Time and time again, the modern day New York Yankees, who have about-faced from behemoth to laughingstock, manage to outdo themselves each and every opportunity they get. Tuesday's trade deadline was arguably the pinnacle of their missteps since the 2018 ALDS.
To summarize the deadline, the Yankees and general manager Brian Cashman felt strongly that the team was "in it to win it" but made no moves to suggest that was the case. Acquiring Keynan Middleton and Spencer Howard can't be categorized as "buys" when your roster is looking for legitimate support.
The Yankees were also the last team to make a trade leading up to the deadline, and they did so with about five minutes to go in the proceedings, which makes it feel like they snuck one in there just so they could avoid being the only ones who sat on their thumbs for days on end.
What's funny, however, is that the Yankees were one halfway decent trade away from shifting the negative spotlight to the rival Boston Red Sox, who had an equally embarrassing deadline that's now flying under the radar because of how incompetent the Yankees actively decided to be.
Boston made one trade on Tuesday -- they acquired Luis Urías, who was demoted to Triple-A, from the Brewers in exchange for pitcher Bradley Blalock. Before that, they dealt Kiké Hernandez to the Dodgers and acquired pitcher Mauricio Llovera from the Giants last week (who was walked off by those same Giants on Sunday). Not only that, they failed to sell any of their rentals (Adam Duvall and James Paxton) and had rumors leak that Alex Verdugo was on the block.
Yankees let Red Sox off the hook after Boston's equally embarrassing trade deadline
The Red Sox are two games better than the Yankees, kind of stuck in the same postseason no man's land (with a far better offense) ... but they essentially did the exact same thing the Yankees did. They didn't buy. They didn't sell. They didn't really do anything to improve the now or the future.
And they managed to spook Verdugo, who was supposed to be one of their most important core players ever since he arrived in 2020 after the Mookie Betts trade. They failed to get any assets for Duvall and Paxton, both of whom are on expiring deals.
Chaim Bloom claimed the Sox are committed to the future, but what does that even mean after his deadline deals? Whatever he meant by it, the Boston media wasn't taking it well, as Bloom was ripped to shreds for most of Tuesday evening and into Wednesday.
Bloom said, "We're underdogs this year and we just tried to stay true to that." Once again, Boston embracing an "underdog" narrative created by ... themselves. Almost as embarrassing as Cashman saying the Yankees are "in it to win it" despite being a below .500 team whenever they don't play the Athletics and Royals.
The Red Sox chose to be underdogs. They could've spent money. They didn't. They could've kept their 2018 World Series core intact. They broke it up. They could've built upon their Wild Card contending roster. They didn't. The Red Sox are just as delusional in terms of understanding who they are as the Yankees. The Yankees are just more embarrassing, because of how they live in the past and think they're the smartest people in the room despite piles of evidence to the contrary.
The Red Sox seeking a "significant return" for James Paxton, who has made 19 starts since the beginning of the 2020 season, was a pathetic report until everyone learned the Yankees were expecting the same for their rental players in Harrison Bader, Wandy Peralta, Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Luis Severino.
The Red Sox dubbing themselves "underdogs" despite being 1.5 games out of a playoff spot with the Blue Jays coming to town was hilarious until Cashman said the Yankees had reinforcements on the way in the form of Nestor Cortes and Jonathan Loaisiga.
The Red Sox were in shambles a year ago. Fans were calling for ownership to sell. They were calling for Bloom's head. They made the trip up to Springfield, Massachusetts to boo all the executives.
Now, they're better than the Yankees after one of the most confounding offseason re-tools you'll ever see, but they're pretending they're not, for whatever reason. May the best loser win, we guess.