The New York Yankees, like all MLB teams, are in a rebuilding mode at this time of the year. It’s made from fantasy, and it’s impossible to ignore. Rumors, oh yes, and I have a few more rumors (about the rumors).
I feel free in stating the Yankees draw more rumors than any team in the major leagues. How can they not with five major local newspapers on the stands every morning, together with the non-stop gasbags 24/7 at radio station WFAN, headed by the ubiquitous and always pretentious Mike Francesca?
I hate to tell these guys there are no games today. And none yesterday or tomorrow either. Nevertheless, the ink must go on pages and microphones must be filled with venom and spit. Never fear though, if there’s nothing going on, you can still make something up and tie it all up with a rumor bow. It works, and I’m one of those baseball addicts who eat it for breakfast, dinner, and a few meals in-between.
The Yankees rumored interest in starting pitcher Patrick Corbin, for instance, has already driven his price in the free agent market up to and over $100 million. Moreover, I just read this morning in the always reliable New York Daily News the Yankees will not be outbid for Corbin’s services next season.
Then, there are the Cleveland Indians, who are no fools. They understand how to create a frenzy in the Big Apple, too. Simply, throw some more bait in the pond. Quietly “get it out there” that Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco are on the block, even though this makes no sense to anyone. And sure enough, voila, the Yankees are tied to both, and with a stable of young pitchers in the minors…well, you see, it’s at least something to talk about.
The Yankees do not need another outfielder. So, how do you ignore that and still find a rumored place for Bryce Harper on the Yankees? That too is simple. Make him the first baseman, and make sure you quote Harper’s agent, Scott Boras, who religiously claims his client is practicing everyday fielding balls at first base.
Manny Machado? No problem there, either. Even though every baseball fan with two eyes knows there is a problem with Machado, and the Yankees have no intention of polluting their clubhouse, even though it would only cost them $300 million. Even so, let the rumors ride with the always reliable and worn-out cliche, Manny has always wanted to play in New York, and don’t forget too that he has a mentor in Miami with high persuasive powers within the Yankees organization. Don’t know that is? Shame on you.
Oh, and did you hear the latest Yankees rumor? Brian Cashman has one of his representatives (smart man, that Brian) meeting with newly crowned Mets GM, Brodie Van Wagenen, nightly on the Brooklyn Bridge (see them on the bench, way in the back?) to discuss a deal involving Jacob deGrom.
Yes, In exchange for the Yankees catcher who can’t catch the ball, a third baseman who can hit a ton but is still working on his fielding, Justus Sheffield, Aaron Hicks, Greg “Flightless” Bird, and Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild, de Grom will be wearing Pinstripes come April. Didn’t hear that one? Probably not, because I just made it up and my 1,000-word story on the rumor is up for sale tomorrow.
Look, forgive me, but I need my baseball fix every day. And if I can’t get it by devouring a box score, I’ll find another way. Even if it means dialing up the MLB Trade Rumors page every day. And besides, would anyone writing for THE Major League Baseball outlet ever twist the truth? Say it ain’t so, Joe (Torre).
For myself, I have no desire or interest in reporting on rumors. I do see value in analyzing some rumors as though they were a reality, and that’s because you get into how the addition of this player or that player would affect the existing Yankees team.
That’s how I created the articles condemning the addition to the Yankees of both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. And even before that, another story about Harper titled: The Lone Ranger Of Baseball. As a hobby, this is fun. And it’s even more fun when a reader begins a comment with, “Are you crazy?”, and then goes on to tell me why I am (crazy).