No, this isnt’ a rumor or even a rumbling. It’s the wholesale invention — and a creative one — by Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News: the Giants and the Cubs trade Barry Zito for Alfonso Soriano. The rationale: the Cubs pitching stinks and the Giants offense needs help, and since both guys are contractual millstones, why not?
Well, apart from the fact that (a) Zito wouldn’t help the Cubs’ pitching so much; and (b) Soriano wouldn’t help the Giants’ offense so much that it would be worth it to either general manager to simultaneously admit that they made such a giant mistake in those deals and to take such a big chance on a high profile deal which would only serve to underscore just how terrible those deals were in the first place.
And, yes, we all know how bad these deals were already, but there’s a difference between the public knowing something and the public being able to say “see, he admitted it!” There’s a politics to this kind of thing, and neither Brian Sabean nor Jim Hendry are likely to want to mess with it too much.
So yes, it’s a fun idea to kick around. But it’s the kind of thing that would never happen, like, ever.
The Mariners acquired Yankees’ right-hander Nick Rumbelow in exchange for minor league righty Juan Then and left-hander JP Sears, per an official announcement on Saturday. Rumbelow made 17 appearances for the Yankees in 2015 before undergoing Tommy John surgery and could provide some bullpen depth for the Mariners in 2018.
The 26-year-old right-hander spent the majority of his 2017 season in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he delivered an 0.62 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 over 29 innings. The Yankees didn’t rush Rumbelow into a full workload after he missed the 2016 season recovering from Tommy John, but he didn’t appear to have any significant setbacks with his health or performance and should be ready to compete for a role next spring.
Sears, 21, was ranked 21st in the Mariners’ organization by MLB Pipeline. He was drafted in the 11th round of the 2017 draft and features a deceptive, low-velocity fastball that he can throw for strikes to either side of the plate. In his first year of pro ball, he split 17 games between Short-Season A Everett and Single-A Clinton, turning in an 0.65 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 16.6 SO/9 across two levels.
Then, 17, also completed his first year of pro ball after signing with the Mariners as a free agent. He went 2-2 in 13 games of rookie ball, pitching to a 2.64 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 in 61 1/3 innings. Neither Sears nor Then will take the mound for the Yankees anytime soon, and offloading Rumbelow to the Mariners should clear up some room on New York’s 40-man roster as they prepare for the upcoming Rule 5 Draft.