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Home / Sports / Judge reality made McCutchen's trade an absolute necessity

Judge reality made McCutchen's trade an absolute necessity



This was a fallback day for the Yankees who entered the National League to find a prime-time player late in the season, routinely post-waiver trading as he routinely did in the late 1940's did, 1950 and early 1960s.

George White was the general manager when the Yankees picked up Johnny Mize from the Giants against Johnny Sain of the Braves (for a young Lew Burdette) at the end of year 51, Sal Maglie of the Giants in late 1957 at the end of the year , Luis Arroyo of the Reds in the late 60s and Pedro Ramos of the AL Indians in 1964.

On Friday it was Brian Cashman who brought Weiss into the technique that Andrew McCutchen of the Giants exchanged for expendable prospects Juan De Paula and Abiatal Avelino on the last day of the post-viva trading period.

This was no picnic on the cake. With Aaron Judge missing after five weeks, the Yankees urgently needed a right field bats. McCutchen, who is expected to play Saturday's game against the Tigers, is checking this box.

"We're going to be a really good player, and I think that's exciting for us," said manager Aaron Boone on Friday before Luis Severino went to the stadium against Detroit. "It's a really big deal for us."

Mize, Sain, Maglie and Arroyo were all close to the end of their respective careers as they helped the Yankees win several pennants and World Series victories. McCutchen is somehow just 31

, five years off his MVP season in Pittsburgh, but in his third year of steep descent from those heights.

Yet, it does represent a substantial presence. We've all known McCutchen for years, and we know that even though he's not what he once was, he's not Shane Robinson, the over-compressed journeyman with whom the Yankees www.mjfriendship.de/de/index.php?op…=view&id=167 Boone insisted that the Yankees judge would still expect his ETA originally scheduled for three weeks when he suffered a broken wrist during a punch pitch on July 26, to return sometime in September. The manager said acquiring McCutchen does not imply otherwise. Nevertheless, it is unlikely that Cashman would have drawn this deal if Judge had been healthy.

"Andrew helps us in the here and now and he will be an everyday player," said Boone. "But I believe that Aaron will be absolutely back."

But No. 99 has yet to swing a bat while he rehabilitates further. Minor League seasons end, so there are no rehab games available.

It's not to say how effective a judge will be if – assuming it's not when – he's back in the lineup. The absence of the judge has not only created a gap in the sequence, but also left a hole in the identity of the team. There are a number of accomplished athletes on the roster, but it took less than a year after his midsummer 2016 promotion for judges to become the face of the Yankees.

This was expected and projected to be a special team. Unlike the 17-1 run into the second week of May, it was less than that. The Yankees have survived high-profile players like Judge, Gary Sanchez (who is in the lineup on Saturday), Didi Gregorius and Aroldis Chapman, and they're always still on the way to winning 102 games (which would be more than 12) of the 13 pennant winners under White), but they have been wriggling in faltering fashion for much of the summer. They seem as tired as the revised Brett Gardner. This was not a walk for the Yankees in the park, even though they are nine games away from a postseason mooring.

In fact, the Yankees look like a team that could use a bit of a push. McCutchen, who has a slash line of .255 / .357 / .415 with 15 homers and 55 RBI, can provide that well. He remains a brand name known for his dedication and contributions to the community. He fits perfectly in the clubhouse.

"His reputation precedes him," Boone said. "He is as tall as a character person as we are in the game."

No one expects McCutchen to be the player he was in 2015. He does not have to be. And nobody expects him to be a judge. He can not be. But the Yankees need him more than just putting on clothes. They need McCutchen exactly as they once needed Mize and Sain and Arroyo and Ramos.


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