If not, then why are we gloating about them?
The Yankees have made it clear that the opening day second baseman will be Stephen Drew. And they made it sound like - no matter how bad Drew looks this spring, he'll be the opening second baseman.
While the Yankees have 25-year-old second baseman Jose Pirela whose 19-for-8 and batting .421 this spring, expected to backup Drew. Forgetting to mention that Drew is 18-for-2 this spring, batting .105.
I understand the younger player is gonna play with more fight and fire, to impress the coaches and the team in general, while the veteran player is just getting himself ready for the season to start and not worried about impressing anyone. But this situation is different. It's different because I think we all (fans, coached and media) know that Pirela is the real deal and we all know how bad Drew looked last season.
The main reason Drew is back with this team, is because of his depended defense. He sure-handed in second. And with this offense in general being a question mark this year, Yankees are looking to save more runs.
Rob Refsnyder is another highly touted second baseman the Yankees have, who we all thought was for sure gonna start the season at second. The kid can hit -- he's 16-for-6 and batting .375, but a defensive liability. With this offense, Yankees aren't gonna take a chance with Refsynder at second.
Pirela is the guy. He can hit, play defense and steal base. You ask me, or anyone whose been keeping up with the Yankees this spring, who should start at second on opening day, it's Jose Pirela. And unlike Refsynder, he can play defense.
You can easily witness the talent on Pirela. Is he Robinson Cano? Of course not. But he looks like one those solid second basemans you build a great team with. I always say, he reminds me of Howie Kendrick.
So if the Yankees aren't gonna play Pirela or Refsnyder, what are they doing? Well, my next best guess would be is a future trade. They could be hyping these two for a potential trade, for a big pitcher or a big bat.
The two names that pop up, that will be pretty much linked to the Yankees before the trade deadline is Troy Tulowitzki and Cole Hamels. But the other name that not just Yankee fans should for, but teams who'll be in it in September, is pitcher Johnny Cueto. Cueto is gonna be free agent after the season and the Cincinnati Reds -- who might not be postseason contention this season -- will be looking to get something for him. If the Reds are out of it, expect Cueto to be dealt.
You put Cueto in the Yankees, Red Sox or Blue Jays -- he'll instantly make them a contender.
Probably the Yankees are hyping these players for a trade for a big pitcher. If they trade for Tulowitzki, they can easily move Didi Gregorius to second base. But it's still hard to see the Yankees go all out for Tulo.
As for Hamels, it's 50/50. He makes sense for the Yankees because he's lefty pitcher -- lefties fit for the Yankee Stadium structure. And he's making no money for a top flight pitcher. Also he's got four years left in his contract and with 5th year that has a $6 million dollar buyout. I mean...you can't beat that. Although...how much is he gonna cost in prospects.
Hamels isn't a great pitcher; he's a 'very, very good' pitcher. But he'll make your team great if you already have an ace and solid two in the rotation.
It would be very difficult for me to deal Pirela away. To be honest, from all the other touted names like Aaron Judge, Luis Severino and Greg Bird, it'd be easy to deal them, than Pirela. Because I've seen Pirela play in the majors and he's ready -- he's ready to have full season and a major league career.
I would call the Philadelphia Phillies and tell them they can choose one of the top three Yankee prospects, for Cole Hamels. I would only trade one piece for Hamels. No package. The only package I'll give up is Severino and Refsnyder. That's it.
I'm doing the same thing for Cueto, if the Reds put him on the block. Maybe even less, since he's gonna be free agent next offseason and ask for big money. Yankees would have to trade top prospects and give him multi-year contract, that'll be worth around $100 million.
If any major trade will happen where Pirela and Refsnyder, it'll most likely be for Hamels. And why not, if you're not gonna play them. At least trade them and get something for them.