Yanks might find pickings slim after Friday


Welcome to the week leading up to the non-waiver trade deadline, a typically crazy week for baseball. Rumors fly, and most of them either don’t happen or are unfounded in the first place. Many reports filed this week will feature the Yankees, since not only are they perennial buyers, but are also used in many instances to drive up prices for other teams. They do have a couple of weaknesses to shore up, all in the pitching department. It’s not a requirement, but it sure would be nice to add another arm, whether a starter or reliever, in the next five days.

Do they have to necessarily make a move this week? According to Brian Cashman, there will be increased activity after July 31 this year because many teams will not be willing to put in waiver claims. For the uninitiated, after July 31 teams can still trade, but the players in question must either clear waivers or be claimed by their destination team. For example, if the Yankees want Jarrod Washburn, he’d either have to go unclaimed by all 29 teams, or else be claimed by the Yankees. The Yankees and Mariners could then talk trade, but only for players who either clear waivers or are not on the 40-man roster.

The reason Cashman believes there will be more post-July 31 action is that teams will be less willing to risk putting in a claim. The team placing the player on waivers can opt to foist a player and his contract on a claiming team. This is how the Yankees got stuck with Jose Canseco in 2000. They put in a claim to block other teams, and the Rays said, “you can take him and what remains of his $3 million salary.” There was nothing the Yankees can do. Cashman believes that fewer teams will make waiver claims with the intent to block, fearing a similar maneuver.

In the Yankees case, that might be of little consolation. Their list of targets is concentrated to a few high-profile starting pitchers and a number of relief pitchers, all of whom could be claimed before they make it to the Yankees. This is mostly a product of the standings. Because the Yankees are ahead of the Red Sox, the Sox will get first dibs. Their payroll is relatively low, so they could risk taking on payroll, especially if it means keeping certain players from the Yankees.

Let’s take a quick look at the Yankees potential targets and see which ones, if any, could possibly pass through waivers.

Jarrod Washburn: He has about $3.5 million left on his contract for 2009. That might scare some teams away, but there are enough teams looking for pitching help that they might risk a claim. Plus, the Mariners know they have a valuable asset in Washburn. He can fetch them a decent prospect before the deadline, and chances are if they want to move him they will prior to Friday. Still, he could clear. The biggest threat, the Red Sox, might not want to take on a fly ball lefty. Those usually don’t go over well in Fenway.

Cliff Lee: There is no chance that Lee and his team-friendly contract makes it through waivers. Not even close. If the Yanks want him they’ll have to get it done this week. Chances are, though, that they’ll continue to balk at the asking price.

Roy Halladay: His contract might be prohibitive to some teams, but the Red Sox are not one of them. If placed on waivers, the Sox would certainly put in a claim. The Phillies would, too, but the AL gets first crack. The Tigers could even put in a claim, too, as could the Angels. Zero percent chance of the Yankees acquiring him after July 31.

Ian Snell: He’s been dominating AAA, but there are still concerns about him. After his career year in 2007 he signed an extension, and has bombed ever since. The problem, it seems, is his control, as the walks have jumped. In any case, Snell is owed about $1 million for the remainder of this season, $4.25 million in 2010, and has two team options for 2011 and 2012 ($6.75 and $9.25 million). The Yankees have been scouting Snell, though there’s little urgency to get a deal done. Considering his major league performance over the past two seasons, he’d likely clear waivers.

Scott Downs: Questionable whether he passes through. He has about $1.25 million on his contract for this year, plus $4 million last year. He’s lights out, though, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Sox and Angels put in a claim before the Yanks have a chance. Detroit and the ChiSox could also put in a claim.

Chad Qualls: Almost certainly would be claimed. He has under a million left on his contract this season, and has one arbitration year left before free agency. Even if a team didn’t want to take on his potential 2010 salary, they could dish him or non-tender him. Little to no chance he makes it to the Yanks.

Jon Rauch: Tough to say on Rauch. He has under a million left on his deal this season (about $660,000), and has a $2.9 million club option for 2010. That could lead to a few claims ahead of the Yankees, especially by a bullpen-starved team like the Angels. Again, don’t count out the Tigers. In fact, because of bullpen needs, I wouldn’t expect many, if any, decent relievers to be available to the Yankees after July 31.

Surely there are at least a few more names the Yankees are targeting, but these are the guys we’ve talked about for the past few weeks. And while it’s true that more players will pass through waivers this year than in the past, the players the Yankees are targeting right now most likely will not. This could put a greater onus on getting a deal done this week. Afterward, they might not have the same number of players available.

Just to spin this on its head, it could also open up new possibilities, players who pass through waivers who aren’t really being mentioned in trade talks right now. But chances are that the Yankees will lose out on unacquired targets on Friday at 4 p.m. EDT.


  1. 27 this year says:

    Based on Cashman’s comments about the fake deadline, I really hope he isn’t depending on that idea to make deals. I think he needs to get something done by Friday and not leave holes hoping to get filled in August. The Red Sox know our holes so they could block anyone who could possibly fix our holes.

  2. Because the Yankees are ahead of the Red Sox, the Sox will get first dibs. Their payroll is relatively low, so they could risk taking on payroll, especially if it means keeping certain players from the Yankees.

    And that’s why I question Cashman’s proffered strategy of waiting for post-deadline deals, because most of the players we’d be interested in, i.e. fifth starters, extra bullpen arms, utility infielders, maybe even a centerfielder… all our needs are also the Sox’s needs, and they have more than enough room to take on any contract just like we do.

    If the Mariners pass Washburn through waivers with the intent of dealing him to us, why wouldn’t the Sox just take him and put him in their rotation? They would.

    • Zach says:

      It could be Cashman just trying to get a little leverage too. Honestly, I dont believe anything any GM, reporter, etc says until the deal is done, its just all rumors. Yankees werent in on Tex, they’re not going to sign him, he’s going to LA or Bos, Yankees have no chance, not even in pursuit- oh he signed with the Yankees?

  3. Drew says:

    I’d like to snag Snell before the deadline.
    As for after the deadline deals, there’s no way anyone of substance will make it to us.

  4. What about Duchsherer? Can the A’s put him through waivers if he’s still injured? His ETA is what, two more weeks?

    • A.D. says:

      I read 2 weeks and he’d be starting in the majors.

    • gio says:

      Agreed. He’s really the guy I’d like to see the Yanks tkake a flier on. So much more upside than the rest of the pack of starters who, according to sources, would require a “modest prospect” (MLBTR).

  5. Dela G says:

    in cashman we trust

  6. El Tigre says:

    I can’t see this team not making a splash.. it just seems unliekly they don’t make a move conisdering we do need depth

  7. Dela G says:

    i still say the yankees trade for adam dunn. I know you guys may be tired of me advocating it, but not signing him and trading for swisher was dumb in my book

    • Drew says:

      That’d be sick but I doubt it will happen.

      • Dela G says:

        especially with dunn hitting .275 instead of his regular .249 avg, he would hit 50 HRs in yankee stadium III

    • i still say the yankees trade for adam dunn. I know you guys may be tired of me advocating it…

      No, I’m with you, Dunn would be great, but A) he probably costs more than we should give up, and B) with Matsui and Damon still here and still hitting well, we don’t have anywhere to play him nor do we have a pressing need for him at the moment.

      … but not signing him and trading for swisher was dumb in my book.

      Yeah… no, it wasn’t.

      Because Dunn isn’t an OF, he’s a DH. Whatever offensive boost he provides over Swisher (which is smaller than you think, since Swisher’s been pretty solid) is negated by the huge negative he’d be in the field.

      I was dying to give Matsui away to try and get Dunn or Manny to be our DH in the winter. I want no part of Adam Dunn in RF, though. That’s a Bad Idea Jeans.

      • Drew says:

        Well, in hindsight we didn’t know Melkster and Gritmeister would both play well, but, we could’ve lived with a Damon, Grit, Melk OF with Dunn hitting behind A-Rod.

      • V says:


        According to FanGraphs, Adam Dunn has, so far, been worth $5.2M this year to the Nationals.

        Nick Swisher has, so far, been worth $5.7M to the Yankees this year.

        Swisher has a rather team friendly contract: He’s making $5.3M this year (so ANY production they get from him here on out is ‘free’), $6.75M next year, $9M in 2011, and in 2012 has a $10.25M club option with a $1M buyout. Barring injury, ANY team will exercise that option come 2012.

        Adam Dunn makes $8M this year and $12M next year. The bat is better than Swisher’s, but he’s a defensive liability, whereas Swisher is slightly above average.

        • Drew says:

          That’s not a fair comparison, everyone on our rosters value would go down by playing on the Nats. Less runs, larger ballpark, fewer wins, fewer saves, blah blah. If Nick Swisher is worth 5.7 to us, Adam Dunn would be worth a lot more.

        • V says:

          That said, I am 100% in favor of seeing what it would take to get him for 2010 as the DH.

      • jsbrendog says:

        i was all for giving matuis awas as well but he has been more than i think any of us thought he would be.

      • Dela G says:

        agreed. he is an all-time terrible outfielder, but man that 40HR, 100RBI, 125BB, .400 OBP is very very hard to say no to. I see where you are coming from though. Swish is much better in the OF than people will give him credit for

      • Exempting play at 1B (since both of them have been below average in really small sample sizes):

        Adam Dunn, 2009 –
        wRAA: 25.3
        LF/RF UZR: -18.7 in 670 inn.
        Total production (wRAA+UZR): 6.6 runs above average
        WAR: +1.2

        Nick Swisher, 2009 –
        wRAA: 9.4
        LF/RF UZR: -3.1 in 656 inn.
        Total production (wRAA+UZR): 6.3 runs above average
        WAR: +1.3

        • Drew says:

          I see with my eyes. lol, c’mon man, 400 obp and 40 Hr’s behind Jeter, Damon, Teix and Al = money. NOone is arguing that Dunn is even Bobby Abreu on the defensive end.

          • I see with my eyes. lol, c’mon man, 400 obp and 40 Hr’s behind Jeter, Damon, Teix and Al = money.

            Yup. And, countless flyouts into RF becoming doubles = Joba and Andy giving up 6 runs in 4 innings in a loss instead of 4 runs in 5 innings in a no-decision = not money.

            Net production-wise, Adam Dunn and Nick Swisher are pretty identical. The only way Adam Dunn makes sense is as a DH. And we already have one of those, his name is Hideki Matsui.

            Dunn is a smart buy for 2010. Not for 2009.

          • V says:

            But, for every additional run he knocks in, he gives one up in the field.

            As a PURE DH, I’d LOVE to have his bat in the lineup. As a defensive player? I’d rather poke my eyes out.

            • Drew says:

              Again, why does everyone think I want Dunn in the OF?

              • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

                Because this conversation started as a conversation about adding Adam Dunn to the 2009 Yankees. Adding Adam Dunn to the 2009 Yankees, with their current personnel, means, in all likelihood, playing Dunn in the outfield.

                If you only look at offense, of course Dunn looks better. But we’re talking about his hypothetical value to the 2009 Yankees, and, in the course of this conversation, his value to the 2009 Yankees vis a vis Nick Swisher’s value to the 2009 Yankees.

                So, when you say you want Dunn on the team and/or compare him to Swisher, people discuss those arguments in the context of, well, reality.

                • Drew says:

                  lol. Okay, buddy. If you read what I wrote, like in 4 different areas. He’d be the DH. Which is in all realms of this reality you speak of, bud.

                • V says:

                  And Matsui would be…. doing what?

                • Drew says:

                  Well, if it happened now, Matsui would ride pine. If it happened on the same date Swish was acquired, he’d probably be in Seattle or on another team.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

                  Relax. I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings.

                  Again… Given the current personnel on the Yankees’ roster, Adam Dunn be an outfielder on this team. When you advocate acquiring Dunn, people respond as if you think he’d be an upgrade on this team as an outfielder because if the Yankees were to really acquire Adam Dunn, they’d be acquiring him as an outfielder.

                • V says:

                  So, the Yankees would just EAT his salary? Why?

                  They DO have a budget.

                • Dela G says:

                  makin it rain with each check

                • Drew says:

                  But why wouldn’t he be the DH? Sure he’d get the occasional start in right but if they had acquired him rather than Swisher I’m sure he’d be moved to DH once we signed Teix.

                • Drew says:

                  Who said we would eat his salary? Sure if we traded him last winter their would be some obligation for this year. This is all hypothetical. If we got him tomorrow, again hypothetical, Matsui would still contribute just not as the PERMANENT dh.

                • But why wouldn’t he be the DH? Sure he’d get the occasional start in right but if they had acquired him rather than Swisher I’m sure he’d be moved to DH once we signed Teix.

                  Who plays RF? That plan only works if Xavier Nady never gets injured.

                  In your scenario, it’s:
                  Bench- Matsui

                  And, when Nady gets hurt, then Dunn moves to RF and Matsui moves back into the starting lineup. Because with Dunn’s salary being double what Swisher’s is, we’re not going to go trade for a new RF, we’d be overbudget as it is.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

                  Because Hideki Matsui is on the roster and would be worthless if not slotted into the lineup as the DH, and because if you subtract Nick Swisher from the Yankees’ roster and use his spot on Adam Dunn as a DH, then you don’t have a RFer.

                • Bo says:

                  What the heck do we need with another non athletic DH type??

                • Drew says:

                  TSJC, you’re speaking in hindsight, with the injury. If you go in hindsight, why wouldn’t we just field Melky in right and Grit in center? Their offense is sustainable with Adam Dunn in our lineup. Our OF defense would be great (except for blinky damon).

                • If you go into it with foresight, you’re DEATHLY TERRIFIED of an outfield with Melky and Gardner in it together.

                  The huge tiebreaker in the theoretical “Should we have traded for Swisher or signed Dunn this past offseason” question was the positional flexibility that Swisher offered. Dunn the DH probably adds more value than Swisher the RF, but the corresponding moves of benching Matsui and playing Nady in RF with no good safety net (remember, even absent the injury there was questions about whether Nady would even hit enough or field well enough to justify starting him) means that since Swisher could defend well enough to play his bat in RF, it better fits our team needs.

                  Going into the season, the 2009 Yankees needed a solid rightfielder more than they needed an upgrade at DH. That’s Swisher, not Dunn.

                • Drew says:

                  Fair enough. My head is spinning with all of this theoretical and hypothetical mumbo jumbo.

                • Okay. Now that that’s settled, let’s talk about string theory.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

                  Hold on, I’m still trying to understand this: “If you read what I wrote, like in 4 different areas. He’d be the DH. Which is in all realms of this reality you speak of…” Can string theory help decipher that stuff for me?

                • Drew says:

                  No but with some hard work and a little adarol you may get it.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

                  Haha… “Better living understanding Drew’s angry comments through modern science.”

                  And, dude… It’s “adderall.”

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

                  Hey C-L-O-W-N! It’s A-D-D-E-R-A-L-L!

                  /Pinstripe Destiny’d

                • Drew says:

                  Yeah, guess I should have googled that one.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

                  Oh come on, Pinstripe Destiny jokes aren’t instantrimshot-able already, are they? That guy’s irrational anger is a goldmine.

                • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

                  Is Pinstripe Destiny the guy who went on and on about wanting to DFA Matsui last month? And every time someone pointed out his .825ish OPS, he would ask us again and again if we watch the games and see how bad he is?

                  I think of that guy now every time Matsui gets another big hit.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

                  I thought Pinstripe Destiny is the guy who has only commented a few times to yell “CLOWN!” at TSJC.

                  Ugh… If I got the name wrong, I apologize.

                • Rick in Boston says:

                  Was he the one who wanted to argue with Joe/Ben/Mike about his constitutional right to post off-topic?

                • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

                  I think that was mryankee.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

                  Here you go, read this conversation:


                • Rick in Boston says:

                  Thanks – I really need to read the Game Threads more often. Or someone should do a next morning recap and link to the most Oaktag-worthy quotes of the night before.

                • jsbrendog says:


                  time for a comment vortex. here’s the other pinstripe alley convo

    • Joltin' Joe says:

      I would love to see Dunn in YSIII but he has, HAS! to be DHing.

  8. A.D. says:

    No Bronson Arroyo mention, he’d 100% pass through waivers, and for good reason, bad player + bad contract.

    Otherwise Cashman’s comments only make sense in the situation of a Jose Canseco, a guy who is overpaid vs his current ability, and which the team that has him doesn’t really want.

    Guys like Washburn, there are plenty of teams that would be interested in his services, especially with an expiring contract & current type B status. There’s not that much risk.

  9. CountryClub says:

    Regardless of what side of the Cashman line you fall on, I think you have to admit he’s had a good record at making trades near the deadline. A lot of times the deals came out of nowhere too.

  10. SoCalYankeeFan says:

    If the D’Back would be willing to package Qualls and Garland, what would the Yankees have to give up?

    SoCalYankeeFan 8)

  11. V says:

    Hmm, mlbtraderumors post about Alcides Escobar has me thinking – what would it take to get Washburn + a buy low on Morrow?

    • Sam says:


      • Sam says:

        Maybe substitute McAllister for Melancon or add Nova?

        • Reggie C. says:


          Washburn – 2 month player who you then let walk
          Morrow – who you put in the ‘pen and let Hughes start.

          .. Ajax, McAllister, Nova, + Melancon … damn. I think that’s still light on our side.

          • Bo says:

            Yea I’m sure Sea would love to throw in Morrow in any deal. just like the Yanks would have thrown Hughes in a deal last yr. Wow.

            • V says:

              Oh look, Bo talking about something he doesn’t know anything about. Surprise surprise.

              FYI, dumbass, there are rumors of an Alcides Escobar for Washburn+Morrow deal.

            • Reggie C. says:

              The talk of Seattle fielding offers to move Morrow has been off and on for awhile, and it looks like they’ve spoken with at least the Brewers recently.

              Seriously…if Morrow and Washburn could be had in the same deal, consider me highly intrigued.

          • Reggie C. says:

            I’ve given more thought on Morrow’s availability.

            - Do the Mariners really want to trade low on Morrow? This is the same guy who had a WHIP under 1.2 last season and flashed dominant stuff (i.e., the YS start). I’m not sure what’s going with him this season, but he’s not the same guy. Yet, if Mariners brass includes him in a deal with Wash … I’d take a longer look and make sure he’s not hurt.

            - If Morrow is just plain ineffective right now, and the Mariners would take the 4-player package – Cash should do it.

  12. Doug says:

    Downs has been far from “lights out” since coming back from his toe injury

  13. Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

    Just make Ruomolo Sanchez the 5th starter. :)

  14. Frank says:

    I’d like Josh Willingham as a back up corner OFr/DH RH bat off the bench.

  15. Tony says:

    Marte is your deadline acquisition. If Mitre blows up, they’ll move Ace or Hughes to the rotation. This isn’t the Torre Era where we needed to replace two decimated relievers on July 31 every year.

  16. Kiersten says:

    I could be mistaken, but didn’t Cashman make those comments before we took over first place?

  17. Cokie says:

    Maybe we can get Darrell Rasner back from Japan. Just checked out his season stats:

    3-4 record in 10 games 51.2IP 62H 16BB 34K 6.62ERA
    That looks worse than his AL East numbers from 2008. I thought the Japanese leagues was supposed to be an easier than MLB?

  18. Doug says:

    Should we be more concerned about the Sox getting Halladay or Gonzalez? Write that after Heyman tweeted that AGon may be their top target now.

  19. A.D. says:

    Sherman throwing another name into the mix:

    An NL official said not to believe that San Diego closer Heath Bell is only available at an exorbitant price. “I think the Padres realize that this is the moment when you can get your best deal for (Bell). He gets expensive next year, and there is no reason to have an expensive closer on a bad team.”

  20. Frank says:

    The godfather was just on ESPN radio and he says the Yanks are not interested in Snell. For what that’s worth.

  21. Bo says:

    You realize Cashman is playing the negotiating game here right? What GM ever tells the truth about what balls he has in the air and what his plans are? The only thing that makes sense is keeping all options open and having teams not think you’re desperate so you can keep all your top prospects.

  22. KayGee says:

    If Atlanta falls out of it in August, any chance they put Vasquez on the block? His salary next year could stop teams from claiming him. While his 1 year here didnt go so well after the All Star break, hes a proven innings eater and has some post season experience. He’s also having a very good year

  23. Thomas A. Anderson says:

    Today is A-Rod’s birthday today. He’s 34. For everyone’s sake let’s hope he holds up fairly weel till he’s 42 when his deal is up.

    So happy birthday, Alex.

  24. jsbrendog says:

    via mlbtr (sorry i can’t link it it is blocked at work so i check it on my phone)

    “the a’s would likely accept a ‘modest prospect’ for justin duchscherer, who’s currently rehabbing. There’s about $1.3MM remaining on the righty’s contract before he hits free agency after the season”

    do it.

  25. jsbrendog says:

    The Yankees appear to be focusing in on relievers as the trade deadline approaches. By beefing up the bullpen, this would enable them to transition Alfredo Aceves to the rotation if the need arises.


  26. Pedro (from Brazil) says:


  27. AndrewYF says:

    Apparently the Reds are sellers, and Aaron Harang is on the block. He hasn’t pitched all that well in the past two years, but he eats innings and strikes out his share of batters. He’s also owed $12.5 million next year with an option for 2011. I’d give up a ‘modest prospect’ for him, but it may take more than that.

  28. TheLastClown says:

    Is there an order in which teams are given an opportunity to claim waiver-wire players? If so, what is it determined by?

    • Joltin' Joe says:

      Teams in the same league get priority. Then, teams with the worst record get priority. So today the Yankees would be last for NL players and the last AL team for AL players. Friday is basically our August 31.

    • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

      Worst record to best record, but the league the player/team is in gets first shot.

  29. Joltin' Joe says:

    If Downs clears waivers at any point this season, please proceed to slap me upside the head. Thank you for your time.

  30. gxpanos says:

    This Duchscherer thing is so obvious to me. He seems BY far the most attractive option, considering Beane said he give him up for “a modest prospect.” If Cashman’s the GM I hope he is, he’ll figure this out. Duke would be GREAT as a 5th starter. He’s really only had good years, either as a starter or reliever. The only thing that’s worrisome is injury, but a modest prospect is still worth it.

  31. Sam says:

    Is Harang a consideration?

  32. dc1874 says:

    looks like Bronson Arroyo is commin…..

  33. dc1874 says:

    Yankees, Reds Working On Arroyo Deal
    Posted Jul 27, 2009 5:38PM By Jeff Fletcher (RSS feed)

    Filed Under: Reds, Yankees, MLB Inside Scoop, MLB Trade Deadline
    Email Print ShareText SizeAAAThe Yankees are in serious discussions with the Reds about acquiring Bronson Arroyo, although right now the deal may be hinging on how much of Arroyo’s remaining contract the Reds are willing to eat, major league sources told FanHouse on Monday.

    “It will get done,” one source said.

    Arroyo, 32, is due nearly $4 million for the rest of this season, plus $11 million in 2010 and a $2 million buyout or a $11 million option in 2012. Arroyo is 10-9 with a 5.21 ERA, but he has a 2.08 ERA in his past three starts.

    Reds top officials met via conference call this morning, an indication to one big-league source that they were “close to a deal.” Arroyo has since been removed as the Reds probable pitcher for Tuesday.

  34. [...] the Yanks could certainly make a move for a pitcher before then. As we noted yesterday, the Yanks might not be able to acquire a significant target after the deadline, because the Sox are in second place and could block a potential move. Both teams would benefit [...]

  35. [...] The trade deadline came and went, with the Yanks picking up utility man Jerry Hairston Jr. and minor league pitcher Jason Hirsh in separate deals. The Yanks were reportedly interested Bronson Arroyo but thankfully nothing came of it. They also made a run at Jarrod Washburn, but the price was too high. Brian Cashman & Co. will still be on the lookout for pitching in August, but the pickin’s might be slim. [...]

  36. [...] more activity in August this year than in years past, but considering the lay of the land, that might not be the case. As it stands the Red Sox are behind the Yankees in the standings, so they have a chance to put in [...]

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