Adios, Sheff. I already miss the dysfunction. Sheffield is 38 and coming off a rough wrist injury, but does anybody doubt he'll hit the crap out of the ball for Detroit next year? Still, there's nothing wrong with an outfield involving Damon/Matsui/Abreu/Melky, and the Yankees need young pitching more than anything. If just one of the three prospects they traded for ends up as a solid #2 or even #3 starting pitcher, this will have been another shrewd Cashman trade. Humberto Sanchez, Kevin Whelan and Anthony Claggett: good baseball names all. If Sanchez makes it, do we get to see the Post making Lolita puns on the back page? I can dream.
And I was about to post the following graph when I saw the news about Jaret Wright:
“And now, apparently, the Yanks are about to wash their hands of Jaret Wright. I’m torn about this: he was disappointing and often incredibly frustrating to watch, but he had these flashes of talent and grit that made me think he could be worth holding onto. And getting traded to a division rival is sort of insulting – not to mention possibly unwise, since Baltimore, though fairly miserable last year, has a ton of promising young pitchers and a solid offense. Depends on who they get for him, of course.”
The answer? Chris Britton, a young right-handed reliever with good but unspectacular stats last season, who looks… how to put this… like the love child of Sir Sidney Ponson and... oh, I don't know. He's portly, okay? But he was fairly effective last year, so I’ll reserve judgment. I know the Yanks made the deal because they would have had to buy out Wright’s $7 million contract for $4 million anyway just to release him, but poor Jaret Wright: he got traded to a division rival for a reliever. Ouch. Great deal for the Orioles, though.
Still no news on Matsuzaka, but rumors are flying – the Seibu Lions are taking their time announcing the winning bidder. Supposedly the Red Sox may have won out with a massive bid of around $38 million (again – that’s just to negotiate), but it's not confirmed. I wouldn't have been terribly worried about this yesterday, but today I saw that Baseball Prospectus attempted to translate his numbers from Japan, and concluded that he could produce stats in America similar to Roger Clemens, of all people. Oh, and also comparable? Roy Halladay, Brandon Webb, Chris Carpenter, Jason Schmidt, Josh Beckett, Pedro Martinez, Jake Peavy and Tim Hudson. Umm.... AIIIIIIEEEEEEE!
Finally, good luck to Bubba Crosby, who has signed with the Reds. He’s like David Eckstein... except he's a little taller... and can't hit. But, you know, otherwise. I'll always remember him for the great walk-off homer he hit against the Orioles down the stretch in 2005 -- you could see him struggling between sheer joy and utter disbelief all the way around the bases.
Oh -- and the Mets might name their new stadium “CitiField”?! Ugh! Don't do it, Wilpons. William Alfred Shea is turning in his grave.