Friday, July 29, 2011

Misinformed Deadline Gossip

The Roster Crunch is a phenomenon that is far too often blown out of proportion. In early spring training, when there are seventeen relievers brought into camp fighting for seven jobs, people go into freakout mode. "I like X (let's say, for the sake of argument, Carlos Villanueva), but if X gets a job that's means we're going to have to trade Y (let's say, for the sake of argument, Jason Frasor) and he's been with the team forever!" Inevitably, of course, injuries happen, and usually sometime between when pitchers report in mid-February and April Fool's the team has no problem fitting both X and Y onto the major league roster .
That said, we're not in spring training anymore and in the wake of The Great Heist (or simply Target Obtained), there is a bit of a roster crunch, this time on the offensive side of the ball. The Pasty White Hope is here; Eric Thames continues to take Carlos Delgado-like passes (occasionally making contact) while doing his best Nuke Laloosh impersonation in post-game interviews; there's a new centerfielder in town and Gordie Dougie is - let it be known - coming home. And on a team with those four hitters getting starts along with some guy named Jose, there's not a whole lot of room for Edwin Encarnacion to get ABs. Which is a shame, because even though I've been begging for his release since mid-May, E5 has shown flashes over the past month of becoming the hitter we all thought he could be coming into the season. At 29, Eddie only seems like he's been around forever, and it's still not inconceivable that he could eke out a valuable season or two as a DH on a contending American League team in the near future. He doesn't have Jack Cust's patience and he'll never be Travis Hafner, but there are worse options than a blistering Edwin.
And one such option, it should be noted, is the rapidly disintegrating corpse of Jorge Posada. Understanding, of course, that there are factors in play beyond 2011 performance (5 World Series rings! Derek Jeter!) and that the damn Yankees do already have a reasonably viable DH option in a suddenly-healthy Eric Chavez, I think the Bombers could do worse than Encarnacion as a bat off the bench. And if they're willing to give up a piece or two with minimal upside, why not take the deal? In the event of an injury, you've still got Rajai Davis kicking around, and you know he'll be hungry to win his starting job back - not to mention that Adam Loewen ought to be getting a call sometime in late August or early September. Maybe it's a pipe dream, but I'd love to see Anthopoulos move Encarnacion and recoup some semblance of value. Let's get this done, Brian Cashman.

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