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik traded Michael Pineda, one of the best young pitchers in baseball, to the Yankees, for catcher/DH Jesus Montero, one of the top hitting prospects in the nation.
Many fans will say what Jayson Stark said last night on ESPN: ďThis is one of those deals where both sides got something they were specifically looking for.Ē Mariners needed hitting and got it, Yankees needed pitching and got it. Done and done.
But you canít play the game of even-steven with the Yankees. If your goal is not only to improve your team but eventually get to the World Series, you have to go through the Yankees. Playing even-up in trades doesnít do that because the Yankees can spend you into the ground. You have to keep from them what they need. Like starting pitching. Like Michael Pineda.
Worse, the Mís almost had Jesus Montero in July 2010 for half a season of Cliff Lee. Apparently Zd didnít seal that deal because Yankees GM Brian Cashman refused to throw in Ivan Nova or Eduardo Nunez. Instead he dealt Lee to Texas for first baseman Justin Smoak. Which means in the scheme of things he traded Michael Pineda for Justin Smoak. Which is a bad trade.
I was high on Zd for awhile. But after Lee, Doug Fister and now Pineda, Iím beginning to wonder. I hope Iím wrong.
Good-bye, Michael. We hardly knew ye.