Deal Adds Nearly 1,000 Current Players And Prospects
by: Arianna Smith, CHN Sports Editor, 8:30AM EST
Following a 3rd place finish in the American League East, the New York Yankees have undergone several key steps to improve their chances in 2009. Within the past two months the Yankees front office has landed several key free agents including Mark Texiera and CC Sabathia. However, those deals pale in comparison to today's blockbuster announcement of the purchase of the entire National League West.
Team General Manager Brian Cashman (pictured above) likes the depth that the addition of 5 teams has brought to the Yankee lineup. Cashman gave additional insight into the deal during this morning's press conference:
"The Giants, Dodgers, Rockies, and Diamondbacks all have fine traditions and they will be missed; but the opportunity to pick up this many players, including a possible replacement for Johnny Damon in either Matt Holliday, Eric Byrnes, Chris Young, Brad Hawpe, Matt Kemp, or Aaron Rowand was just too sweet to ignore".
Executive Vice President Hal Steinbrenner was instrumental in the negotiations even though he later admitted that he was unaware that San Diego still had a team. Steinbrenner made it clear that all personel from the Padres would have a chance to compete for spots at either the Single A affiliate Charleston Riverdogs or the Double A affiliate Trenton Thunder.
Some of the new Yankees were less than thrilled to find out that they would not be issued traditional jersey's with numbers. "How do I take the field as #73.5" quipped former Dodger Nomar Garciaparra. Six other better first baseman were quoted as simply 'laughing' in the background following Garciaparra's comment.
"It's unlikely that we will need the services from any of the front office personnel, managers, or coaches from these once proud franchises. We did offer one individual a janitorial role in our bullpen.... that person was Joe Torre" noted current Yankee Manager Joe Girardi.
The Commissioner's office recognizes that National League schedules will be much thinner in 2009 with the 31% reduction of teams, however a net positive was identfied when the Yankees agreed to purchase the home ballparks of the 5 liquidated teams. So far, no indication has been given on possible uses for the facilities; un-named sources have speculated that at least one of the parks could be utilized to finally move the Mets out of New York.