Quick post before heading out

Quick post before heading out of town for the weekend: The tenor of the Manny irrevocable waivers situation is quite interesting. In particular, it seems as if the local NY press regards the Yankees’ decision to not claim Manny as some sort of victory over the feared Red Sox juggernaut (!), as another “bad beat” for the Red Sox. This is a ridiculous sentiment. The Red Sox lose nothing by placing Manny on waivers and not having him claimed. At the worst, they show to Manny and his agent Jeff Moorad that Manny is an undesirable, that a trade demand means zippo, and their player/agent leverage (beyond an existing mammoth contract) is zero. At best, had the Yankees claimed Manny, the Sox would have been rid of a player they clearly don’t value as much as his raw stats would seem to indicate and had a ton of money to free up. The Sox, “stuck” with Manny post-expiration of waivers seem no worse off than before – they have a mercurial offensive juggernaut with mediocre defensive skills on the roster who may or may not show up every day anyhow, but now other teams know he’s available for .60 on the dollar and Manny can’t yell “trade me now”, since most teams wouldn’t take him free of charge. What really happened here is that both the Yankees and Red Sox made smart moves, the Sox in trying to shed Manny, the Yankees in not taking the bait. I wish the New York baseball writers would get over their insecurities (I can’t figure out what else drives the tenor of the local commentary) and stop looking at this single event as a Red Sox/Yankees competition. They should assess it more in terms of a more global economic shift in baseball. It actually, for the first time in years, looks like salaries may have maxed out, and that teams are recognizing what they can afford, that dollar allocation strategies are changing.

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