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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Silence of the Lambs.

Watching Jake Lamb play against the Yankees in Arizona the last three days reminded me of another Lamb: Mike Lamb.
Photo of Jake LambPhoto of Mike Lamb

Mike Lamb played for five teams 2000-2010 and was acquired by the Yankees twice but never played for them.
  • June 23, 2011: Signed as a Free Agent with the New York Yankees.
  • November 2, 2011: Granted Free Agency.
    Incumbant Yankee third baseman Aaron Boone was injured between the 2003 and 2004 seasons. Boone had played only 54 regular season games for the Yankees in 2003 after 106 for Cincinnati. But Boone won game seven of the semi final series against the Boston Red Sox with a walk off home run at Yankee Stadium. So the Yankees traded for Mike Lamb as insurance at third base.

   But then the Yankees had a rare opportunity. Texas was trying to move the huge contract of Alex Rodriguez, the best shortstop in baseball. Rodriguez had hit 52, 57, 47 home runs in his three Texas seasons. He was traded to the Red Sox but that trade was negated by the union because Rodriguez had made salary concessions to accommodate the Red Sox. When Rodriguez was then traded to the Yankees, Red Sox fans hated him, which, of course, made no sense.

   Here's when that trade was made:
    Note the date. It's right between the dates when the Yankees traded for Mike Lamb (Feb. 5) and when they traded away Mike Lamb (March 25).

   The Yankees could have made The Godfather offer for Rodriguez: nothing. No other team would have taken on the contract of Rodriguez. Merely agreeing to pay Rodriguez would have been enough. But the Yankees foolishly traded away second baseman Alfonso Soriano, who in 2003 hit 38 homers and stole 35 bases. In 2006, his one season with Washington, Soriano set the franchise record of 46 home runs and also stole 41 bases.

   Mike Lamb had one final chance to play for the Yankees in 2011 but at age 35 Mike Lamb only got as close as 53 games with the Yankee AAA team. Lamb never played pro ball again. By then the Yankees had a great third baseman: Alex Rodriguez, also 35. Rodriguez played only 99 games in 2011, missing games between July 7 and August 21. But even this was not enough for the Yankees to call up Mike Lamb, who had OPS .816 at AAA. Instead the Yankees filled in for Rodriguez with Eduardo Nunez and Eric Chavez.

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