The New York Yankees are notoriously the most conceited team in North American professional sports. Even when their roster and farm system begs for them to be sellers in free agency and at the trading deadline, the Yankees–sometimes stubbornly so–generally believe that they’re a trade or a free agency signing away from being title contenders again. Their GM, Brian Cashman, has built a reputation on being the greediest GM of them all. There’s no such thing as addition by subtraction where he’s concerned. It’s more like, ‘the more the merrier,’ until his pinstriped crew finds themselves playing meaningful autumn baseball again.
So, it has come as a complete surprise to just about everybody that the Yankees sold at and before this July’s trading deadline. Their All-Star closer, Aroldis Chapman, was sent over to the Cubs just over a week ago, and today the Yankees have agreed to send their best current offensive player, Carlos Beltran, who is having a career year in the twilight of his MLB campaign, to the Texas Rangers. Beltran is hitting .304 with 22 home runs and 67 RBI’s, and is playing like the Beltran of old (Royals, Astros, Mets), a Beltran whose name consistently came up in MVP talks.
He’ll be taking his talents back to Texas–he played for the Astros for half-a-season back in 2005–where he’ll try to help the Rangers maintain their AL East lead and return to the playoffs. Rangers slugger Prince Fielder underwent season-ending neck surgery last week, so the timing couldn’t be more perfect.