Yankees See Glimmer of Hope From Trades Made


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Even in the last week of the 1996 season, the Yankees were still trying to get out of a trade they made with the Brewers a month before. They said that both Pat Listach and Graeme Lloyd were damaged when they were sent to them.

Listach was never on the Yankees team. Lloyd’s ERA in 13 regular-season games for the 1996 Yankees was 17.47, and it wasn’t clear if he would even be on the team for the playoffs. But here’s the thing: Lloyd was so good against lefties that year that the Yankees might not have won the championship without his work in October.

It’s a good example of why you shouldn’t make quick decisions about business deals. But we can’t help it, even more so now than in 1996 because everyone is just one click away from an opinion.

This season, the Yankees‘ trade work has been getting the kind of bad grades that are usually given to the worst student in the class. Jordan Montgomery went to the Cardinals and, for some reason, turned into Steve Carlton, while Harrison Bader is as broken as Listach was in 1996. Luis Castillo got away from them and became the best player on the Mariners. Joey Gallo is even doing well for the Dodgers.

The Yankees, on the other hand, didn’t look good at first, and they played like they were going to sell instead of buy at the deadline.

But Andrew Bentintendi started hitting well and well in important situations about 2 ¹/₂ weeks ago, and he kept doing that in both Subway Series games. After three bad starts, Frankie Montas finally had a good one on Tuesday.

Aaron Judge’s continued brilliance helped the Yankees beat the Mets 4-2 and reverse a two-game Subway sweep at Citi Field last month. They’ve won three straight and now face the AL’s worst A’s and Angels.

This victory prevented the Rays from closing to within seven games of the Yankees, their smallest lead since June 9.

The bad play of recent weeks feels like a Judge blast: going, going, and if not gone, tempered.

Judge homered again. In the fourth inning, he hit a 453-foot home run off Taijuan Walker. 48 homers. Philly’s Kyle Schwarber has 34. The 14-homer gap is the most since 1933, when Jimmie Foxx beat Babe Ruth 48-34.

Judge drove in a run in the seventh inning after Benintendi’s RBI single against Joely Rodriguez broke a 2-2 tie. Benintendi has three consecutive two-hit games. He’s hit.302 in his last 18 games. He’s the anti-Gallo the Yankees thought they were getting from the Royals, able to put bat to ball in New York.

With nearly 50,000 at Yankee Stadium for a Subway game, Montas approached the starter the Yankees thought they were acquiring from the A’s. In three Yankee starts, Montas allowed 14 runs in 14 innings. Tuesday, he went into survival mode. In the first inning, he had two runners on and no outs. Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s second-inning double play helped him escape.

Montas gave the Yankees 5 2/3 innings of two-run ball in a playoff-like environment, and he was acquired to work behind Gerrit Cole in October.

That eased the Yankees’ off-day. False. Cole isn’t in. Boone might use Ron Guidry as a lefty bullpen option before Aroldis Chapman. Josh Donaldson remains an offensive nonfactor.

But the Yankees no longer feel like they are in a crisis because they have won three straight games. This is because Lou Trivino, another player they got at the last minute, pitched 2 ¹/₃ innings of relief on Sunday that won the game.

That is another trade that works out well for them.

What do you think, leave a comment below?

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