This is certain with the two New York baseball generals in town: Never believe a response from Brian Cashman and Sandy Alderson that they are done dealing and wheeling. Troy Tulowitzki talks have intensified coming to the Mets at a heavy price.
The Yankees o Friday afternoon acquired right-hander Nathan Eovaldi along with infielder Garrett Jones for righthander and 24-year old prospect Domingo German, from the Miami Marlins for Martin Prado and pitcher David Phelps.
There was Cashman, Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium. He presented awards to New York City high school athletes in conjunction with the upcoming New Era Pinstripe Bowl game that will be played in the Bronx. This writer asked about the Max Scherzer talk and possibilities the Yankees would open their checkbook and pay a big price for the righthander:
“I don’t see any more possibilities of doing anything significant between now and the season,” commented Cashman. When asked if he was content with the roster as comprised, he added, “There are always possibilities. We are always looking to make improvements but there is nothing on the table nor do I see anything soon.”
That was then. This is now because the Yankees are never done dealing and wheeling, especially when other teams they need to overtake are getting stronger. The hierarchy in the Bronx will not sit back and wait, because not playing baseball in October a third straight year is unacceptable.
And over the years, when have the Yankees ever stood still when they did not get what they want? Even with this post George Steinbrenner regime they still spend money and make upgrades, whether good or bad to appease the fan base and make the postseason more realistic.
But you could sense there was that other move in the works. He was the GM again saying anything was possible, and with that it was a matter of time before the Yankees were active again a week after the conclusion of a busy winter meetings convention of baseball executives in San Diego.
So the Yankees part with the 31-year old Prado who proved to be a versatile and valuable player down the stretch who was acquired during the July 31 trading deadline from Arizona for a minor leaguer and cash. He was going to be the everyday play at second base and in 37 games batted ,316 and hit 7 home runs, and added production in a lineup that struggled.
Cashman said about Prado: “He is our everyday infielder.” Again that was Tuesday and at the end of the week once again the Yankees infield and lineup has changed. The addition of the left-handed Jones, 33 years of age, who hit 15 home runs and drove in 53 runs adds power especially at Yankee Stadium. He has hit 15 home runs the last six seasons and it comes at a relative low cost to the Yankees payroll.
Phelps was slated in the Yankees pitching rotation. Cashman alluded to how effective he was last season when four-fifth of an injury ridden rotation was lost to injuries. Eovaldi, 24 years of age went 6-14 with a 4.37 ERA, the big part of this acquisition is his innings, 199.21 in 33 starts.
The Yankees need length and innings pitched with a pitching rotation that has many question marks with CC Sabathia, Mahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, Ivan Nova and his recovery from Tommy John surgery is slated for a June return. Chris Capuano was re-signed to a one-year deal, so the trade for Eovaldi is the replacement for Phelps.
Of course all the moves the Yankees make are meaningless and are contingent on comeback and productive year from Mark Teixeira, Carlos Beltran, and the return of Alex Rodriguez who will be a question mark and a probable designated hitter.
Domingo German? That move remains to be seen where the right-hander stands out of the bullpen, assuming he is on the 25-man roster come opening day. One scout said, German can throw 90 and could be the bridge to Andrew Miller or Dellin Betances.
Unless it’s another “Germen” because moments later the Yankees acquired the former New York Met, Gonzalez the 27-year old right-hander who posted a 4.75 ERA in 26 relief outings this past season. He was always a subject of trade rumors and spent time back and forth from Triple-A Las Vegas.
In other words the Yankees are never done wheeling and dealing. And it is safe to say don’t put in your fantasy team until the deadline…..
The Mets perspective and what can be determined is all rumor when it comes to the Tulowitzki discussion to be the next shortstop. Baseball insiders, as has been determined here, are reporting more dialogue with the Mets GM and the Colorado Rockies. And from all accounts it is the Rockies making a pitch to rid a huge salary of Tulowitzki and getting younger with a few of the promising pitchers the Mets have marked to be a part of their future,, and perhaps playoff hopes in 2015.
The price, according to reports are the Rockies looking to acquire right-hander Noah Syndergaard the Mets No. 1 pitching prospect who is projected to be a part of the plan at some point in 2015.
Alderson was also content with the Mets not making further moves coming out of the winter meetings, especially at shortstop. Tuesday at Citi Field, according to Alderson it was, “Wilmer Flores can handle the position.”
And Ruben Tejada is the backup and need be, will get the share of starts again. The question: Is Flores capable of being an everyday shortstop and can there be production coming from his bat? That was a concern coming out of last season and going into spring training.
Tejada has some thoughts about his role and there will be more about that in a later column. In the meantime for the first time, unless it can be determined, the Mets are 25-1 favorites to reach the World Series along with the Yankees.
But Tulowitzki, a 30 year old often injured shortstop, coming off hip surgery is not the answer for the Mets at the expense of giving up their future unless a young outfield prospect and a Dillon Gee or Jonathon Niese, or both pitchers are a part of the deal.
“Tulo” has played 140 games since 2010 and is owed $118 million? Do the Mets need another failure at expense of their future? And why would the Wilpon ownership and Alderson spend on damaged goods for a hitting shortstop when there are one or two wuality shortstops, healthy also, still looking for jobs.
This is another illusion and talk at this point. Tulowitzki is not a vision for the Mets to go forward and perhaps it’s more talk to appease the Mets fan base.
Either way it is hot stove baseball and at this juncture of the year it is always good to be talking baseball. The reality is a trade is made and fans have no say as to why and how it was done
Again, don’t put your fantasy team together until the trading deadline.
Comment Rich Mancuso: Ring [email protected] Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso Twitter:@Ring786 www.newyorksportsexaminer.com