Emma Span of Slate (and Eephus Pitch blog, a new friend of the site here!) has a pretty solid article highlighting why most Yanks and Sox fans were relieved when neither side landed Johan. I agree completely as I think both of us (Yanks fans and Sox fans alike) knew/realized the following:
- Johan would be great on the other squad
- Johan could be a difference maker
- Johan could help the other team for the next 5-7 years
- Johan was not priced out of either long term budget
- The cost, in terms of our own, homegrown talent, would be high
- The value of developing your own studs has never been higher
- We want to embrace our own and watch them develop in front of our own eyes
- Hate being told that "you buy your championships"
- We know you can't "buy a championship" (witness the 2001-current Yanks teams)
Ms. Span deftly notes the following:
Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein and Yankees GM Brian Cashman have similar strategies. Both want strong farm systems that provide a steady supply of affordable core players, with trades and free agents to supplement the homegrown talent as needed. (...) It's easy to understand why Red Sox fans have embraced this idea; winning two World Series titles in four years inspires a lot of confidence in management. What's more surprising is that, despite the team's recent postseason failings, many Yankee fans don't want to buy the pennant either.I really think it comes down to each team wanting to get back to a philosophy of "top to bottom" team building, which relies on building internally and filling with trades/free agents selectively. I hope it continues. I love the idea of having the ability to watch Hughes/Joba/Cano mature in pinstripes rather than watching other team's 32 year olds come play for extraordinarily high free agent contracts.
Of course, I said MOST of this here way back when, but that's neither here nor there.
HOWEVER: I'd be lying if I wasn't thinking the pendulum HAS swung too far and we should have parted with IPK and some other guys (or even Hughes) to get Johan. I'm happy with our guys but there is still a small part of me that wonders if we should have pulled the trigger.
[Note: big props to Ben at River Ave. Blues for getting a key mention in the article]