There’s a bit in John Mulaney’s new standup special (filmed in Boston!) in which he discusses a time when he was hopelessly desperate for cocaine but had no access to a bank account. Without any cash on hand, Mulaney concocted a plan to purchase a brand new Rolex with a credit card and then immediately pawn it. The only problem was that he was so obviously desperate for a fix that, upon purchasing a $12,000 watch, he sold it minutes later for just $6,000. It’s my understanding that cocaine is generally expensive and this is far from my area of expertise, but I gotta say: that seems like something of an overpay.
Mulaney relays this story not to make light of drug addiction, but to use humor to restate a timeless truth: desperate people do not always make the best decisions.
Right now, the New York Yankees are desperate — not for Florida Snow, but for outfield production. Yankees outfielders currently rank just 23rd in the league in bWAR. That doesn’t seem too awful, until you remember one thing: one of the Yankees outfielders is Aaron Freaking Judge. Outside of Judge, the Yankees have gotten almost nothing out of the brutal collection of outfielders that’s included Oswaldo Cabrera (.570 OPS), Aaron Hicks, (-0.6 bWAR), Isiah Kiner-Falefa (.198 batting average), Jake Bauers (71 OPS+), and the dearly departed Franchy Cordero (team-leading 34.6% strikeout rate).
And so, three days ago the Yankees did something desperate: they traded a teenage pitching prospect to the Red Sox for Greg Allen, a player who has accumulated fewer career bWAR than the outfielder the Red Sox signed off the scrap heap to replace him, Bradley Zimmer.
Now to be completely fair to our frenemies in the Bronx, we need to get something out of the way: the prospect in question, Diego Hernandez, is unlikely to even make the Major Leagues, let alone turn into a productive pitcher. This is true of every single teenage baseball player who, like Hernandez, has yet to advance beyond the Dominican Summer League. And further, Hernandez reportedly won’t even play in 2023 due to a recent elbow surgery.
But nevertheless, Hernandez did have a strong season in the DSL last year, posting a 2.10 ERA and striking out 48 hitters in 34.1 innings of work. And while his fastball currently sits in the low 90s, he has a projectile 6-foot frame and a nice collection of offspeed stuff. Check out this frisbee slider!
As for the Red Sox, the fact is that Greg Allen was never going to play in Fenway. With Adam Duvall’s imminent return, he was, at best, Boston’s seventh outfielder, and a clause in his contract essentially forced the Red Sox to either promote him or let him go. I never even did a Meet The New Guy for him!
Chaim Bloom took someone who had absolutely no value to the Red Sox and turned him into someone who, if everything breaks right, could give Yankees fans Garrett Whitlock flashbacks five years from now. So yeah, remember kids: stay away from that devil’s dandruff.