Today's column shows Bondy's general cluelessness about baseball when it comes to doing anything more strenuous than writing his usual snarky whines. His great idea for the Yankees is that they should forget about Cliff Lee and go after Kansas City hurler Zack Greinke. But Bondy apparently doesn't know -- or chose not to mention -- the fact that the Kansas City pitcher has battled social anxiety disorder.
When you look at this thing calmly, without the Sox dangling above, it may turn out that the best thing for the Yanks would be Lee returning to Texas and its friendly tax code. Then the Zack Greinke stakes can begin in earnest, and Cashman can finally try to complete a big deal.Two things wrong with this idea:
Cashman hasn't really done a lot of trading, just patchwork bartering. He didn't trade for Johan Santana, patiently and constructively waiting instead to sign CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett. That worked out fine. Eventually, though, Cashman did dump prospects Austin Jackson and Ian Kennedy in the deal for Curtis Granderson. That trade doesn't look all that great right now, but you know what, that's how it works. Once in a while, a GM must take the sort of chance that can backfire, or make him look like a genius.
Cashman would need to throw some real talent out there in order to get Greinke from the Royals. If he succeeds, however, he would be getting a top pitcher in his prime. Greinke is 27, and has two years left on a reasonable contract at $13.5 million per season. The Yanks would be able to renegotiate and extend it easily enough.....
* It just astonishes me that Bondy would completely leave out Greinke's issues with social anxiety disorder, and whether a pitcher with a history of anxiety and depression could handle the Bronx.
True, there was a recent Yahoo sports report saying that a source close to Greinke claimed the pitcher might waive his limited no-trade clause -- which includes the Yankees -- to play for a winner. And Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal said he's heard that Greinke is ready "to go anywhere." But Bondy doesn't mention any of those things.
Look, I think Greinke winning a Cy Young Award after dealing with social anxiety disorder is really admirable. (Read this Sports Illustrated article to see how far he once fell.) I'm rooting hard for him to succeed in his career and in his life.
But I also know what the media is like in this town, and what some Yankee fans are like (and Bondy should know, too, given how much he's written about the Bleacher Creatures.) Being able to handle New York pressure is kind of important -- look what happened with Ed Whitson and Chuck Knoblauch, just to name two examples.
I remember how Javier Vazquez got booed by Yankee fans this year in the early innings of the very first home game he pitched this year. I know that a certain segment of the fan base considers it a badge of honor to scapegoat their own players, and boo them like it's nobody's business. Would Greinke be able to handle that? I dunno, but it's a serious thing worth discussing before the Yankees try to trade for him. Yet Bondy apparently isn't even aware that it's an issue!
* As we've seen over and over, Cashman is rarely able to make good trades (Nick Swisher for Wilson Betemit was the best one in recent years. but it was also a White Sox salary dump/player dump.) Invariably, the other team's GM holds up Cash for more than the player is worth, just because they're the Yankees. Remember how much Minnesota wanted from the Yankees for Johan Santana, and how little the Mets got him for? Remember how Cashman thought he had a deal for Cliff Lee this summer, only to have the Seattle Mariners turn around and demand more at the last minute? That's why the Yankees end up doing so much on the free agent market; because other teams' asking price is always higher for the Bombers than for anybody else.
Anyhow, I don't think the Yankees will get Cliff Lee (something I will elaborate on further in a column later this morning) but I also don't think getting Zack Greinke is the slam-dunk solution, either, the way Bondy does. Guess Filip was too busy watching soccer or figure skating to pay attention to baseball.
What do you think? Tell us about it!