This morning as I read the Yankees are close to bringing Alfonso Soriano back on board, ending the Cubs numerous attempts to trade him, it became very clear to me. The Yankees are trying way too hard to stay in a race they have have little chance in. They've taken on a ridiculous contract in Vernon Wells already and now are close to taking on another one. Is there anyone who thinks they're winning the World Series?
I suppose it's noble of them to try and patch all the holes they can in hopes of giving aging veterans Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, and especially Mariano Rivera something positive they can ride into the sunset with. Yet with a still fairly new stadium that is hardly packing them in, Matt Harvey is a much bigger show across town. Imagine that.
Chicago just rented out Matt Garza to Texas for Mike Olt, Justin Grimm, and C.J.Edwards who are all highly regarded in the Texas system. It makes one wonder who is doing what's best? By all means, Texas is in the race and need a strong arm so it's a nice move on their part. The Cubs on the other hand are continuing their project of picking up young major league ready talent.
Here are the Phillies, once again below .500 with a major decision to make. They face two tough opponents in St. Louis and Detroit before the deadline which could widen the gap even further between them and Atlanta. They could pick up some players and have a decent run and maybe finish off the season a contender. Or they could look at the players they have in Chase Utley, Delmon Young, Michael Young, Jimmy Rollins, Carlos Ruiz, Jonathan Papelbon, and (bites tongue) Cliff Lee. All these players could be objects that are desired by clubs are much more in a race to October than Philadelphia is.
It's literally a coin flip situation and one that will define Ruben Amaro Jr. as he contemplates giving some of the core players that have won the hearts of the city one last shot at the title are selling them off to do so elsewhere in exchange for a new core. I watched as a kid as the Phillies tried to patch holes around Mike Schmidt and Steve Carlton and it only got worse as the years went on. I watch today as the Yankees try and do the same thing with their core players and it seems like a lost cause and comes off as desperate. It's not an insult to Soriano who could put a better team over the top. I just don't see him solving all the problems in the Bronx.
I find myself weighing the possibilities because of course parts of me wants these guys to go for it. I see the market though and unless there's a real chance at trading for Giancarlo Stanton (which there isn't), I just don't feel there is a significant difference maker out there. Though when surveying the teams that are looking to buy, there are a lot of great opportunities here.
So now is the time. Take the next few days and enjoy watching some of the players you have grown to love over the years. They might not be here this time next week. The right move is to look to get younger and back up Cole Hamels and some of the younger players who are on the rise such as Jesse Biddle and Meikel Franco. A new team is coming and now is the time to give them some insurance.