Orosco deal has Yanks smiling

Updated: July 23, 2003, 8:21 AM ET
By Jim Baker | ESPN Insider
One gets the impression that, in spite of having one of the best records in baseball, the mood around the Yankees organization ebbs and flows owing mostly to small details. Take for instance yesterday's deal between the Pirates and Red Sox that saw Scott Sauerbeck going to Boston. The Yankees had some interest in him and some poor sot in the organization had to be the one to tell Yankee owner George Steinbrenner he had gotten away to their hated rivals. As Bill Madden writes in the New York Daily News, "You have to believe George Steinbrenner had never even heard of Sauerbeck until a couple of weeks ago&" Do you think the underlings draw straws to see who gets stuck telling Steinbrenner bad news?

Madden writes that Yankees general manager Brian Cashman was also not pleased with the deal because he had been led to believe that Sauerbeck was only available for an especially good offer. The Red Sox, however, got him for Brandon Lyon and a Double A pitcher which is not Cashman's idea of an overwhelming offer. In any case, the mood brightened when Jesse Orosco was hauled in from San Diego.

It must be maddening for other teams to watch these two payroll behemoths who both score runs by the pallet-load tinkering with their spare parts. While others have gaping holes in their lineups and pitching staffs populated with ne'er-do-wells, the Yankees and Red Sox can focus on achieving a kind of perfect balance.

Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at bottlebat@gmail.com.