The Joakim Soria quote about him waving his no-trade clause to come pitch in the Bronx is gaining a lot of steam. It was first reported in a mexican paper and suddenly, because there is no news coming out of Yankeeland, the quote is now everywhere, including here...
Soria said "There is a no-trade clause to the Yankees in my contract, but did not put it in myself. My agent put it as a strategy, but if the Royals decide to move me to New York I would be happy to play with the Yankees or another team.”
(If you haven't seen it, at least that brings you up to speed.)
Look, I like Soria, I really do. I'd love to see him on the New York Yankees, but this is another trade situation, and whenever there is trade talk, there is Montero talk. If you remember, back in July READ IT HERE, there was a lot of talk about the Yankees longing for Joakim Soria. There were reports about how Soria would not wave his no-trade clause for a swap to the Yanks. There was also a lot of talk about Jesus Montero being dangled to several teams. Montero was dangled in front of the Mariners for Cliff Lee. Montero was dangled in front of the Royals for Soria, and on and on. Bottom line... Nothing happened.
Am I relieved? Kind of... here's why: Montero is a very talented player who, with some major league experience, can be truly great. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE loves the guy. He's popular among Yankee Execs and minor league players alike. That much chatter means something! Don't get it twisted. So what's my point you ask? It's this... Why trade Montero for Soria when you could easily throw a few extra million (that we didn't use on Lee) at a free agent like Rafael Soriano who is lights out and would lift the Yankees bullpen to new heights? You see what I mean? This way, you have stability with a setup man like Soriano, who, by the way, will close when we need to give Mariano a rest. Plus, when Rivera retires in 2 years, the torch can be passed and Soriano can and will officially be a "closer" again. You really can't lose. You just keep the line moving. This way, you have a great bullpen in 2011 and beyond and you can keep and groom Montero in the majors in 2011 under the direction of Russell Martin and coach and former catcher Tony Pena. I like this for so many more reasons than to unload Jesus for Soria.Now, would I like to still get Soria as well? You're damn right I would. I have that old school Steinbrenner mentailty of getting the best players to better my team. Cashman would need to be creative and figure out a way to give away farm players that we could part with, but I think he could come up with a good, inexpensive package to lure Soria to the Bronx and still make the Royals happy.
Bottom line, Yankees pitching is in a world of hurt. People who are ok with this right now are misguided. You need to operate under the assumption that Pettitte isn't coming back, and if he DOES, and you've already signed a veteran... Well, that's a good problem to have, trust me. I would not want to see Mitre and Nova as my 4 and 5 going into opening day.
The good news is it's only December. A lot can happen in January and February, hopefully for the better in improving our pitching. After all, pitching wins championships, or have we forgotten that?