A Big Maple Grows in the Bronx; Mets May have Made Sideways Move while Seattle Tanks;

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Hi all. I’ve taken some time since the recent moves the Yankees and Mets made so I might measure my response to a greater extent than usual. To start with, the Yankees made a move they should have made as early as November 2016 and acquired a solid lefty starting pitcher, James Paxton. A Canadian by birth, Paxton is a giant of a man, standing six feet 7 which is a giant to a shorty like me. In Seattle he was called The Big Maple. Hopefully he’ll be strong enough to bend in the variable winds in the Bronx. Yankee fans can be tough even on their own people. Derek Jeter wasn’t immune to the “boo birds.” Paxton will need to pitch as he did in Seattle over the last few years because by the end of 2018 the Yankees’ starters and bull pen were equally ineffective. The bull pen was gassed because they had spent much of the year trying to bail out the Yankees’ hopelessly inadequate starters. One of those was sent packing to Seattle in the Paxton deal. That was Justus Sheffield, of whom the Yankees expected much until last season. Like a few others the Yankees auditioned after Jordan Montgomery went down with a blown elbow, Sheffield couldn’t do the job on the world’s biggest stage. Now he’s off to play before thousands of fans disguised as empty seats. Paxton and Luis Severino are clearly the pick of the Yankee staff now, with CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka in any order as the 3 and 4 starters. The Yankees still have both Lance Lynn and A.J. Happ, and every fan knows you can’t have too much starting pitching.
Seattle was just starting their fire sale when they transplanted The Big Maple. I honestly don’t know why they thought a fire sale was needed. I have recently been informed that their attendace was 14th out of 31 teams. With the moves they have made, they will be putting a truly awful product on the field for the foreseeable future. Their next move after the Paxton deal was to send one of the league’s better shortstops, Jean Segura to Philadelphia along with two relievers-James Pazos (an ex-Yankee) and Juan Nicasio. In exchange, they got the Phillies’ first sacker Carlos Santana and shortstop J.P. Crawford who lost much of last year to injuries. As the infomercials say, “But wait, there’s more.” The Mariners continued their team demolition by sending aging second baseman Robinson Cano and their exceptional closer Edwin Diaz to the Mets for Jay Bruce and a lot of hopefuls. The Mets certainly got an All-star closer in Diaz but gave up one of the few bats they have. One of the prospects heading to the Mariners is Justin Dunn, the pitcher from Boston College the Mets took in the first round a few years ago. What a team as bad as the Mets wants with a closer like Edwin Diaz, I can’t figure. That trade took days to become official after the initial word that the teams were in negotiations. It was clear that Cano and Bruce were the major players with Diaz added to the deal as negotiations continued.
Yesterday brought news of as surprising a trade as any I have just described. The Arizona Diamondbacks shipped Paul Goldschmidt to the Cardinals for pitcher Luke Weaver and a couple of prospects. With him gone and A.J. Pollock in free agency it’s hard to imagine the D-Backs coming close to being contenders as they have been for the last few seasons. I thought they would be in the hunt to the end last year, as they had been in 2017 but the surging Dodgers and relentless Rockies took the two playoff spots available leaving the D-Backs behind.

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