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Brian Cashman, man. Brian freakin Cashman.
The guy is a savant.
Now, Blake Rutherford is a stud. I’ve long been of the mindset that we just keep the all the prospects and let it play out. And for all the studs in the system right now, Rutherford might end up being the best of the bunch. Five tool player. Hits for average and power. Big lefty bat in a lineup full of rightys. Just turned 20. Born in Jersey. And a kid the Yankees had been scouting for years before drafting him last June out of high school to a record signing bonus. It hurts to lose him.
But the point of gathering all these prospects is to win a World Series. It’s why the Cubs gave the Yankees the second best prospect in baseball to get Chapman, and why the Indians gave up a future star in Clint Frazier and potential third starter in Justus Sheffield for Miller.
The Yankees have a real opportunity to contend this year. And while it sucks to give up a top flight prospect, it’s worth it 100 times out of 100 when you can turn him into three high quality pieces that fit three huge needs, all for basically the price of one prospect.
Let’s look at the Yankees return…
We’ll start with Frazier, the biggest name in the trade if not the most important. Frazier fills a hole at first base that’s been occupied by a league-high eleven different players this season. ELEVEN. With Greg Bird still on the shelf for the foreseeable future and Chris Carter shot off into the sun, we’ve seen it filled by the likes of Garrett Cooper and Ji-Man Choi.
Todd Frazier has struggled this season. There’s no denying that. His power numbers are down while he hovers just slightly over the Mendoza line. But Frazier brings pedigree both at the plate and in the field. He’s not the All-Star he was in Cincinnati. But he’s still just 31 and brings another big time power bat to the middle of the lineup.
For now it looks like he’ll fill that need at first. But he could still move back to his regular position of third if the Yankees have another move (Yonder Alonso?) up their sleeve.
Add in that he’s a Point Pleasant, NJ kid… and grew up a Yankee fan… and walks up to Frank Sinatra songs… and is regarded as one of the best teammates in baseball (reigning MLB Heart & Hustle Award winner #heart #hustle)… and I’m a huge fan of bringing him here.
Oh and this picture… this is pretty cool too.
But what really matters was the rest of the trade.
Robertson and Kahnle are two plus-plus relievers who strengthen the hell out of what’s now arguably the best bullpen in baseball. Sure, Betances and Chapman have struggled recently. That’s due in large part to the workload placed on both over the last year and a half. What Robertson and Kahnle give Girardi is two more guys he can trust at any point in the game and two more opportunities to lighten the workload on Betances and Chapman over the rest of the season. Betances can now return to that 6th/7th inning, get you four or five outs at a time role he thrived in last year before moving Miller and Chapman. And Girardi can feel much more confident saving Chapman’s arm for the stretch run knowing he has a rock solid, experienced closer in Robertson.
Come October, it’s a perfectly situated bullpen. Kahnle and Betances work the 6th and 7th. Robertson and Chapman close the door in the 8th and 9th. It’s as strong a four-man unit as you’re going to find. And that’s before even getting to Chad Green and Adam Warren, who despite the recent struggles of this bullpen as a whole have been absolute awesome in their roles. This is the best bullpen in baseball now. And after what we saw from Cleveland and Chicago last season, thanks in great part to Cashman himself, it’s as important as anything come October.
This is a huge win for the Yankees. And even better, one that hurts a Red Sox team that was looking for that same exact package from Chicago.
Add in the nice comeback win last night and things are looking up for the Bronx Bombers here. Perfect time to kick off a nice little streak and climb right back up next Boston atop the East.
Welcome… back, I guess in all three cases… to New York boys. Let’s go.