Via Bill Madden -
Say this for the Yankees and Mets: They went into the baseball trading deadline with low expectations and met them.
Privately, the Yankees were astounded at the seemingly underwhelming return Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik got for Jarrod Washburn (second-tier pitching prospects Luke French and Mauricio Robles) – especially after he’d pulled off such a coup earlier in the week by fetching shortstop Jack Wilson and former 14-game winner Ian Snell out of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ firesale for light-hitting shortstop Ronny Cedeno, defensively challenged catcher/first base prospect Jeff Clement and three low-level pitching prospects. The Yankees thought they could have given Seattle a better package for Washburn, who’s a free agent after the season, but Zduriencik kept asking for top-tier prospects such as outfielder Austin Jackson.
Nevertheless, the Yankees have to be classified with the losers at the deadline, if only because they really needed to add a starting pitcher, while two of their potential postseason opponents, the Tigers (with Washburn) and the Red Sox (with catcher/first baseman Victor Martinez) made significant upgrades.
I’ve seen the reports since Friday that say the Yankees passed on Jarrod Washburn because Jack Zduriencik was insisting on Austin Jackson in return…and, I have to confess, it sounds like Yankees propaganda to me. You know…like…”Hey, we wanted Washburn, but, Seattle tried to rob us blind…and Brian Cashman is too smart for that!”
Sure, maybe the M’s asked for Jackson. I bet they may have asked for Jesus Montero too. Shoot, maybe they even asked for Mariano Rivera? After all, that’s the job of the G.M. – to get the best player in return, if possible. But, on the flipside, the Yankees should have not let it go at that…there’s an art to negotiations, no? If Jack Zduriencik started high on the return for Washburn, the Yankees should have tried to get him down from there…rather than just say “No way!” and walk away.
Maybe the M’s would have taken a package of Dellin Betances and Ian Kennedy for Jarrod Washburn? When you look at what Seattle got, Luke French and Mauricio Robles, it’s not an insult to say Betances and Kennedy are somewhat close to that…
In any event, this whole “They wanted Austin Jackson and that was the end of it” thing just bothers me…because it really does make it seem like the Yankees really weren’t trying here…