Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Better on paper?
The Yankees completed a bit of a head-scratching deal this afternoon, sending Kyle Farnsworth to Detroit in exchange for the Tigers' catcher Ivan Rodriguez.
While it's long been a dream of Yankee fans to get rid of the Goggled One, in this case his reputation precedes him. Farnsworth, for all his inconsistencies, had been pitching very well of late; in fact, since Joba Chamberlain made the transition to starter and Farnsworth inherited the 8th inning job, he's only given up runs in four appearances out of 20. He throws hard coming out of the pen -- nearly a strikeout per inning -- and has actually served as a solid set-up man for Mariano. And who inherits the 8th inning role now?
Rodriguez, on the other hand, is merely a shell of his former self. He hasn't hit for power since he stopped taking steroids. (Oh, right, allegedly. And I suppose it's just a coincidence that his body has been breaking down since.) And even his defense has suffered as years of work behind the plate have worn him down.
Regardless, I can see the rationale behind getting Pudge. Rodriguez is a step up defensively from Jose Molina and even in decline is a better hitter than Molina will ever be. In the end, this will help both teams, though I can't help wondering if the affect on the Yankee bullpen may offset any gains made by having Rodriguez behind home plate.