BY JOHN McALEAVEY | Sports in the New York metropolitan area never seem to take a day off. The NFL season is certainly heating up, and the Jets and Giants are still in the playoff hunt. Kristaps Porzingis gets better by the game for the Knicks and the Rangers, Islanders, and Devils are all playing winning hockey. The Mets and Yankees too are making news as it is Hot Stove time in Major League Baseball. In fact, both had eventful Tuesday evenings at the Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tennessee. On the second night of the meetings, both teams’ first move was for players who play second base, or 2B.
Since getting a bird’s eye view of Ben Zobrist in this past World Series, the Mets made no secret of their affinity for the Kansas City Royals 2B. Sandy Alderson’s plan was to sign the 34 year-old free agent to replace the defensively challenged Daniel Murphy. Tuesday morning dawned and the Mets brass was confident that “Zorilla”, as he is known, was going to accept their offer. Unfortunately, he had second thoughts. The Eureka, Illinois, native had a eureka moment and signed with the Chicago Cubs. He is now reunited with his former Tampa manager, Joe Maddon. Wow, that was a buzz kill for the Mets. So what will they do now. Turn back to Murphy? How about going with 21 year-old Dilson Herrera who is well thought of? As of this writing, they were very close to trading Jon Niese for the Pirates Neil Walker? What we do know, was that with Zobrist in the fold in Chicago, the Cubs suddenly had a second baseman (2B) they didn’t have room for/need in Starlin Castro.
Enter Yankees General Manager, Brian Cashman. In a painful and ironic twist for Mets fans, the beneficiaries of their miss on Zobrist was the Yankees! Cashman took full advantage of the situation and traded for Castro. Right-handed pitcher Adam Warren and middle infielder, Brendan Ryan were all Cashman had to part with to land the three time all-star. Am I missing something here? Is there another mystery PTBNL (player to be named later) headed to the Cubbies, because if not, the Yankees just stole their new 2B. In fact, the Yanks now have a very solid keystone combination in 25 year-old shortstop, Didi Gregorius, and the 26 year-old Starlin Castro at second. Two young, athletic, middle of the diamond players are what all MLB teams strive to have. Nice trade Mr. Cashman.
Let’s remember, it was the Mets who played in the 2015 World Series. Yet it seems as if it was the Mets who got played in the end here. I guess you could call it a lose-lose situation.
And that is My 2 Sense for this week.
Photo credits: kingsofkauffman.com (Ben Zobrist image) / zimbio.com (Starlin Castro image)