Yankees Should Listen To Pete Rose Who Has A Good Idea

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Yankees third basemen combined for an  OPS of .690 last season, putting them next to last in the majors. Prospects for improvement in 2017 remain a wish and a prayer. Leave it to The Hit Man, though, to come up with the idea that, just maybe, isn’t so far fetched.

Yankees third baseman, Chase Headley, is scheduled to be paid $13 million for each of the next two seasons. Come hell or high water; the team will see to it that he earns that money by playing in a minimum of 130-140 games this season.

Behind the scenes, it is likely that Brian Cashman has worked the phones in attempts to trade Headley, but understandably, there haven’t been any takers. But what if the Yankees took the initiative by not only offering Headley but a couple of their much-heralded prospects as a package in which he received second-billing when the trade is announced. Would that change anything?

Credit Pete Rose with an idea I just can’t get out of my head this morning. While in Tampa, Rose, who is hardly bashful and never speaks anonymously, told Mark Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times:

"“He’s the type of guy you’d rather see — maybe I shouldn’t say this — on a really, really good team,” Rose said. “Guys like Evan should be in the playoffs, in the World Series. You’ve got the best players in the game, you want them to be in front of the national media, putting their talents on display. …“I don’t want to say Tampa’s not a great city because I got my start here, but it’s a small city compared to the press. So a lot of people don’t know about Longoria that should know about him. They don’t want to hear that here, that they should lose him. But I’d rather if he was on the Yankees or on the Cubs or someone like that. … A big market.”"

Evan Longoria in a New York Yankees uniform changes everything. And yes, he doesn’t come cheap with about $95 million remaining on one of “those” contracts. You know, the kind the Yankees are finally going to be rid of and the same kind we’ve been chastising them about for years. But you know what, there are exceptions to everything.

He plays through injuries even when he shouldn’t and he’s never been associated with even a hint of trouble or controversy. In short, he’s tailor made for the Yankees.

Evan Longoria merits an exception. He’s only 31 and if the Yankees can get three good years out of him and win a couple of Championships, what’s not to like?

Pete Rose wouldn’t say it, but I will. Tampa is a sorry excuse for a city with a major league franchise. They play their home games in a tent where a big crowd still leaves 30,000 empty seats. They operate on a shoestring, and there is no foreseeable help coming from the City Fathers that would enable the Rays to move to a new venue.

Somehow, in much the same way that Billy Beane patchworked together a team in Oakland for so long, the Rays have managed to remain competitive over the last decade or so, but the proverbial s__t is hitting the fan, and the genie is out of the bottle.

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Evan Longoria is the face of the Tampa Bay Rays and has been for some time. But would anyone notice that he’s gone? And the Rays will lose with him in the same way they will lose without him.

And besides, if they can trade their budding star second baseman, Logan Forsythe, to the Dodgers and seriously entertain the idea of trading Chris Archer as they have, parting with Longoria is a natural step up from that. The only thing is, though, it’s now or never.

Rose says Longoria belongs on the Cubs or the Yankees because he has earned the right to play in a big city market so the light can shine on him. The Cubs don’t need him, though, the Yankees do. If nothing else, Longoria, much like Derek Jeter was, has been a model of consistency throughout his career.

If nothing else, Longoria, much like Derek Jeter was, has been a model of consistency throughout his career.

Baseball Reference includes a nifty little stat on their player’s pages they call a “162 Game Average”. In Longoria’s case and over nine years, he’s been a run-producing machine, averaging 31 home runs, 102 RBI, while scoring another 90 more. He plays through injuries even when he shouldn’t, and he’s never been associated with even a hint of trouble or controversy. In short, he’s tailor made for the Yankees.

Intra-Division trades are rare and difficult to enact. But again, we’re talking about the Rays here and not the Yankees division rival Red Sox, or even, the Toronto Blue Jays who would be more inclined not to strengthen their immediate competition.

Pete Rose has the genesis of a good idea here. Let’s not let it die on the vine.