As the trade deadline came and passed most teams made moves, and big name players switched addresses. The two New York teams showed how different they really are. Over the last few days, the Yankees acquired big name players like Lance Berkman, Austin Kearns, and Kerry Wood. They had to give up Mark Melancon, but a switch hitting power hitter like Berkman, who has experience in the World Series, will give them more depth in their starting lineup.
The Mets decided that their move was to not make a move. They did not give up any of their prospects but no Mets fan can say that their team is any better. Here are a couple things we learned about the NY deals.
- The Yankees have lost faith in Joba Chamberlain.
The addition of Kerry Wood means that Joba will no longer be the setup guy for Mariano. Consistency is the most important quality of any bullpen guy, and this year Joba is anything but. With all the time and resources put into the ‘Joba Experiement’, the Yanks have been hesitant to drop him out of the starting rotation and 8th inning spot. The Yankees must have come to the realization that this project has failed and with all the great talent the team has, to have such an important spot filled by a guy with an over 5 e.r.a was unacceptable. With other bullpen talent like David Robertson available, Joba will either fill the 7th inning spot or be put on waivers.
2. The Mets must think they are in good-enough position to make the playoffs.
With the recent concussion of Jason Bay, the Mets needed to add depth to their outfield. Pagan has been great, but Beltran is coming off a major injury and Francoeur has been shaky all season. A perfect guy for this team would have been Austin Kearns, but he was snatched up by the Yanks. The Mets also failed to add another pitcher. The addition of a player like Ted Lilly or Jake Westbrook would have helped round out the rotation;however, they are now on teams competing with the Mets for the wild-card. With the Phillies adding quality starter Roy Oswalt, and the Braves getting Rick Ankiel, the road to the playoffs has become even more foggy. In my opinion, the Mets needed to make a big time move because, at this point, it looks like the Mets are the third best team in their division.
3. The Mets and Yankees do different things with their prospects.
With big market teams in the MLB the question is: how do we handle our prospects? The Mets have been resistant to trade their top young players, while the Yankees have traded them for bigger name veteran players. Both strategies can work: bringing up quality young talent energizes a team and a fan-base, while adding star-power veterans gives a team instant success. The Mets must think a lot about their prospects, because trading for good starting pitchers like Oswalt and Cliff Lee would only have required giving away 1 or 2 top young players. Would the Yankees ever pass on a guy like Lee? Would the Yankees not make a move to shore up a weak area? The answer is no. But would the Mets do any of these things? This year they have, and that is why I don’t see them going anywhere.