For the past few weeks, the Yankees have been making trades that have helped bolster their roster, from Brandon McCarthy to Stephen Drew. However, a trade that they’ve made today was quite peculiar: they traded Matt Thornton, who had a 2.55 ERA this season with the ball club. The only thing the Yankees get out of this deal is dumping Thornton’s salary of $4 Million, which goes into next year.
So what were the Yankees thinking when they traded Thornton?
“Obviously, he’s a quality pitcher and we made the trade today,” Joe Girardi said. “As I think about it, we have a pretty young staff here when it comes to our starting rotation and multiple inning guys have been extremely important to us. He’s thrown almost 25 innings for us this year, and he’s done a good job for us, but we felt that with the emergence of some of the young minor leaguers that we have in our system who are coming really fast, we decided to make the trade. It gives us flexibility for this year and next year moving forward.”
Brian Cashman mirrored Girardi’s thoughts on the flexibility of the team. In the meantime, the Yankees will use veteran Rich Hill as their primary lefty.
I could use him in those situations very similar to where I used Matt, in a sense,” Girardi said. “For right now, that’s probably how I would use him, but I might have to use him a little bit more than that just because of the way that our bullpen is right now.”
— David Robertson has played in four games straight, so he’ll be unavailable for the save tonight. Who will Joe Girardi go to for the save should the need arise?
“That’s a good question,” he said. “We’ll see where we’re at. As I said, we’ve got some tired guys, but Dellin is someone I feel that could do it.”
— Masahiro Tanaka played catch for a second day in a row and he’s still reporting no pain. It’s still a long way to go before Tanaka can take the mound, but these last two days have been great progress.
“Fifty throws at 60 feet, increasing the intensity a little bit. Tomorrow is a planned day off and then he’ll go again Thursday.”
— CC Sabathia spoke to the media before today’s game about his recent surgery. He was thrilled he was able to avoid microfracture surgery and he was also happy the surgery was just removing a bone spur from his knee. However, has little to no cartilage in his knee, so it’s something he’ll have to monitor for the rest of his career. Nevertheless, he’s encouraged to get back on a Major League mound.
“I think they felt that the surgery went extremely well,” Girardi said. “There was talk that there was going to be microfracture and they got in there and said, ‘You know what? This is just a cleanup. We need to clean it up.’ That’s extremely encouraging for us and we feel that he’ll be ready to go in spring training.”
— Joe Girardi never fails to speak highly of Brett Gardner, but he never thought he would see his lead-off hitter with 15 home runs.
“I always felt that he had double-digit (power),” he said. “I can’t tell you that I ever thought that he had double digits with a ‘2’ in front of it, but it’s not out of the question with where he’s at now.”