It’s June: Let the trade talks commence

Yanks mum on new stadium HR fixes
Yanks: Joba's shoulder not an issue

Once the Yankees finish off their series with the Texas Rangers, the season will be one third over. The freak-outs by many in the Yankees fanbase might make it seem like the season is further along, but there’s still plenty, plenty of baseball left. Players will get hot, players will get cold, and managers will be second-guessed to death for the next four months — five if they’re lucky. With so much baseball to be played, it’s difficult to get a grasp of where a team will be in a few months. However, what we can do is evaluate where the team is, identify its shortcomings, and how the team can shore up those weaknesses.

In other words, welcome to trading season.

Over the next two months, we’ll be inundated with trade rumors, some frivolous, some provocative. Most will never happen, but that doesn’t mean the rumors aren’t entertaining. It’s always interesting to see what the people most familiar with a team’s needs (outside the actual front office) think it can do to put itself ahead of the pack.

We know the Yankees aren’t perfect. They have flaws, just like the rest of the teams in the league. Thankfully, they rode those flaws all the way to first place, so perhaps those flaws are not as egregious as we might have previously believed. On the other hand, perhaps they’re just as egregious as we believed, but the team is currently doing a good job of covering them up. The Yanks will certainly explore the trade market to see what’s available to fill these weaknesses.

The question at this point is of who’s selling. Most teams won’t admit defeat at the 1/3 mark. It might not resonate well with the fanbase, which could lead to depressed revenues for the remainder of the season. From a pure baseball standpoint, though, failing teams would do best to work the trade market right now. The sooner they trade their valuable chips, the better value they’ll receive in return. It could be the difference between getting both Cliff Lee, Brandon Phillips, and Grady Sizemore in a trade and getting just two of those.

How should a team determine if it’s out of contention this early? SI’s Tom Verducci explores the question. He notes that since the inception of the Wild Card there have been 104 teams to make the playoffs, and only three of them have made the playoffs after entering June with a record five or more games below .500 (one of them was the 2007 Yankees). In 2009, the lucky teams are the Indians, A’s, Natinals, Pirates, Astros, Diamondbacks, and Rockies. So which of these can the Yanks pillage for bench and relief help?

As we discussed last week, the Yankees could certainly look for bullpen help. Two of the more attractive names among possibly available relievers, Chad Qualls and Huston Street, play for two of the teams on Verducci’s list. What it would take to acquire them, of course, is another question entirely. It’s also unknown if the Yankees will seek external bullpen help. With both Damaso Marte and Brian Bruney working on rehab assignments, they might just sit back and see what their current guys can give them. There are also a number of high-upside arms in the minors they could give a try, such as Mark Melancon, George Kontos, and Mike Dunn.

If the Yankees did decide to seek help from elsewhere, it probably won’t be until far closer to the deadline. Given the theory of teams getting more by trading their chips earlier, one might think that the Yanks could get a better deal closer to the deadline. In this scenario, though, that theory might not apply. The D’Backs and the Rockies don’t have a pressing urgency to deal Qualls and Street, so they could ask for a sizable return no matter when the trade takes place. Other teams will surely be interested as well, which always jacks up the asking price.

Josh from Jorge Says No! presents another idea which could work to the Yanks’ advantage. Why don’t teams try to package their valuable players along with albatross contracts, rather than seek top-flight prospects in return? After all, no prospect is a sure thing; salary relief is. That would certainly make the goings tougher for the selling team, and they won’t get a good prospect package at all. It could lead to some interesting scenarios, though.

Take the Diamondbacks for instance. Surely they want to shed Eric Byrnes and the remaining $15 million on his contract, but what team would take that albatross? Perhaps one team or another would make the deal if they could also get the year and a half remaining of Qualls’s indentured servitude. Clearly, a high level prospect wouldn’t be involved here. For the Yanks, it would be a Kontos-type player or less. This type of trade makes sense for them because they’d be using their biggest advantage, financial might, to improve their team.

Now, taking on a $15 million obligation for a player like Eric Byrnes isn’t ideal. But is trading a Zack McAllister-type player for Chad Qualls a better one? It’s easy to say, because it’s not my money, but taking on an albatross in conjunction with a useful player for a B prospect seems like something the Yanks should consider. What remains to be seen, of course, is if selling teams buy into this mindset. If they do, the Yankees could have many options available to them as we approach the trade deadline.

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Yanks mum on new stadium HR fixes
Yanks: Joba's shoulder not an issue
  • A.D.

    I’ve always been in favor of the spending money over prospects. Look what the Dodgers gave up last year for Casey Blake, because they didn’t want to take on more of his contract.

    • Brendo

      The Dodgers gave up a really good prospect for Blake.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        We know that. That’s exactly what A.D. said.

        The Dodgers gave up two good prospects for Blake, because they didn’t want to pay Blake’s salary. That was an error in judgement. They would have been better served to not ask for cash from the Indians but rather to take on all of Blake’s contract and instead trade inferior prospects.

        Read more carefully, Brendo.

    • AAA

      What the hell are the Yankees gonna do with Eric Byrnes? Horrible idea…the Yankees could find relief help without adding 15 million to their payroll. We might as well have signed K Rod in the offseason just to use him in the 7th and 8th inning. Better idea would be to deal a prospect that we can afford to part with for a decent reliever.

  • donttradecano

    If it means getting Qualls id take on Byrnes, if Byrnes is going to ride the bench (if melky keeps producing of course.)

    An eventual (knock on wood) pen of Marte-Coke-Bruney-Qualls-Rivera seems like a fine idea.

  • John Duci

    Hughes and Ajax for Sizemore

    • donttradecano

      Jacoby Ellsbury for Sizemore and Victor Martinez.

      • AP

        WTF this is a rediculous trade. A 4th grader would know how much of a steal that would be if your sending an unproven Ellsbury for superstar Sizemore and all-star Martinez. In your dreams. I would have to agree with John Duci, although I would hate to give up on Hughes and Ajax, this proposal is way more appealing and makes more sense for the indians.

        • NA

          And Ajax is a proven All-Star? What baseball are you watching?

        • http://myspace.com/sloanbruno69 Bruno

          He was being sarcastic.

      • maddy25

        Are u people on acid ???? Hughes Ajax and Joba ??? We dont even need a centerfielder plus in 1.5 years Carl Crawford is a free agent and we won’t have to give up anyone

        • http://myspace.com/sloanbruno69 Bruno

          Noone mentione Joba. Crawford doesn’t like playing CF, and TB just might pick up that option ya know.

      • maddy25

        If u were the Indians would u do that deal ??? You have to be a Red Sox fan …..

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      1. Shaprio would hang up on you very quickly.
      2. Grady is on the DL, can’t be traded.

      • V

        He’d probably listen if the Yankees were to add Joba to make it Joba+Hughes+AJax.

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          Word. But I wouldn’t want to do that unless I was sure there was a clear replacement for Joba in the rotation and Wang was ready to return to form.

          • V

            I wouldn’t do it, period. Way too much to give up for one player.

            3 future studs for 1 current stud VERY rarely work out in the long run. Unless you’re ripping off the team trading the 1 stud by trading 3+ future non-studs and pretending otherwise (Mets, Santana deal).

      • A.D.

        I think you can be traded if you’re on the DL, its just a much longer & more annoying process.

    • V

      He’s on the DL and may need surgery. He’s also part of the core of the Indians (and a big fan favorite), and highly unlikely to be traded. Not sure if Hughes+AJax would be enough.

      From Cot’s Contracts, this is what he’s earning:
      09:$4.6M, 10:$5.6M, 11:$7.5M, 12:$8.5M club option ($0.5M buyout)

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Not sure if Hughes+AJax would be enough.

        Joba and Cano might not be enough. I’m 1000% positive Hughes and AJax wouldn’t be enough.

        • Chris

          Taking a page out of Joe’s post:

          Hughes+AJax for Sizemore+Hafner?

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Sizemore = UNTOUCHABLE.

            Not going to happen.

            • Chris

              Of course he’s untouchable, but should he be? What deal would actually make sense for the Indians if they were willing to trade him?

              Trying to speculate real trades is basically impossible – how many people predicted teh Nady/Marte deal last summer? I’m much more interested in what the team(s) should do, than what they actually will do.

              • Mike Pop

                I was actually quoted saying the Yanks would get Nady and Marte for Tabata, Ross, McCutchen, and a PTBNL.

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                What deal would actually make sense for the Indians if they were willing to trade him?

                Joba + Hughes + Melky + Montero + Bleich.

                Shapiro is gonna have to be BLOWN AWAY to consider moving the 26 year old MVP candidate centerfielding face of his franchise. And if he’s blown away, that means we got screwed in the deal.

                And no, he’s not going to accept less in prospects if you take Travis Hafner. Taking Travis Hafner will lower the price on Ben Francisco or Asdrubal Cabrera. It’s not lowering the price on the face of the franchise.

                Sizemore is as untouchable as Derek Jeter in his prime. Probably more.

                Not going to happen.

                • Chris

                  Again, the question is not what he would take, it’s what he should take. That deal you mention clearly makes the Indians better, but half that deal would also probably make the Indians better.

                  You can’t really compare him to Jeter in his prime because the Indians aren’t going to win before his contract runs out. If you trade Jeter (circa 1999) or Sizemore, you’re making the team worse in the near term to be better later on. That doesn’t make any sense when you’re going to the WS every year, but it does make sense if you’re finishing third or fourth in your division.

                  You keep stating that Shapiro won’t trade him without explain why that’s the right move. Sure he’s an MVP candidate now and for the next few years, but he won’t be when the Inidans are ready to contend again. Maybe I’m wrong and they actually do have enough young talent to compete in the next couple years and I just don’t see it, but right now it looks like Sizemore will be just like A-Rod was in Texas.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Do you know how untouchable Grady Sizemore is?

                  If you go to mlbtraderumors.com, you can go to Dierkes’s search box and type in the name of your favorite player and be taken to an archive of all the links to the various trade chatter blurbs he finds and compiles so excellently.

                  Grady Sizemore’s name doesn’t have an archive. Not only are there not juicy rumors surrounding potential trades for Grady Sizemore, the man who’s job it is to compile rumors about every potential trade target in the league didn’t even bother to set up a listing for Grady Sizemore, because there is simply NO EARTHLY WAY the Indians would ever trade Grady Sizemore and he knows it.

                  I’m not going into this hypothetical with you because it’s fruitless. And, with the possible exception of Congressman Mondesi, I’m the freaking king of fruitless hypotheticals, and I won’t even touch that one for the same reason Dierkes won’t touch it, because it’s a titanic waste of time. The Indians won’t entertain scenarios for Grady Sizemore because they know the only price point that would make sense for them is an unrealistic superhaul of multiple future studs that nobody would ever be willing to pay.

                  And no, it’s not like the ARod situation. ARod hit free agency at age 24. Grady won’t hit the market until age 30. Bad comp.

                • MattG

                  I posted in another thread, but it’s a cool question: who do you think is the most un-acquirable player in the game? I’m going with Hanley, but Sizemore is certainly in the discussion, and I think Longoria and Lincecum round out the top 4.

                • V

                  I put Longoria above Sizemore. But yes, Longoria, Lincecum, Hanley, Sizemore, Pujols, Joba, Pedroia, Billingsley, Adrian Gonzalez, Wieters, etc., etc., etc.

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

                  To further that TSJC, I logged into the back end of MLBTR, and found no category at all for Sizemore. As in, Tim didn’t even think to make a category for Sizemore in the event that his name pops up in a trade rumor.

                • Brendo

                  Sizemore is staring at major elbow surgery here anyway.

                • SM

                  David Wright

                • Chris

                  The comp between Sizemore and A-Rod has nothing to do with free agency. It has to do with an MVP playing on a last (or next to last) place team. As the saying goes, ‘We finished last with you, we can certainly finish last without you.”

                  Also, you seem to be missing my point. I’m not suggesting that the Inidans will trade Sizemore (and certainly not to the Yankees), I’m suggesting that they should trade Sizemore or at least strongly consider it as that gives them the best chance to win a WS.

        • JoeSit.(ragman)

          Thinking Wang-Ajax-Romine for Sizemore

    • Drew

      Patience man Patience. Ajax is straight killin it right now.

    • MattG

      You know, the reason Lee, Phillips and Sizemore are mentioned here is not as potential trade targets, but an example of what you can get if you jump into the market as sellers early.

      Going to Montreal from the Indians was Bartolo Colon. Omar Minaya paid the premium.

  • Corey

    sizemore + hafner (taking the albatross) for hughes + gardner/melky?

    • V

      :facepalm:

      • Corey

        isn’t cleveland in big financial trouble?

        • V

          Have a source on that? Because I haven’t heard it.

          Cleveland ain’t dealing Sizemore or Victor Martinez without getting more than you want to give up.

          The Padres are dying to shed salary, and even then, Adrian Gonzalez = untouchable.

          Etc.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Cleveland ain’t dealing Sizemore or Victor Martinez without getting more than you want to give up.

            I have nothing to add, I just wanted to say it again louder to make sure everyone heard it.

            • Tampa Yankee
              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                Heh.

                A) The Sox, unlike the Yankees, have black holes of suckitude at C and DH. Hence, Victor Martinez is probably worth overpaying for from their viewpoint. He’s not worth overpaying for from ours.
                B) They’re the Sox, they do stupid shit like trade Daniel Murphy, Engle Beltre, and Kason Gabbard for Eric Gagne. Who knows what that crazy gorilla suit wearing mofo will do in an act of desperation?
                C) Did you notice who wasn’t listed as a possible Boston Blue Sox target in that article? Grady Sizemore. Sox fans may be drunken idiots that smell like baked beans, but they’re not dumb.

                • kSturnz

                  you know grady would be listed if Jacoby didn’t grace boston’s roster

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Eh, you’re probably right.

                  WHO NEEDS GRADY, WE GAWT ELLSBERRY, HE CAN STEAL HOME!!! THAT CAWKSUCKAH SIZEMOAH CAN’T STEAL HOME!!!!

          • Chris

            They probably won’t trade Sizemore or Martinez, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t. Martinez is an FA after next year, and I don’t think the Indians have enough pitching to win this year or next. They’d be better served to rip off a team like Boston now and pick up some good young pitching.

            Sizemore is a much more difficult question, because he’s better and locked up for longer. I can see the argument for keeping him, but they’d also likely have a better shot at winning in the future if they blew up the team and traded Lee, Sizemore and Martinez for prospects and tried to make a run in 2-3 years (basically take the Marlin’s approach).

            • Mike Pop

              Nah, you have to keep Sizemore. The other two I can see traded, but not Grady.

              Keep Grady, try to sign him longer if he keeps this type of production/defense up when he only has 2 years left or so. If he doesn’t want to stay with an extension, then you look to move him when the time is right like they did with CC.

              Dude could still probably net a top prospect with a few b prospects at the deadline like a Mark Teixeira type deal.

              No reason to trade Grady now.

              • Mike Pop

                Let me clarify this here.

                The Mark Teixeira deal was a ridiculously good trade for the Rangers.

                I changed my thought at the end of that sentence. I was thinking a CC type deal, but I changed to Teix after I thought about tradin’ him the year prior to his FA year.

              • Chris

                Grady is currently signed through 2012. Sure, if you can get an extension done, then you do it, but I don’t see that happening. On the flip side, what are the chances that you’re going to win in the next 3 years? If you deal him now, along with Lee and Martinez, then you’ll have a large group of prospects coming back that will all be ready to contribute in the majors in 3-5 years. If you wait to trade Sizemore, then you’ll get less back and you’ll likely never have enough talent on the team at one time to win (enough to be not bad, but not enough to win).

                • Brendo

                  Be real.

                  If the Indians put Martinez and Sizemore on the market the Sox could blow people away with high level pitching.

  • JackISBACK

    I don’t want Qualls, or really Street either. Beyond the flat out nasty guys like Madson or Broxton (obviously not available) NL relievers seem to get over-rated.

    Getting a Qualls is like trading for Luis Vizcaino or something. We’ve seen what Marte looks like in the AL after dominating in the NL as well.

    For me, I’m looking to trade with an AL team. I’d take a shot at Rafeal Perez of the Indians. He WAS dominating before, is still young, and his value is pretty low right now. He’s been extremely unlucky this year with a .405 BABIP this year. He has decent velocity as well for a lefty averaging out around 90. He’s wild and ineffective this year, and should be cheap. Its obviously a risk, but I think he could be worth it as a side move.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      But Street was an AL guy, and he had success in Oakland (albeit with injuries).

      Qualls is a guy averaging 0.4 home runs per nine innings in a pretty heavy hitter’s park. He doesn’t walk many people either.

      You have to look at guys case by case. If you just write some guys off because they pitch in the NL, you’re going to miss out on opportunities.

      • BklynJT

        The NL is like AAAA, you just need to expect some drop off in the guys performance.

        • kSturnz

          def do not trade Zmac or Betances for street. try to get it done with Novas or hackers

        • Mike HC

          I think the general wisdom that the NL is a far inferior league is a bit overstated. I do believe the AL teams have better depth throughout the league, but the teams at the top can compete and beat the top AL teams. I would like to see the numbers on this, but my instinct (which can obviously be wrong) is that a starter would have a logical drop off from the NL to the AL due to the fact he faces the pitcher a couple times a game, but relievers rarely face the pitcher. The relievers many times come in and just face 3-6 guys, who are all legit major league hitters.

          • http://www.steveospeak.blogspot.com Steveo

            Great point Mike HC, any consideration of AL relievers better than NL relievers when they change leagues should begin and end with J.J. Putz… enough said.

    • Drew

      He’d be a nice pick up that may help us in the future. We need a solid arm now though. The chances he comes over and turns into 2008 Rafae is not likely. He’d be great to have in the system, I just don’t see the point in him for this season, considering that we need help now.

  • james

    I really like McAllister and I hope the Yanks don’t include him in any deals this summer

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      +1. Unless they get blown away with something, I don’t want Z-Mac traded.

      • V

        I wouldn’t mind to see him traded, but not until he makes his ML debut and (hopefully) performs well.

        A player in AA or AAA who projects as a solid Major Leaguer is worth FAR less than a guy who’s actually given a year or two of solid Major League performance.

        See: Dan Haren.

        December 2004: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.c.....de.report/

        December 2007: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/.....id=3155417

        In three years, he went from one of three pieces of a trade for 1 year of a veteran pitcher to landing 6 prospects.

        In retrospect, you’d rather get the extra 3 years of cheap performance, but the way it works in baseball, is the known quantity is worth a LOT more than the unknown quantity.

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    “In 2009 the lucky teams are the Indians, A’s, Natinals, Pirates, Astros, Diamondbacks, and Rockies.”

    That jke is still awesme.

    • UWS

      I can’t figure out if it’s really a joke or a typo.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

        Oh, it’s no typo.

        (And if it were, I’d leave it, so you’d never know anyway. Joke’s on you, UWS.)

        • UWS

          *raspberry*

          • http://www.steveospeak.blogspot.com Steveo

            but would you have made the same Joke if it were the Ynkees? B/c that’s a Majestic FAIL not a Nationals or Natinals

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      Hell, when a team is as bad as they are, maybe changing the uniform would do the trick.

  • E-ROC

    Does anyone think Kerry Wood could be fix? Could be a buy low acquisition. Anyway, I am a bit fixated on acquiring Mark DeRosa. The pricetag will probably be high though. :( I would rather have the Yanks wait ’til Bruney and Marte return and Melancon shows he can’t handle NY yet.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      Good strike out numbers but too many HR/BB for Wood. He’s sporting a 1.66 WHIP and a 6.00 ERA right now as opposing hitters have a .932 OPS against him. That makes him a tad bit worse than Jose Veras right now.

      • Brendo

        No one is worse than Veras.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Kerry Wood: 18.0 IP, 12 ER, 19 H, 11 BB, 21 K, 4 HR, 6.00 ERA, 1.67 WHIP, 2-2, 2 blown saves, $10M 2009 salary

          Jose Veras: 20.2 IP, 16 ER, 19 H, 14 BB, 16 K, 4 HR, 6.97 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, 3-1, 0 blown saves, $432k 2009 salary

          Kerry Wood: Worse than Jose Veras

  • BBDC

    Joe,
    isn’t that what the Marlins did by making Boston take Mike Lowell in the Josh Beckett deal. AT the time Mike Lowell was coming off two subpar seasons and his contract was an albatross to the always cost-cutting marlins. (The Marlins still did great in that trade though I believe neither Hanley or Anibal Sanchez were rated that highly in the Red Sox system at the time.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      Hanley was still a highly regarded prospect, but he was coming off a poor season at AA. The situation here is totally different, though. The Red Sox were trading for two years of a cost-controlled young ace as the centerpiece. The Yanks would be getting two years of an over-30 reliever (in the case of Qualls).

  • gxpanos

    I don’t like NL relievers at all. I’d be in favor of Qualls for a couple of low-risk prospects, maybe some guys at the level of or a bit higher than the pitchers the Yanks gave to the Pirates last year. Kontos and another or something.

    I happen to think D-Rob needs needs NEEDS to get REGULAR big-league innings. And I have a feeling that we’ll be really happy with the results. If he cuts his walks to about 3.5/9 or lower (which may be a lot to ask, he hasnt done it in the minors, really), he could be an 8th inning type of guy late this year or next year.

  • Mike Pop

    Maybe the Yankees could trade for Putz to help the bullpen woes?

    http://instantrimshot.com/

    Or, maybe they could put Joba back in the 8th to make a better team?

    http://instantrimshot.com/

    I would love me some Heath Bell, but he would probably cost way to much to fill a need that will probably be fixed once Bruney and Marte come back to health.

    I agree that Huston and Qualls are two quality fits, but I don’t see Cashman trading any major piece of the farm to bring in a reliever. Like E-ROC said above, Kerry Wood would be pretty awesome to get, other than those guys. I’m not too sure.

    • E-ROC

      Kerry Wood does have that huge contract left, too. I don’t know if that would meet the standard of taking on an albatross contract (Kerry Wood) while acquiring the real reason (Mark DeRosa) for the trade.

      • Mike Pop

        Why such a big fan of DeRosa?

        Looking to sign him to an extension, you are?

        • E-ROC

          I like him the super utility role and increase the flexibility of the bench.

  • daneptizl

    Upton. J Upton.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Both of them.

      Melky for Justin, IPK for B.J.

      Problems solved.

      • daneptizl

        Jackson, BJ, J-Up….. I like it… best OF all time…

    • V

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAAHAHAHA

      What would you propose giving up for him??

      • daneptizl

        Enuff.

        • V

          Okay…. Joba+Hughes+AJax+Montero enough for you?

          d00d’s like a 20 year old ARod. He ain’t being traded.

          • daneptizl

            I was thinking more like 3 PTBNLs… I’ll throw in DeLeon if need be.

          • daneptizl

            Although…. he is signing with us come his free agency… just letting you know… J-Up, Montero, Tex, A-Rod in the same lineup…

          • Brendo

            What the heck is a d00d?

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    Let’s merge the two strategies (trading for good players and trading for financial albatrosses) and trade for a good financial albatross.

    Jose Valverde is making 8M. He’s hitting free agency in the winter. Deducting the time he’s already spent in Houston, if we trade for him in June, we’d be buying out the remaining 5.5M or so of his money, and then he’s gone. Better yet, he’s been totally awful so far this year, so he’d be a super buy low candidate, I’d imagine.

    Like, maybe even less than Kontos. Maybe like nothing more than a Zack Kroenke or a Shelley Duncan. Zero risk, some reward.

    The green shoots are definitely there, though. Valverde has never had a K/9 lower than 10, and his K/BB ratio is 3.10. Career WHIP is 1.18, which is pretty solid for a bullpen guy, all things considered.

    He’s been awful this year due to an inexplicable spike in his homer rate (3.88 HR/9, when his career rate is 1.11), which gives pause, but all in all the balance of his work says he’s a good reliever and he’ll probably straighten it out. He throws strikes, he strikes guys out, he doesn’t give up a ton of runs (this year excluded), and he’s an expensive piece the Astros have no use for. I think we could buy him for a non-prospect and give him a shot, see what’s there.

    • gxpanos

      I have no problem with this as long as the prospect is really Kroenke-Duncan caliber, and as long as the Yanks don’t give Valverde too many chances if he ends up Veras-esque.

    • MattG

      Houston is precisely the type of organization that will look at what the traded to get Valverde, and want to make sure they get at least that much back. Nevermind that they were stupid to give up Qualls in the first place.

    • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

      I think he’s hurt, though. He hasn’t pitched since 4/26.

    • Brendo

      Why not ask for Oswalt and Berkman while you are at it?

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        This response makes absolutely zero sense. I have no idea what the hell you’re talking about.

        Valverde is the very definition of expensive and expendable. Oswalt and Berkman are the centerpieces of their team.

        They’re not interested in moving Berkman or Oswalt. They’d gladly let anyone take Valverde off their hands so long as they don’t have to pay him.

  • Andy In Sunny Daytona (circa. 2007)

    Maybe we could get LaTroy Hawkins from the Astros.

    • gxpanos

      Haha the Yanks should do this and give him #51.

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona

        By “we”, I meant “they” since “I” have no say in what “they” do.

  • Sweet Dick Willie

    Relievers are relievers because they’re not very good, and even the ones that have a good season occasionally rarely follow it up with another good season (see, for example, Grant Balfour).

    That said, there are very, very few middle relievers available that represent anything more than a marginal upgrade from what we currently have, so I would be disinclined to make any kind of move in that direction.

    IMO, any resources spent should be allocated to the bench. There are certainly bench players available who represent more than a marginal upgrade over Angel Berroa.

  • Drew

    What would it take to get Church? We don’t generally deal with the Muts but I think he’d be a decent guy in right splitting time with Swish.

    • zs190

      The Mets don’t have outfielders to spare, I would think.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Why trade for Church when we have Xavier Nady coming back soon? And when Nick Swisher looks like he’s coming out of his funk?

      • Drew

        I know if Nady comes back it’s moot. He’s supposedly throwing again today to see if his arm has more discomfort. If this plasma thing doesn’t take we’re probably going to need a corner outfielder, whether it be in house, which I’m a fan of trying J-rod or Linden or out of house, a guy like Church.

  • MattG

    One player that the Yankees must be in on if it could really happen is Victor Martinez. The 2010 Yankees have two half-holes: at DH and Catcher, and Victor Martinez solves both.

    I’d do it with Matsui on the roster, but if I could eat a hunk of Hideki’s contract to make room for VMart, that’d be plan A.

    Actually, plan A would be to trade for him in the off-season, but if he’s going to be moved this July, I want the Yankees to be heavily involved.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Martinez I would also be interested in (and, unlike Grady, he’s moveable).

      But, they’re only moving him to jumpstart their farm, and I fear his cost in prospects would be too big.

      And, he’ll be 31 in December. I’m not keen on giving up multiple good prospects for a catcher designated hitter on the wrong side of 30, even if he is a good hitter.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Victor Martinez, games played per position:

        2006 (age 27):
        C – 133, 1B – 22, DH – 3

        2007 (age 28):
        C – 121, 1B – 30, DH – 3

        2008 (age 29):
        C – 55, 1B – 10, DH – 5

        2009 (age 30):
        C – 27, 1B – 25, DH – 1

        See the trend? Victor Martinez is fast becoming more and more a 1B/DH and less and less a catcher.

      • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        The strikethrough in your last sentence is an important point – Victor Martinez is not a guy you want catching 140 games for your team. He’s really not very good behind the plate (Posada is Johnny Bench compared to Victor). So, while he’s a good hitter, he’s ideally a 1B/DH and he’s 30. I just don’t know how we can advocate for making a move, let alone a move that would cost a ton in talented prospects, for a guy like that. I don’t think it makes any sense for the Yankees.

        • MattG

          If he and Posada can each catch 60+ games in 2010, it’d be awesome roster construction.

          If not, it is not a good fit.

          I do not really see a trend in the numbers above, because he was injured in 2008. If the tribe intends to start him 90 games at catcher this year, I think he would be good to handle 60 next year. Then you let him walk as a free agent, take the picks, and hopefully go with Romine.

    • maddy25

      Why?? When Joe Mauer will be a free agent after 2010 and the Yanks will already have Damon and Matsui off the bokks and Jeters contract end. Id give some kids in the system a chance and wait to sign Mauer and Carl Crawford after 2010. Ya gotta remember people we dont need an allstar at every single spot in the lineup no team has that. Plus Victor Martinez, as good as he is now, is pretty old

  • JP

    I hate trades. They make a big deal about how the teams with money abuse the small market teams, but the small market teams absolutely rape the big clubs in trades. They seem to always get more in value than the star they give up.

    Not that it’s really a “rape,” it’s just bidness. And as awful as the deals may seem, there is always the occasional Beckett and Lowell for HanRam and Anibel Sanchez, winning you a WS…

    I would hate to see the Yankees trade Hughes or Joba and other guys for Sizemore, even if it could happen. The Yankees might have the better end of the deal for a year or 2, but guess what in 3 years we have another 30+ decline phase outfielder who gets injured and are looking around for pitchers.

    • Brendo

      Good thing you aren’t the GM. As bad as the Yankees system has been the past 15 years we’d be the Pirates right now with your philosophy.

  • JP

    Not a trade, per se, but roster management question:

    Let’s hear your percentages on 1) Matsui re-signing with Yankees, and 2) Damon re-signing with Yankees.

    1) 1% chance Matsui signs.
    2) 20% chance Damon signs.

    • Drew

      Damon 50/50 depending on how the rest of the market falls. If the Rays, by some grace of Mo, do not sign Crawford that goes way down. But even then, You may consider keeping Damon to DH for us.
      Matsui-4%, he’d have to have a “Matsui-like” (300/370/480) second half and sign for a reasonable deal, which I’d guess he’d do.

      • Drew

        *pick up the option, not sign.

      • MattG

        I think JP’s closer with 20%. I don’t see Damon back. He’s hitting fabulous, but 1) that’s probably a hot streak, and he’ll find his career norms, and 2) the fielding is degrading.

        Bringing him back to DH should not be an option. I’ve got Posada there 80 games next year, so whomever shares it with him has to have a position.

        • Drew

          Well that’s why I posed this question down a couple posts:
          http://riveraveblues.com/2009/.....ent-411412
          I don’t know who will be in left next year, is it Bay, CC, Holliday, Melky, Ajax? I don’t know that we’ll sign Bay or Holliday, and Crawford probably won’t be available. We’ll need a left fielder and maybe a right fielder depending if Swish earns full-time duty. I think Damon may have a place on this team next year. Also, JoPo may catch upwards of 100/110 games as opposed to 80 which leaves that DH spot open an awful lot. The reason I went 50/50, is that there are so many variables that will effect JD’s status with the Yanks next year.

      • maddy25

        Crawford’s awesome and still young and Posada is gonna be the DH before his contract is up …… sign Joe Mauer

    • Mike HC

      As Damon has said in the past, I think a lot will depend on how the year turns out. If we win the World Series with Damon batting 2 and playing left, there would be a greater incentive to re sign him. If we miss the playoffs or lose before the World Series, management may decide to shake it up a bit more.

  • mikef

    Going to the Original point of Byrnes/$15mm > ZMc, I suppose it would be interesting to see the actual value of a pitcher such as ZMc, much as NFL draft choices have an-almost certain value in trades.

  • Drew

    Is Ajax suppose to be a better CFer than the Melkman? If Melky sticks, and we don’t trade-for/sign an OF corner, is Ajax in the corner or in center next year?

    • V

      I think AJax is supposed to be better than Melky as a fielder, though I don’t know anything about his arm.

  • Drew

    Should we go after Dotel? I’d like to stay away from him but maybe he can help us. If he can throw up his career average he’s a solid arm.

  • kSturnz

    idk if this thread is dead or not, but what about a Vlad resurgence in the Bronx? he would be cool to replace Sui and can still play the field. has the arm and range for our RF

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      he would be cool to replace Sui and can still play the field.

      No he wouldn’t and no he can’t.

      Vlad Guerrero, 2009:
      .246/.279/.333 (58+)

      Vlad Guerrero, 2006-2008:
      2859 innings in RF, aggregate -33.6 UZR

      Vlad Guerrero, 2009:
      All games played at DH

      There’s probably only one player having a more brutal and pathetic end of career right now than Vlad Guerrero… and that’s David Ortiz.

      • donttradecano

        And i find Ortiz’s funnier.

        • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

          +everyYankeefaninexistence

  • karlkole

    Just to throw it out there for people to ponder about;

    “IF” the Yankees were to make Joba available in a trade, what could they possibly get back for him?

    • Brendo

      An 8th inning set up man.

  • donttradecano

    Melvin for Sizemore, Martinez, Cliff Lee (to pitch the 8th of course), and Lebron.

    Im okay with throwing in Frederic Weiss’s draft rights if we HAVE to,

    • Brendo

      Speak the truth

  • karlkole

    @Brendo

    Stay out of this, Francesca! :P

  • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

    For the love of God and all that is Holy, can we FINALLY trade Kei Igawa for a bucket of cold longnecks and some BP balls?!?!

    • donttradecano

      Lets trade igawa for TI’s character in American Gangster.

  • AP

    Even tough this dude might be untouchable and even though I hate the Sox, Adrian Gonzalez to the Sox for two legit prospects or something…..but I would think Gonzalez ispart of that rebuilding process.

    • V

      Holy 3 days later, man.

      But Gonzalez ain’t being moved. Red Sox would be in on that if he were, though it’d take Buchholz+Bowden+Bard+Anderson probably.

      Hell, if the Padres were smart, they’d do that if offered. It would immediately improve their 3-6 year outlook. However, Gonzalez and Peavy are like their only ticket draws right now.

  • AP

    Houston Street would be a good pick up for the yanks.

  • vinniw

    i read alot of this chat. in my opinion the most untouchable 5 players in baseball are longoria, pedroia, jay bruce, wieters, and pedro alavarez.. i cant say hanley just because hes in florida.

    second. theyve hyped up ajax for years. YEARS. they compare him to soriano, i dont think he will be anywhere near sorianos worst year. but you cant trade him now. theyre going to see what he can do. they wont trade montero. they just promoted him last week to AAA theyre trying to make him come up alot earlier than expected. hes going to be a star in my opinion.

    bullpen. leave it be, not many people have a veras kind of guy. yeah he stinks now, i get it. let him get his control and hes going to be very good. martes a bust, they know it which is why they arent salivating for him to come back. melancon got a chance, he didnt impress so they will give him another chance later on in the year. probably during expanded rosters. he will be good. and putting him into the setup role for mos last year will teach him alot. cokes got great stuff. great stuff. i always liked him better than hughes. hughes in the pen is stupid , you need heat to be sucessful unless your that brewers guy defelice. that was a move of desperation.

    the yankees are fine in theyre bullpen in the last 2 weeks its made a 100 percent turnaround. theyre in a shitty situation because if posada dhs than matsui cant play. theyre realizing that you cant put posada in the backstop anymore. theyre running on him like its christmas. thats what the organization will say theyre biggest problem is. the yankees havnt done this will in the beginning of the year since 05. leave whatever theyre doing be. the teams got great chemistry. theyre going to play .650 ball for the rest of the year. theyre the hottest theyve been in years right now and matsuis flat, swishers flat, arods flat, canos flat.

  • Matt

    All this Sizemore trade crap is retarded.

  • http://Johnnyboy5 Johnny

    Why would we trade for Sizemore a guy that hits in the .270’s when Bay Holliday and possibly Crawford are going to be free agents Melky is doing fine in CF so why trade our talent away like we have done so often in the past when we can just sign somebody especially when we have Damon,Matsui,and Nady(unless we resign him) comming off our payroll and Pettite too.