We can apparently debate the Yankees’ third base hole for 118 comments worth of thoughts. Ample pixels were burned on Monday discussing Miguel Cabrera. So let’s get started on him.
Baseball Prospectus’ Will Carroll reports that Cabrera is on the open market. Here’s what Will writes:
One of the team’s big two is gone and everyone’s expecting it to be Miguel Cabrera. “He’s at the end of his time at 3B,” the baseball source told me, “but he’s still good enough to play 1B. They won’t get quite as much as [Jon Daniels] did for Mark Teixeira, but they’re looking for a different payoff.” The rumored asking price is three players – one pitcher and position player that are under three years of service time and “solid ink-’em-in guys.” The other would be a “plus prospect, not the best guy on the team, but useful. The Marlins will probably look for a slugger.”
At the same time, Tyler Kepner of The Times reports, well, a few things. First, we hear that Yankees Manager Joe Girardi is a big fan of Cabrera’s. Says Joe of the 24-year-old slugger, ““He’s a great player, a smart player. He really understands the game of baseball. I was impressed in how mature he was as a hitter at a young age, his approach on a daily basis. I did not have any problems with him. He worked hard for me.”
Next up, we hear a similar asking price. According to Kepner’s sources, the Marlins want a center fielder and one or two top-tier pitchers. In other words, the Marlins want to turn Cabrera into the same package they got from the Red Sox from Josh Beckett. Instead of Hanley Ramirez as the centerpiece and Anibal Sanchez as the very good other piece, the Yanks would be trading a stellar pitcher and a very good other piece.
So now we know that if the Yanks pick up Cabrera, it would be, in all likelihood, as a first baseman. I can live with that. The Yanks got meager production from first base last year. Combined, their first basemen hit .284/.350/.419 with 16 home runs. Miguel Cabrera wails on those numbers. I’d take him at first base for the next ten years.
And with that in mind, we can now debate the package. While Brian Cashman says he would rather not trade Phil, Joba or IPK, it would take one of these guys to land Cabrera. The package would probably focus around one of the Yanks’ pitchers, Melky Cabrera, and a lesser pitching prospect, of which the Yanks have plenty right now.
I have, in the past, repeatedly spoken about my thoughts on Melky. I think, defense aside, he is very expendable, especially if the Yanks can get a bat of Miguel Cabrera’s caliber in return. Melky’s a fine defensive center fielder who often looks lost at the plate. The Yanks have a few good outfielder prospects who are simply better than Melky and have much higher ceilings. With two solid-but-not-spectacular seasons of MLB experience under his belt, Melky is the very definition of trade bait and would fill a hole the Marlins have tried to fill for a few seasons now.
Would you pull the trigger on this deal? As unpopular as trading Melky and IPK (along with a lesser prospect) could make me, I probably would. Let the debate begin.