Monday, July 31, 2017


Good morning, shoppers. Welcome to Black Monday at Kmart where strikeouts are the blue light special until 4 p.m.

Don't complain about last-minute bait-and-switch deals though. They're just part of the madness.

Photo: Getty Images
It's the final day of the non-waiver trading season and over in the Sonny Gray aisle,  you'll find Yankees GM Brian Cashman and Oakland A's Executive VP of Baseball Operations and part owner Billy Beane trying hard not to look at their watches and acting like they each have better options -- which, in fact, they do.

Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
With a veteran innings-eating starter in Jaime Garcia, two top-quality bullpen arms in Tommy Kahnle and David Robertson and a corner infielder with some pop in Todd Frazier already in his shopping cart, Brian could tell Beane to take or leave a package headed by outfield prospect Estevan Florial or shortstop prospect Jorge Mateo (or both, depending which rumor-monger you now choose to believe who wrongly surmised it was a Clint/Gleyber tussle to begin with) and call it a pretty successful trip to the store whether Beane bites or not.

For Beane's part, with two more years of control in Gray's deal, it certainly wouldn't hurt to hang onto him until the winter meetings when everyone hits the reset button and there would likely be a wider group of teams interested in making a play for him.

Meanwhile, in nearby aisles there are still the murmurs of Yu Darvish, Justin Verlander, Lance Lynn and other long shot deals allegedly stirring in case the Gray thing doesn't happen.

Which wouldn't be, like, the worst thing that didn't happen if it requires more to get done than losing a couple of prospects who are  hopelessly blocked or several years from even potentially sniffing the Bronx and facing Rule 5 exposure.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
If it does go down, though, and Gray suits up in pinstripes for that reportedly paltry price in prospects,  Brian gets to keep his MLB heavyweight trade deadline championship belt a second season in a row, in my humble opinion.

Either way, I think it's become clear Brian has stuck to the spirit of the rebuilding blueprint by only making moves that upgrade this year's team while making the most minimal of negative impacts on future objectives -- and managing in several instances to upgrade those as well in the bargain.

That makes today a sunny day in Yankee Universe -- whether Brian leaves the store with Sonny in his shopping cart or not.

--Barry Millman
BYB Writer
Follow me on Twitter: @nyyankeefanfore

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