This trade might not seem like a win at first glance. Kyle Farnsworth is having his best season since 2005 (ironically when he spent half the year with Detroit), while Pudge is having a pretty average season (for him). But Cashman, unlike the Marte/Nady deal, is selling high on Farnsy. Does anyone really trust Farnsworth despite a good season? It's quite possible (probable in my opinion) that Farnsworth was on a hot streak until his last two outings, when he gave up four hits in 1.1 innings. Cashman sold at the right time.
The Yanks are far more in need of a catcher than a reliever. The backup before today was Chad Moeller; now it's Jose Molina, one of the best defensive catchers in baseball this year.
Pudge will be a free agent after the season, and he'll likely be a Type A, netting the Yanks extra first and compensation round draft picks (if he declines arbitration (which Pete Abe says the Yanks won't even offer)). On the other hand, Farnsworth looks to be a Type B, which would only net us a compensation round pick. Would Pudge accept a one-year deal for $10-11 million? Or does he want to try to get one last multi-year deal?
There's more: the relief core is the strongest part of our team, so we're trading from an area of strength for an area of need. And the relief core will only get stronger: Brian Bruney is on his way back, Mark Melancon made a stellar debut for Scranton, Scott Strickland is having a phenomenal year there and Chris Britton is having another typically great season.
Pudge's game at the plate is much the same as Molina's, only he's far more successful. In other words, he's a hacker who can hit. He takes just 3.4 pitches per plate appearance, which is slightly below Jose Molina. Behind the plate, he's one of the best there's ever been, gunning down 36% of basestealers this year and 47% for his career.
- The trade takes some of the attention away from Joba (again). He was the starter the night the Nady/Marte deal was announced. Anyway, over his last four starts, the dude has completely dominated the opposition: 25.2 ip, 21 h, 5 er, 2 bb, 32 k.