Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Yankees finalize trade for Andrew McCutchen

50 Comments

11:46 AM: The deal is official. The Yankees have acquired Andrew McCutchen from the San Francisco Giants along with cash considerations in exchange for minor league infielder Abiatal Avelino and minor league righty Juan De Paula.

The cash considerations are no small matter. McCutchen is not owed much for the remainder of the year — only about $2.5 million — but as both the Giants and the Yankees are very close to the luxury tax threshold and do not wish to exceed it, they needed to split that money up in a pretty precise way.

McCutchen will be with the Yankees for the season’s final month and, as it appears likely, the Wild Card game. If they proceed beyond that it’ll be the playoffs followed by free agency for the 2013 NL MVP. For now, he’ll look like this, absent the beard of course:

THURSDAY: ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the Yankees have acquired outfielder Andrew McCutchen from the Giants in exchange for a pair of prospects. One of those prospects is middle infielder Abiatal Avelino, Sherman notes. The other prospect is not yet known.

Aaron Judge has taken longer than expected to recover from a fractured wrist, so McCutchen gives them some extra punch until Judge comes back.

McCutchen, 31, has hit .255/.357/.415 with 15 home runs and 55 RBI in 568 plate appearances this season with the Giants. He’s owed the remainder of his $14.75 million salary and is a free agent after the season.

Avelino, 23, is rated as the No. 23 prospect in the Yankees’ system. This season, between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Avelino hit .287/.333/.446 with 15 home runs and 66 RBI across 501 trips to the plate.

The Yankees and Red Sox will play on artificial turf in London

Getty Images
7 Comments

Major League Baseball wants to give the United Kingdom a taste of America’s pastime when the Yankees and Red Sox visit next month. Based on the playing surface they’re going to use, however, they may as well have sent the Blue Jays and the Rays:

Major League Baseball has access to Olympic Stadium for 21 days before the games on June 29 and 30, the sport’s first regular-season contests in Europe, and just five days after to clear out. The league concluded that there was not enough time to install real grass.

Starting June 6, gravel will be placed over the covering protecting West Ham’s grass soccer pitch and the running track that is a legacy from the 2012 Olympics. The artificial turf baseball field, similar to modern surfaces used by a few big league clubs, will be installed atop that.

At least they will not use the old-style sliding pits/turf infield that you used to always see. That’ll all be dirt. There are comments in the article about how it’s a cost savings too since they’re going back next year and won’t have to bulldoze and re-grow grass. Aaron Boone and Xander Bogaerts were asked and they don’t seem to care since it’s similar to the surface they play on in Toronto or down in Florida against the Rays.

Still, this whole deal is not aimed at doing whatever is minimally necessary to pull off a ballgame. It’s supposed to be a showcase on a global stage in a world capital. I have no idea how anyone thinks that doing that on a surface everyone has decided is obsolete for baseball playing purposes unless the ballpark is either outdated or in an arid environment is a good idea.

It’s certainly not baseball putting its best foot forward. Major League Baseball could’ve avoided this by choosing a different venue or even building a temporary one like MLB has done on a few occasions in the past. That, I suppose, would limit the revenue-generation capacity of these games, however, that’s off the table in the Rob Manfred Era.

Yankees and Red Sox on turf. What a decision.