Amid the rumors, Romine is focused on the present
At 2:45, there were “big concerns” on Seattle’s end, and by the end of the workday, the trade that would have made Cliff Lee a Yankee was dead.
Under the swap’s final proposed incarnation, New York would have sent Jesus Montero, Zach McAllister and David Adams to Seattle for the ace left-hander.
It also would have added a world of clarity to Austin Romine’s path to the Bronx.
Still, to the laid-back Thunder backstop mere hours away from a trip home for the XM Futures Game, yesterday’s proceedings were water under the bridge.
“That’s not something I worry about, especially when it really didn’t involve me,” Romine said in front of the visitors’ clubhouse before yesterday’s game with the Bowie Baysox. “It was interesting (and) exciting at the same time. I try not to think about that, but you can’t not when it’s all over TV.”
As for his status with the organization, the 21-year-old Romine realizes that choosing to keep him here is a tremendous reaffirmation of the big things the Yankees believe he will produce.
“It shows that they’ve got a lot of respect for me,” he said. “They’ve got a lot of confidence in me, I think would be a better word. Again, I don’t think it means much. I’m trying to get (to the big leagues) as fast as I can.”
Thunder skipper Tony Franklin agreed with Romine’s view, saying that perhaps Seattle didn’t give the Yankees much of a choice.
“You look at it from various angles and you make up your own mind. Maybe it was we’re putting Montero in the deal because we really want Lee,” Franklin said. “We’d hate to lose you, but we really want Lee.”
Like Romine, Franklin played off the trade, and its ultimate failure, as business as usual.
“It’s speculation. I don’t know why they backed out. They’ve got their reasons, and I don’t know why the trade consummated. Maybe they didn’t get what we wanted, and maybe they didn’t get what they wanted. That’s generally why they’d call a deal off.”
The other member of the Thunder involved in the proposed deal, second baseman David Adams, ended up being the reason the Mariners backed out at the very end. His severely sprained ankle, they said, was a concern.
So, if the injury was serious enough to warrant voiding a deal that would have sent Seattle arguably the best hitting prospect in all of baseball, what does it say about his timetable for a return to action?
“I don’t know what the medical team is thinking right now,” manager Tony Franklin said. “They’re going to make the assessment of when David’s ready to come back. I’m not the guy who’s going to make that assessment.”