In Las Vegas terms, Brian Cashman is on a roll. The man is unstoppable and has been for the last eighteen months. His most recent trade to help secure the Yankees infield flew well under the radar and was born before Christmas at the Winter Meetings. We won’t say genius yet, but…
Brandon Drury is not a household name in major league baseball. And among the names of players the Yankees have been linked to over the winter, I challenge anyone who can show me the name Brandon Drury on their list of players proving they saw the light before Cashman did as someone the Yankees should be in the market for.
Brandon Drury is not Giancarlo Stanton and he is not likely to turn the Yankees season around or have a major impact on the team as it moves into the 2018 season. But he does represent a piece of the puzzle that goes into the mix when formulating a winning team, and one on the cusp of winning it all.
Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar are both exciting and promising ballplayers who are likely to have a long and successful career wearing the pinstripes. But let’s face it, they have yet to prove themselves at this level. The counter-argument, of course, is how can they prove themselves if they don’t get the chance.
They will get the chance. It might be now, when one or even both of them light up the preseason, leaving the Yankees no choice but to insert them into the regular lineup. But to count on both Torres and Andujar to make the leap seemed to be something Brian Cashman just didn’t feel comfortable with.
Thus, we have a proven major league talent ready to play second or third base without causing Aaron Boone to blink an eye when inserting Drury into the lineup.
The telling aspect of this trade by Cashman is that its seeds were planted way back at the Winter Meetings in December when the Yankees GM first put the name Drury out there for the Diamondbacks to consider.
Nothing happened though, and it wasn’t until a third team, the Tampa Bay Rays, became involved that things began to fall in place for all three teams (now) involved. The D-Backs eyes must have lit up when the name Steven Souza, a coming outfielder for the Rays, appearing as a possibility to land in Arizona. And with the Yankees only having to offer two relatively inconspicuous talents from their minor league system, in Nick Solak and pitcher Taylor Widener, hallelujah, Cashman couldn’t wait to say “Done, who’s gonna call the MLB offices?”?
As a sidebar to the trade though, someone in those same offices needs to take a long look at the actions of the Tampa Bay Rays over the last month or so, because even “Firesale” underestimates what they appear to be doing in terms of trashing a team which had some potential to make some noise in the A.L. East.
In just this past week, the Rays have unloaded via trades Jake Odorizzi, a reliable starter, plus Steven Souza and, to boot, they designated All-Star Corey Dickerson for assignment for what? – to save a measly $6 million?
Forgive them for dealing Evan Longoria. As mentioned in an earlier column, Longoria, if given five days in a Rays uniform would have reached the status of what’s called a “5 & 10 Year Man”, meaning that with five years with the Rays and ten in the big leagues, Longoria could have invoked a no-trade discipline for the Rays to deal with.
End of the sidebar, but it’s something to watch.
Neil Walker, Mike Moustakas, Manny Machado, and everybody but the kitchen sink, what do they matter now? Brian Cashman had his eyes on someone and he didn’t let go until he had his man in Brandon Drury (I still want to say, who?), but the simple fact is the Yankees don’t need a prince, an earl will do.
Once again, the Yankees magician has secured another weapon for Boone to employ as the team begins the march to Championship #28, and like work of art, it’s something to watch and behold. Really.
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