A few years ago, trading away Ichiro Suzuki to the New York Yankees would have been unimaginable for the Seattle Mariners. On Monday, however, it became a reality as the team’s icon was shipped to the Bronx Bombers in exchange for a pittance of prospects.
While it might be unsettling for fans to stomach the prospects of the Yankees acquiring another piece to their puzzle with a division lead already nearing double digits, that’s the reality that baseball finds itself in with the trade deadline approaching and little incentive for teams to make bold moves unless they already are in positions of power.
The Tigers showed the closest thing to all-in we’ve seen thus far in the trade season by parting ways with highly-touted prospect Jacob Turner to acquire Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante. With the team already in first place, however, it’s not exactly groundbreaking for Detroit to sell out in pursuit of a championship this year.
Detroit was always going to be a buyer at the deadline — the team played its hand when they signed Prince Fielder to a megadeal this offseason. The Yankees, similarly, aren’t breaking any ground by dealing for a small piece to help shore up their depth (despite the name recognition Ichiro brings).
We still have yet to see anybody step up to the table and double down on a middling year — and we very well may not. There’s little incentive to take a big swing in the hopes of *only* a wild card berth, and the price of missing could be catastrophic.
To mortgage the future and send away prospects in a year when the wild card only gets you a one-game playoff could not only backfire, but it could do so in spectacular fashion.
Major League Baseball wanted to reward teams for winning their divisions, and rightfully so. But the side effects of that are becoming clearer. Teams ready for the playoffs like the Yankees and Tigers are full steam ahead while charting a course to the postseason. The rest of the league may be left waiting for the trade that hedges their chances at the playoffs, but when matched up against the power-hungry titans of the league, they may find that ship has already sailed.
Photo of the night
Who wants to tell these gentlemen they look a little silly?
Photo via Facebook/WWE
Quote of the night
“We were Penn State.”
–Sports Illustrated, previewing the cover for this week’s upcoming issue
Tweet of the night
ah crap… so i lost every college football game i ever played in?
— Evan Royster (@Evan_Royster) July 23, 2012
Video of the night
Give these guys a gold medal for trick shots.