Welp. Giancarlo Stanton is going to play for the New York Yankees.
It’s a pretty fun thing for baseball, actually. That’s a hell of a lineup!
I mean… for fuck sakes:
— Daren Willman (@darenw) December 9, 2017
It is, of course, significantly less fun for those of us who follow a team that’s chasing the Yankees. And also less fun for those of us who expect better of the league than to have sold the Marlins to such a pathetic joke of an ownership group. Which isn’t to say that the Yankees shouldn’t have jumped at this chance, or that Stanton didn’t have every right to use his no-trade clause to control the process and end up where he wanted. It’s just… holy shit, MLB, if the Jays are going to end up being sold by Rogers, can ya maybe do a better fucking job of finding new owners who actually have the capital to run the goddamn team? Jon Tayler of Sports Illustrated gets it right when he laments, “What else can you call this trade other than an abject disaster for a franchise seemingly committed to being a pointless mess for the rest of its existence?”
But yeah… so, the Jays…
After some initial waves of drunken anger about it last night, I think I’ve finally found the thing I’m going to cling to here:
Judge and Stanton on the first day of Spring Training. pic.twitter.com/Yn6nIjAXXE
— Rob Wong (@WongSN590) December 9, 2017
Which is the one that’s gonna regress and which is the one that’s gonna get hurt? https://t.co/3YhKXh7KXW
— Andrew Stoeten (@AndrewStoeten) December 9, 2017
I don’t know how else you approach this. Oh, sure, there are some real fucking galaxy brain Jays fans out there who seem to be dying for the club to give up and pack it in, posturing as though they wouldn’t be bothered by what that entails, but the thing is, the Jays were already looking up at the Yankees. Don’t get me wrong, this is a problem. But the Jays’ chances of passing both the Yankees and Red Sox and winning the AL East were already fairly slim, so I’m not sure why this changes much — at least not for 2018. And as for 2019 and beyond, well… it’s not like the Yankees were going to sit idle while guys like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado hit the open market.
But yes, the Yankees are a very good team, look like they will be for a while, gave up shit all to the dumbass cheapfuck Marlins, and it fucking sucks.
It feels a little bit like the Ricciardi era at the moment, there’s no denying it. But with a couple of vital differences. First is the fact that there’s a now an extra playoff spot up for grabs in each league — something that probably makes the Angels’ acquisition of Shohei Otani yesterday a more troubling development than this one (and like this one, that was hardly reason to pack it in either). The second is that the people running the Jays have had one eye on the long term for two years now, have good track records when it comes to player development, and franchises like Cleveland and Houston to look to as models — teams that have built incredibly strong rosters without the spending power of the Yankees and Red Sox. (There’s also the luxury tax; a factor here, as the Yankees are sending Starlin Castro — perhaps now a Jays target? — to Miami, rather than just assuming all the salary, paying all the money, and not giving a shit about the consequences.)
So… like yesterday, the Jays need to get better. Like yesterday, they’re probably looking at a Wild Card spot at best and can’t be expected to mortgage that future betterment by blowing their brains out going too hard on 2018. Like yesterday, the idea of trading Josh Donaldson is going to be very tempting. (Like yesterday, the Jays should fucking extend him already.)
I can’t just shrug this off, obviously, because that slim “if everything breaks our way” chance for the Jays to exceed our low expectations just got even slimmer — and the Yankees being absolute fucking monsters doesn’t exactly help their Wild Card pursuit, given the unbalanced schedule. But it is what it is. The Yankees are a problem and the Jays are taking the middle way. In the near term it might work, it might not. But it’s worth finding out.
Y’know, at least until July. Ughhhhhhhhhhhh.