I'm sure Brian Cashman will say that the trade for Pudge was entirely about addressing the Yankees needs. The Yankees certainly need a catcher capable of hitting better than Jose Molina's anemic .229/.279/.307 (Pudge is hitting .295/.338/.417 which is Hobbsian by comparison, and he's another righty).
But I see this trade as a reaction to the Mark Teixeira trade.
Check out the breakdown for the Yanks' final games:
Red Sox 6
White Sox 4
Coming down the stretch every game will be crucial, but Joe G.'s first season will largely be judged by how this team fairs against the Angels- a team that brought perpetual heartburn and heartache to the Joe Torre Yankees.
That said, the Yankees are in a position to control their own destiny. Dominate showings against the Rays and Red Sox could guarantee us a postseason berth. But we play it one game at a time, and a stronger team will be facing those Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in Southern California on Planet Earth. And I wish them well in their game against the Red Sox tonight.
*Can I say again that I think Brian Cashman swings some of the best midseason deals of any general manager in baseball? Some of that is the 'gun-at-a-knife-fight' payroll discrepancy, but we watched a string of GMs in the 80's give away every prospects on the farm. Cash has stood his ground long enough for other GMs to know that when he says he's reached his best and final offer he means it. Re-up him.
**Also, with Farnsworth finally gone, does this open up a spot for Mark Melancon, Britton or Bruney (I assume Moeller's 4 month, 75 AB big league career is finally over). Even if Melancon can only throw 10 innings before he hits his season cap, those could be 10 precious innings in the Bronx. He'll hit his cap, go home, and then rosters will expand and we'll have all the pitchers we need. Bruney could use the extra rehab time. And Britton is still fat, so Joe Girardi will have him running suicides up and down the third tier of New Yankee Stadium until he looks like Edwar.