Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Furcal in Pinstripes?

ESPN's Rumor Central reports that the Mets are pursuing Rafael Furcal. And with the Braves' limited budget, he's almost definitely out of Atlanta. But I can definitely see the Yanks going after him to play 2B. Besides, when the Mets pursue someone George wants, he will often up the ante and try to snare him away, the lone exception being Carlos Beltran (and unless he improves, Yankee fans will be grateful that he ended up going to the Mets).

What about Robinson Cano? I see the Yanks trading him for some relief help. In his rookie year, Cano brought to mind Todd Walker: a very good hitter, but not a guy you trust in the field. Also, this might be the high point in Cano's value, especially if he goes the way of Mike Caruso. Cashman might want to get the most bang for his buck here (my apologies to ex-YES cliche-master Fred Hickman).

Plus, Furcal has speed, which Cano does not. Perhaps after getting beaten by the speedy Angels, as well as by Carl Crawford and the Devil Rays many times this year, George will want some more speed in the lineup. And the Junkees haven't had a legitimate base-stealing threat in the lineup since Soriano was traded.

And there's reason to believe Furcal would want to come to New York, considering he has family in the Bronx. The Yanks like the occasional native New Yorker joining the club, like Steve Karsay. Plus, the YES-men will get to focus on his family members at the stadium every game, which should prove to be quite exciting.

The reasons I can see the Yankees passing this one up: a) they're hamstrung by the luxury tax, which is highly unlikely, because we're not talking Carlos Beltran money, b) they want to stick with Cano, either because they think he'll improve in the field or simply because the guy is younger, or c) they can't trade Cano for anyone useful.

---- And by the way, I do think B.J. Ryan will be a Junkee next year. Like with Karsay and Gordon, the Junkees will overpay. What can you do?

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