The Yankees are hot on the trail of Steven Matz while the Mets are salivating over Miguel Andujar. Slow news day? It’s not July, folks. It’s not even April.
Old Yankees or Mets news is not news. It’s the regurgitation of what typically happens during one of those ho-hum days during Spring Training when Opening Day seems as far away as Christmas.
And so it was that Mike Puma and Ken Davidoff teamed up to report on March 2 for the New York Post that Steven Matz would be guaranteed to pitch in a starting role in New York, only not for the Mets but the Yankees because trade talks are underway.
I read these guys every day, but it does seem a bit disingenuous when a mere six hours later, they file another report expertly detailing all the reasons why a deal doesn’t work for either team.
Yankees and Mets: Catching Up With Reports
Why then issue the report and file the story in the first place?
But at the risk of boring you, here’s what we do know:
- The Yankees have three starting pitchers on the sidelines when the bell rings on Opening Day in Baltimore. Luis Severino (out for the season), Domingo German (disqualified till mid-June), and James Paxton (possible mid-May return).
- In theory, the Mets have three pitchers fighting for the final two spots in their rotation. Rick Porcello appears to be locked in for one, while Steven Matz and Michael Wacha compete for the final spot. None of the three seems suited to a role in the bullpen. Hence, the word surplus legitimately pops up in the Post story.
Moving into the arena of speculation, why would the Mets want to part with any of their starting pitchers while the first pitch of the 2020 season has yet to be thrown?
Hold on to what you got says Jon Bon Jovi and it’s good advice, especially given the propensity for starting pitchers – living pitch to pitch these days in a fight to stay alive in the major leagues.
Thus, any talk about a trade involving Matz is premature. As the season moves on, a whole other scenario emerges as teams re-evaluate for the push into October.
But even the mention of the Miguel Andujar (right) involved in a trade the first week of March is nonsense.
The Yankees are cultivating Andujar into a versatile player, capable of performing at three positions.
The experiment may or may not work out. Still, it is much too soon for the Yankees to consider parting ways with a player of Andujar’s offensive ability in return for a pitcher with a lifetime 4.05 ERA.
Yankees and Mets Dealing? Maybe, Not Now Though
Who can imagine where the initial phone call (if one did indeed exist) emanate from?
Yankees GM Brian Cashman, while recognizing his plight, also has at his disposal any number of experienced and “on the way up” pitchers to look at.
Three weeks of the preseason remain before rosters are trimmed, and he enters either the free-agent pool or an arm available via trade.
Jordan Montgomery, by default, is now a lock to be in the Yankees starting rotation. Jonathan Loaisiga, Deivi Garcia, Mike King, and Clarke Schmidt, all of whom have been spoken highly of by Yankees’ brass, are available.
From the Yankees perspective, what is the harm to fill the gap in the early part of the season with any or all of these unknown but promising hurlers?
After all, it’s not like the Yankees are expecting to be seriously challenged by anyone in the AL East.
And as we learned last season, winning 103 games during the regular season means nothing – and all that matters is finishing one game ahead of the next guy.
Beneath the rubble of the New York Post story lies an insatiable thirst for baseball news, stories, and rumors that, as fans, most of us cannot quell.
And so, while the timing is way off and better suited to a proposal late in June or early July for both the Yankees or Mets, there’s no harm and no foul.
It’s baseball talk among fans who are all in on our National Pastime.