Yankees respond to Red Sox signing Dillon Lawson with epic troll job of their own

Milwaukee Brewers v Boston Red Sox
Milwaukee Brewers v Boston Red Sox / Brian Fluharty/GettyImages

We'll call your Dillon Lawson and raise you the failed centerpiece of the 2020 Mookie Betts trade between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox. The New York Yankees' latest roster move has to be a shot at their most hated rival, right?

On Tuesday, the Yankees claimed Jeter Downs off waivers from the Washington Nationals. You remember Downs, don't you? He was part of the return package for Betts that the Red Sox insisted upon ... you know, after they rejected acquiring Brusdar Graterol because of his medicals.

Instead, the Dodgers ended up with Betts and Graterol. Kenta Maeda went to the Minnesota Twins. And the Red Sox ended up with Alex Verdugo (now a Yankee), Downs (also now a Yankee) and Connor Wong (a not-great catcher who's still with the Red Sox, touting his 80 OPS+).

Though the two moves are completely unrelated, we can't help but think the Red Sox signing former Yankees hitting coach Dillon Lawson on Monday had something to do with the Yankees picking up Downs, who the team has almost no use for.

Either way, he's here, and he'll be on the 40-man roster for the time being. For now, the Yankees have some open spots to work with.

Yankees respond to Red Sox signing Dillon Lawson with epic troll job of their own

Downs has just 20 games of MLB experience under his belt. The Red Sox tried to expedite him to the big-league level after the lost 2020 season, but the experiment failed. Turns out, logging just 12 games at Double-A and 110 at High-A did him no good.

The Red Sox designated him for assignment after just 14 games and then he ended up in Washington. Downs spent 2023 with the Nats, logging 60 minor-league games and just six MLB games. He was DFA'd last week to make room for pitcher Dylan Floro.

Boston was clearly trying to get under the Yankees' skin in their acquisition of Downs, given he was named after Derek Jeter. But they rushed his development, picked the wrong package of talent while trading away one of the best players in baseball, and are now AL East bottom-dwellers.

All that's left to top this narrative is Downs finding his footing with the Yankees. As sweet as that would be, we just don't see it happening and are unsure where he fits into the picture with Anthony Volpe, Oswald Peraza, Oswaldo Cabrera and a number of other prospects ahead of him in the pecking order.