So, the Yankees have added Curtis Granderson, and that’s great, but what else have they done, the impatient fan asks? Well, yesterday, not a single one of the flurry of moves involved the Yankees … and every single one of them, with the possible exception of one, worked in their favor. It was a good day to wait people out.
First off, the Yankees finally got Roy Halladay out of their division. The Yankees had kept a wary eye on the Halladay sweepstakes, but they never really had much of a chance, with their somewhat depleted farm system. The fear was that the Red Sox would get him. Fortunately for the Yanks, the Phillies are trying to build a National League version of the Yankees or the Red Sox, and they brought in Halladay, giving up Cliff Lee, who headed to Seattle. The Blue Jays received a bunch of prospects — or will receive, anyway — which the Yankees won’t have to worry about for a few years, and probably not even then. So Halladay didn’t end up with the Sox. Whew.
Then, in two big free-agent deals (again, nothing is in ink), the Red Sox essentially eliminated themselves from the Jason Bay–Matt Holliday bingo raffle. Boston signed John Lackey for close to the same five-year deal the Yanks signed A.J. Burnett to last year, and then enlisted Mike Cameron to play left field. Neither move should have close to the impact that the Yankees’ three free-agent signings did last year, and, more to the point, neither move was an outbidding of the Yankees. (They were never really excited about Lackey and didn’t even consider Cameron.)
The moves put the Yankees back in a position of strength with several players they might have interest in. First off, Johnny Damon now finds himself with limited options for that supposed three-or-four year deal he wants. The Yankees can sit back and wait for him to accept that two-year deal they desire. And, if the Yankees are feeling frisky, they can hop back in the Holliday-Bay sweepstakes, considering the only real bidders left for either player are the Cardinals for Holliday (they just offered him $16 million a year for eight years) and the Mets for Bay. (The Nationals could be a wild card, but, seriously, come on.) The Yankees don’t have to worry about a bidding war with the Sox for anyone, and they don’t have to worry about them shacking up with Halladay. All this is playing right into Brian Cashman’s hands. Take that, Matt Taibbi!
By the way, in case you were wondering, Johnny Damon is not sitting idly by his phone.