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Yankees mailbag: The Red Sox punishment, and bringing back a past player

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Here’s your answers from this week’s mailbag.

Tom Seaver Pitching During Baseball Game

Welcome to the end of the week, everybody. It’s time to answer your questions in our latest mailbag. Remember to send in your questions for our weekly call by e-mail to pinstripealleyblog [at] gmail [dot] com.

rar27560 asks: Do you think the Red Sox’ punishment for cheating was fair, or do you think that Manfred is trying to avoid more bad publicity for the game?

If you weren’t aware, the league’s ruling on the Red Sox sign-stealing scandal finally came down last week. MLB took away a second-round pick from Boston, and suspended a video-replay operator for the 2020 season. Former Red Sox manager Alex Cora will be serving a year-long suspension, but only for his role in the Astros’ scandal — not Boston’s.

It’s undoubtedly a lighter punishment than the one that Houston received, and if you take MLB at their word that the evidence suggested that there wasn’t as elaborate a scheme then it makes sense. The problem is that MLB hasn’t inspired much confidence that they’re taking these investigations as seriously as they should be.

MLB received multiple reports from other teams of suspicious activity from Houston, but lagged on following through from those complaints. It was only after independent sources —most notably Jomboy’s breakthrough — dug up legitimate evidence and blew up on social media that the league began entertaining a serious investigation. Such findings never came out from Boston, which may indicate that they indeed didn’t have as egregious a scheme in place, but it remains a question mark that we’ll probably never have a satisfying answer to.

J.A. Salazar asks: If you could put together a package of players to trade for one player (current time), but that player is from the past (between 1920 up to 1989) which player would you go for?

So as I’m understanding the question, I just have to find a player from the specified era that I would be most interested in acquiring and time-warping them to the present day Yankees. There’s a lot of great players I could choose from, including obvious ones like Babe Ruth and other legends that have worn the pinstripes, but since it specifies a trade I’m going to go for someone who never played for the Yankees.

There are still a lot of great candidates for me there, including Hall of Famers like Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Ted Williams. The Yankees have an elite offense already, however, and while they nabbed Gerrit Cole this offseason another significant pitching acquisition could transform them from title contenders to a modern dynasty. With that in mind, I’m going to go after the prime Mets career of Tom Seaver.

Seaver was without a doubt one of the best pitchers of all time, and ranks 22nd overall in career bWAR. His original stint with the Mets — from his debut in 1967 up until he was traded in 1977 — was where he compiled most of his value, but he was still a workhorse through his age-36 season with Cincinnati. Seaver won three Cy Youngs, and finished in the top five for another five of them.

It would take a haul to pry Seaver, but it’s not like the Mets didn’t ultimately make that decision in reality. There’s no way to know what modern pitching prospects would look like in Seaver’s era, one where pitchers routinely pitched over 200 innings a season. The increased velocity may make them superstars in their own right, or the increased workload may blow out their arms even quicker than in today’s game, but the Yankees would be winning out regardless getting Seaver on this staff.