PLAY TAPS: Champions Do Not Trade Winning Pitchers for ANOTHER First Baseman

In today’s article by Mark Feinsand, you can find out more about our new extra first baseman — who split his time in right field — who has replaced Shawn Chacon.  Excerpted, here is the winning record he put together, despite significant DL time and no rehab starts:

"Chacon went 7-3 with a 2.85 ERA in 14 games (12 starts) for the Yankees last season, helping lead New York to an eighth consecutive American League East title. This year, Chacon was penciled in as the Yankees’ fourth starter, but he went 4-3 with a 6.58 ERA in 11 starts before being yanked from the rotation.

In six relief outings, Chacon is 1-0 with a 9.00 ERA, making him 5-3 with a 7.00 ERA for the season. He had a memorable outing last Wednesday, escaping a no-outs, bases-loaded jam against Texas without allowing a run."

Let me get this right.  Despite pitching with an undiagnosed injury, despite spending significant time on the disabled list, and despite apparently not meriting a rehab start or two in the minors, Chacon builds a winning record in both starts and relief appearances this year.  Despite his winning records as both a starter and reliever in a year of injury, and despite his consistent excellence which undeniably made the postseason feasible last season, and despite his youth and future — rare qualities on the Yankee rotation — and despite the Yankees’ desperation for pitching, we traded a WINNING PITCHER for a position player who isn’t even injured?  Andy Phillips and Jason Giambi are healthy at first base.  We just traded for Bobby Abreu who will play right field.  Aaron Guiel has been astonishing off the bench and in right field, but we sent him down to Columbus and brought in Craig Wilson?  Nothing against Wilson, but…

…Is this about Joe Torre?  Is this about his ulcer?  (Does he have an ulcer or just look like he does?)  You remember that quote, right?  Something to the effect that he didn’t enjoy watching Chacon pitch because he loads the bases, etc.  Oh, sure, it was great last August, when Chacon was new and "unflappable," or something like that, but this year sounds like it’s all about Joe’s stomach lining. 

One comment


    Not much of a trade, really. Wilson IS a good player, but we already have Andy Phillips and now we have three third basemen…Giambi needs to play the position to stay in gear, as you know. I like seeing Craig Wilson in pinstripes, but I adored Chacon and I believe everyone is entitled to a rough patch. Notice WE COULDN’T get a better pitcher.

    I remember what Jim Duquette said about not trading Steve Trachsel. It was something like, if he traded him, he would have to go out and try to get someone just like him. Not that many steady pitchers out there. Even Minaya who tried to trade Trachsel, didn’t in the end. Some of it, I’m sure is that he couldn’t get what he wanted. But, obviously he felt he was worth holding out for, at least.

    Why not have sent Chacon to Triple A for a while to get himself together. He’s young.

    By the way, WE couldn’t get Kip Wells, but the Rangers could? Since Vasquez, we haven’t been able to trade for a young arm. And you know, much as I found Vasquez difficult, he’s done some good work. Not much worse than Jaret Wright…and he’s not as injury prone.

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