NATIONAL HARBOR, MD. — When Brian Cashman heard about Boston’s trade for Chris Sale, one name came to mind: Kevin Durant.
“That’s a big one,” Cashman said of the deal that includes the Red Sox sending four prospects to the White Sox for the lefthanded ace. “That’s a blockbuster. It was a ‘Wow.’ Obviously they gave up a lot and they got a lot. Boston’s like the Golden State Warriors now in baseball; they’ve got their Durant, their Green, Thompson and Curry. It’s a big one.”
Sale — who is under contract for three more seasons and $38 million — joins David Price and Cy Young winner Rick Porcello atop the Boston rotation, making the Red Sox prohibitive favorites in the AL East next season.
Chicago received infielder Yoan Moncada and righthander Michael Kopech, two of Boston’s top five prospects. Also headed to the White Sox are righty Victor Diaz and outfielder Luis Basabe, a package that helped the Red Sox complete the deal only a day after it looked like Sale was heading to the Nationals.
Cashman had suggested for the past two months that he was not in position to acquire a player such as Sale, who would have cost the Yankees a number of the top-level prospects they have worked so hard to collect.
Chris Sale is the MLB equivalent of the Golden State Warriors’ latest superstar addition, according to the Yanks GM.
“I’ve talked to the Chicago White Sox about a number of their different players, but the Sale price tag, you were going to have to ring a bell,” Cashman said. “We’re not prepared to back the truck up and get the one player left that you might need. We’re going in the right direction and building toward something, but it will take a little time.”
Under the watch of George Steinbrenner, the Yankees would have responded to Boston’s huge move with a counter of their own, but Cashman noted that “those days haven’t been around for a long time.”
“I don’t think we react, I don’t think we’re emotional,” Cashman said. “I think we have a game plan that we’re going to continue to stay diligent and determined with and I think it will serve us well over time. I think where Boston certainly is sitting currently and where we’re currently sitting, we’re on different time frames. Our efforts are to be the best we can possibly be, but with a strong mind for the future.”
The Yankees are in the midst of a youth movement, counting on players such as Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird and Aaron Judge in 2017 with others including Clint Frazier, Gleyber Torres, James Kaprielian and Justus Sheffield coming down the pike.
With that in mind, dealing a package of top prospects for a player — even one of Sale’s caliber — didn’t fit with the Yankees’ long-term goals.
“From the chair I sit in, you make sure you have to honestly evaluate yourself, what your strengths are, what your areas of deficiency are, and how long it’s going to take to address all of them in a proper way,” Cashman said. “Certainly we look to speed up that process at all times, but it’s not something that one move is going to wipe away all our needs.
“Backing the truck up and unloading the best of what you’ve got, when the dust settles, you still would have other areas of need to fill potentially in the short or longer term,” Cashman said. “You’ve been depleted by doing that. I just don’t think you’re in as good a position. We’re trying to get back to the point where we are formidable and set up for both short- and long-term. We’re getting there and I’m proud of the work we’re doing, proud of the progress we’re making.”
So if the Red Sox are baseball’s equivalent of the Warriors, what does that make the Yankees?
“If we’re the NBA, we’re in the pack of contenders looking to take Golden State down,” Cashman said.
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News