Scene: New York Post newsroom, bottom of the tenth inning, Game 4 of the World Series.
Editor: He struck Cabrera out! It’s over.
Joel Sherman: Oh well. Season’s over. Good night.
Editor: Wait, where are you going? I need a column on how this relates to the Yankees, and I need it by morning!
Joel Sherman: But … what possible … I mean …
Editor: Do it!
In so many ways Lincecum is Alex Rodriguez: spectacularly rich, successful, famous beyond the contours of a baseball field and even the owner of a catchy nickname. He also lost his job in the postseason … Lincecum has done more with a lesser role while those asked to fill in for a superstar have done so brilliantly … Look, if Rodriguez would have hit in a reduced role or been picked up by those around him, you wouldn’t be reading this sentence. Instead …
I really can’t think of a column with less of a coherent point. If someone can tell me how a benched position player can contribute in the way a pitcher moved into a key bullpen role can, fine, I’ll accept it. But this is not just an apples and oranges comparison. It’s apples and rudimentary lathes.
Folks, it’s not always about the Yankees. Trying to make it so leads to nightmares like this.
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.