First, a quick reminder that I’m hosting a chat today at noon. I’m sure we’ll be talking all about the deadline and the injuries and the Yankees approach to these next two months. It’s a chat that might have taken on a darker tone if not for Wednesday’s win.
In the past two weeks, the Yankees have won a series exactly once. They were swept in Oakland, they lost two of three against the Red Sox, and they avoided a sweep against the Orioles only by winning that lopsided series finale.
Thank goodness for the Mariners.
The Yankees took two out of three in Seattle last week. That’s basically what you expect when the team with the best record in the American League plays one of the worst teams in the majors. The Mariners are — once again — not very good. It’s been more than a decade since they looked like a real force in the AL East, now they’re just trying to find some pieces that work.
Because of two trades, the Mariners have become oddly connected to the Yankees this season. But despite some massive names being involved, those two buzzworthy trades have been relatively minor in the short-term.
It was one of the biggest trades of the winter, but of the four players involved, only two are still playing and only one is still in the big leagues. And if he weren’t in the big leagues with his new team, even he might be in the minors right now.
As you’re well aware, the Yankees have — so far — gotten next to nothing out of this trade. Pineda was lost for season before the season began, and Campos went down with an elbow injury after five Low-A starts. Truth be told, the Mariners haven’t gotten a lot more. They stuck with Noesi for 17 rocky big league starts before shipping him to Triple-A where he has a 10.31 ERA through four starts. The Mariners have kept Montero in the middle of the order, but that’s largely because they have so few alternatives. He’s hitting .260/.305/.395, and I’m not sure the Yankees would have shown the same patience if he were still on their roster.
The Mariners traded one of the most iconic players in franchise history, and it was Ichiro’s past that made this such a landmark deal. Based strictly on the numbers, it was a minor swap for a role player.
Since joining the Yankees, Ichiro has been pretty much exactly what he was with the Mariners this season. He’s hit .250/.270/.361 while adding some of the speed and defense that the Yankees wanted. He’s been the Yankees No. 8 hitter, which is pretty much what he should be at this point. In return, the Mariners got reliever Farquhar, who’s so far pitched 4.1 scoreless innings for Triple-A Tacoma (his fifth minor league team of the year). The Mariners also got young starter Mitchell, who’s been terrific in his first two Pacific Coast League starts. Mitchell has a 0.75 ERA through 12 innings in that hitter-friendly league.
Associated Press photos