Interesting article on boston.com by Nick Cafardo saying that MLB GMs should have an old fashioned “swap meet” where they essentially trade “junk.” This, of course, means players with bad contracts who are no longer useful.
Cafardo mentions players like Andruw Jones, Dontrelle Willis, Barry Zito, Julio Lugo, Juan Pierre, etc.
This seems like a good idea. Willis for Lugo? Probably won’t happen, but these kind of deals are worth discussing.
The Yankees he mentions? Kei Igawa, Hideki Matsui, Johnny Damon, Melky Cabrera, and Ian Kennedy.
Alright, I’ll admit Igawa belongs on this list. He needs a change of scenery and I don’t think he’ll ever be useful in pinstripes.
But Matsui? He’s had a few injuries, but has been effective when healthy and has a very reasonable 1 year, $13 million left on his contract.
Johnny Damon? Even more absurd. Damon is coming off a great year and he, too, only has 1 year and $13 million left on his deal. Any team outside of the Marlins would jump at that, yet his name is up there with the likes of Andruw Jones and Barry Zito?
Now, I will say Melky has hit some tough times, so I won’t complain too much about that, but remember he IS only 24. Were he 27 or 28, then yes, 100% he needs a change. But he is still young.
Speaking of young, having Ian Kennedy on this list is insane. He’s a 23 year old starting pitcher who has been very successful at every level in the minors and is generally regarded highly by scouts for his makeup and ability. He hasn’t put it together in the majors yet, but did I mention he’s only 23 years old??? He’s still cost controlled for 5 more seasons. He is a valuable commodity. What if the Yankees hadn’t tried him in the rotation last year and just let him pitch in triple-A? He’d still be a top 5 prospect or so in their system and there is absolutely no way anyone thinks they need to trade him away for someone elses junk. And that is still the case. A few starts does not a career make.
I don’t know why, but it just never fails to amaze me how impatient people are when it comes to Yankee players. Even Boston sportswriters assume, apparently, that if a Yankee isn’t immediately good that they’re garbage.