A look at the Yankees’ trade deadline history, 2008-2009

A look at the Yankees' trade deadline history, 2005-2007
Moseley to start Thursday

The 2010 non-waiver trade deadline is just six days away now, and the Yankees are sure to make a move or two (or more) before then to shore up the bench and bullpen, among other things. Because of who they are, the Yanks are always connected to the big names before the deadline, as we’ve already seen with Cliff Lee and Dan Haren this year. Their interest in Lee was sincere, but the vibe I got from the Haren situation was that they were willing to take him if he fell into their laps, but they weren’t married to the idea of acquiring him.

The Yanks have made several moves of varying significance at the deadline during the last five years, so let’s look back and see what moves they actually made. Earlier today we covered the 2005, 2006, and 2007 deadlines while this post gets to 2008 and 2009.

2008
Ross Ohlendorf, Jose Tabata, Jeff Karsten & Dan McCutchen for Xavier Nady & Damaso Marte
LaTroy Hawkins for Matt Cusick
Kyle Farnsworth for Ivan Rodriguez
Alberto Gonzalez for Jhonny Nunez

Much like the 2007 season, the Yanks found themselves looking up at the competition before the trade deadline. They were three games back in the AL East on the day of their first deal, when they sacrificed some prospect depth to bring in an everyday outfielder and one of those elusive reliable lefty relievers.

(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

In the middle of a career year with the Pirates (.396 wOBA in 360 PA), Nady quickly regressed to his league average-ish ways once in the AL East after the trade (.341 wOBA in 247 PA). Marte was very good once coming over, pitching to a 3.02 FIP in 18.1 IP down the stretch. Although both players did their part, the Yankees missed the playoff for the first time since 1994.  Nady returned in 2009 as an arbitration eligible player, but blew out his elbow barely more than a week into the season and never played for the Yanks again. It sounds harsh, but the injury was a blessing in disguise for the team, as it freed Nick Swisher from the realm of platoon players. Marte’s $6M option for 2009 was declined, though the Yanks re-signed him to a three year deal worth $12M. It was a curious move to say the least, but the lefthander gets credit for being Joe Girardi‘s best middle reliever during their run to the 2009 World Championship.

Pittsburgh, on the other hand, has to be pretty happy with the haul they received in the trade. Ohlendorf stepped right into their rotation and been a serviceable back-end arm (4.82 FIP in 281.1 IP), while Karstens (5.03 FIP in 249 IP) has filled a variety of roles for the team. McCutchen (5.17 FIP in 28.1 IP) has been up-and-down as a spot starter, but it shouldn’t be long before the righty settles into a defined role. Tabata is the real prize for the Pirates, as he regained some prospect status after the trade and was summoned to the big leagues for the first time this summer. He has a slightly above league average .334 wOBA in 176 plate appearances.

(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Four days after the deal with Pittsburgh, the Yanks turned some of the dead weight in their bullpen into potentially useful pieces. First they sent Hawkins (4.21 FIP in 41 IP), who had already been designated for assignment, to the Astros for minor leaguer Matt Cusick, who remains in the Yanks’ system and has hit .242/.313/.324 in 215 plate appearances split between Double- and Triple-A this season. A little later they traded the frustrating Farnsworth (5.64 FIP in 44.1 IP) to the Tigers for Rodriguez, who helped fill-in for the injured Jorge Posada. Unfortunately Pudge was as much of a help as expected (.263 wOBA in 101 PA). With the exception of Cusick, all of the players in these deals have since moved on to different teams via free agency.

The final pickup at the 2009 deadline was an under-the-radar move. Alberto Gonzalez had proven to be a slightly worse version of Ramiro Pena during his limited time with the Yanks (.179 wOBA in 73 PA), so he went to the Nationals for the hard throwing relief prospect Nunez. Nunez posted a 2.94 FIP in 19.1 IP with Double-A Trenton after the trade, and was sent to the White Sox in the Nick Swisher deal after the season. He reached the big leagues with Chicago briefly last season (5.39 FIP in 5.2 IP), while Gonzalez has been back and forth between the majors and minors for the Nats since the deal (.305 wOBA in 458 PA).

2009
Chase Weems for Jerry Hairston Jr.

We think of it as a trade deadline move, but in reality the Yankees acquired Eric Hinske from the Pirates back in June. Hinske was fantastic in pinstripes (.350 wOBA in 98 PA), while the two prospects the Yanks surrendered in the deal (Eric Fryer and Casey Erickson) remain in A-ball, and are considerably old for the level. But again, this wasn’t technically a deadline deal.

(AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

The Yanks did make one move right at the deadline though, shoring up their bench even further by grabbing the veteran utility man Hairston from the Reds. He performed better than anyone could have expected after the deal (.325 wOBA in 93 PA), playing every position but first base, pitcher, and catcher for New York. Weems, meanwhile, is playing at the Low-A level for the third consecutive year, and is hitting .181/.263/.208 in 80 plate appearances as a backup catcher. Hairston (and Hinske) performed admirably in the playoffs, but headed for greener pastures as a free agent after the season.

The deadline didn’t stop the Yankees, they sent some cash to the Padres for Chad Gaudin in an August waiver trade. He gave the Yankees a 5.29 FIP in 42 IP down the stretch, when they were just running out the clock on the regular season.

* * *

As we’ve seen in these two posts, the Yankees have always been active at the trade deadline, but very rarely have they made a huge move. The Bobby Abreu trade came about because of injuries to not just one, but two star-caliber everyday players. Even though Nady and Marte are solid big leaguers if not more, that deal was hardly a blockbuster. Almost all of the other moves were small fixes to holes created by injuries or ineffectiveness, which is what I suspect we’ll see this year.

One thing that I found to be very noticeable while putting these posts together was the quality of the players the Yanks were giving up. Back in 2005 and 2006, GM Brian Cashman was finding ways to piece deals together with marginal prospects, using his ability to take on salary as his biggest trade chip. However, as we’ve seen the last two season, the Yankees now have quality prospects and young big leaguers to use in trades, players other teams actually want. Just look at the recent Lee and Haren rumors, the Yanks would have never been able to get serious about a pitcher of that caliber if their farm system was in the same state as it was a few years ago.

We all love prospects. I was a huge Jose Tabata fan early on, but remember that prospects serve two purposes to their organization: to provide cheap players at the big league level, and to be used as trade fodder. The important thing for the Yankees (or any team, really) is to make sure they trade the right prospects, the guys they aren’t high on internally or don’t fit in with the team long-term. You can’t keep them all, if you do you’re going to get burned more often then not. The Yanks will undoubtedly part with some minor leaguers by this Saturday, and just remember that it’s part of the baseball circle of life.

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A look at the Yankees' trade deadline history, 2005-2007
Moseley to start Thursday
  • http://www.thesportsgenius.com John Alves

    I was glad when they got rid of Kyle Farnsworth. He was hurting the team a lot.

    • Not Tank the Frank

      Kyle Farnsworth cried when he got traded. He cried.

  • Jay T

    And, it’s okay about Tabata. He will be an FA soon enough and we will just bring him back.

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

      We’ll lure him with the promise of all the 50 year old women he could want.

      Sex In The City 3 should be out by then.

  • http://ballcraft.blogspot.com Zanath

    So what do you guys think we should expect this trade deadline? I’d say our biggest weakness right now is the bullpen. But it’s so hard to get quality bullpen arms. I guess the guy who is the most available right now is Scott Downs, who is pretty good. I really don’t know if Soria is truly available. I think it would take way too much to actually acquire him.

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

    First they sent Hawkins (4.21 FIP in 41 IP), who had already been designated for assignment, to the Astros for minor leaguer Matt Cusick…

    And before Hawkins was formally DFA’d, he was informally DFDNPCD’d.

    Designated for Did Not Play-Coaches Decision.

    • http://ballcraft.blogspot.com Zanath

      Where is Hawkins these days? Isn’t he on the Astros?

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

        On the DL in Milwaukee, chillin’ with Trevor Hoffman.

        • http://ballcraft.blogspot.com Zanath

          Ah. I remember when he was decent on the Twins. Those were the days. And he had those funky glasses if I remember correctly.

      • Jose the Satirist

        Brewers

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

    We should get Hairston back. Last I checked, he was hitting well.

    /variationofagreatmeme’d

    • http://soxandpinstripes.net Angelo

      What are you talking about!?!? He’s terrible!

      3 for his last 16, 1 BB

      • B-Rando

        Not sure if you guys are joking or not…but i figured id chime in anyway. The Padres are legit contenders, why would they trade any role players away?

        • http://soxandpinstripes.net Angelo

          Yeah we’re just joking.

  • http://fmylife.com Bryan

    I wasn’t big on the Marte-Nady trade at first, but Damaso’s strikeout of Utley in Game 6 made it all worth it.

    • Zack

      Did you not like what Cash gave up? Or were you expecting a bigger splash? (Not sarcastic).

      • http://fmylife.com Bryan

        I wasn’t too hot on Cash giving up Tabata.

  • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

    In all of these trades there’s not a single “the one who got away.” Tabata likely isn’t to get there either, he may develop into a decent player, but not one of these trades is going to come back to burn the Yankees. Often deadline deals are about desperation and I don’t think the Yankees have really fallen into that.

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

      … yet.

      • http://fmylife.com Bryan

        ALBERTO GONZALEZ FTW!!!!!1111

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

          I was referring more to the fact that we haven’t yet traded away anybody who will be a future star, and I hope it stays that way going forward.
          (*cough*jesusmontero*cough*)

          • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

            He’s not going anywhere. I talked the JMK (the new GM) and he told me Montero was staying put.

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

              Awesome. I’m calling North End Wine and Liquor. Let’s get this party started right.

    • http://soxandpinstripes.net Angelo

      Very true.

    • BG90027

      True. We’re lucky though that AZ didn’t like Cano.

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder
  • Blue Devil

    Bullpen help would be nice, but is anyone else disturbed by the report that we dangled Montero for Soria?

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

      Check the previous thread. All over it.

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      :raises hand:

    • http://soxandpinstripes.net Angelo

      Doesn’t mean it’s true. Even if it was true, it’s not the worst thing in the world. Soria is a top of the line closer being paid much below market price. And he could take over for Mo once he calls it quits.

      Not saying I would love the trade because I wouldn’t, but there are worse things that could happen.

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

        Here’s my final offer for Joakim Soria:

        Fernando Seguignol. Take it or leave it.

        • http://soxandpinstripes.net Angelo

          (Hangs up)

        • GG2010

          You can have my answer now, if you like. My final offer is this: NOTHING. Not even the fee for the gaming license, which I would appreciate if you would put up personally.

    • Thomas

      I don’t like the angle of that dangle.

    • MirrorOnTheCeiling

      I would be really upset about dealing Monero for Soria. Personally I wouldn’t trade Romine for him either but I could live with it and justify it in my mind but Motero I don’t think I could ever agree with trading for a relief pitcher.

      • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

        You misspelled his name twice without even one Montario, or whatever it was? FOR SHAME.

        • http://soxandpinstripes.net Angelo

          Yeah it’s Montario. Monero? Really? Motero? What is up with some people.

      • B-Rando

        Gotta agree with bex on this one.

        Monero? Motero? Montario?

        Ms Vaughn: “Rirruto??”
        Billy: “Those are z’s”

        /Adam Sandler’d

        • pat

          How about buzz?

  • Johnny O

    Was discussing with a Mets fan over the weekend about a potential Soria-to-Yanks trade. I was lukewarm to the idea, and the following exchange occurred:
    Mets fan: “are you crazy?! he’s one of the best closers in the game!”
    Me: “so was K-Rod.”
    Mets fan: “K-ROD EFFING SUCKS!!!”

    Case closed.

    • http://soxandpinstripes.net Angelo

      Haha, that’s great.

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

      I’m not lukewarm to the idea of getting Soria, not at all. I am lukewarm for the idea of getting Soria for Jesus Montero.

      • http://soxandpinstripes.net Angelo

        Pretty much.

      • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

        that “for the idea” should be “to the idea” durf.

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

          drfat

          • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

            giggle snort.

      • MirrorOnTheCeiling

        That about sums it up.

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

      Fun Fact:
      xFIP, active MLB relievers (2002-present, min 200 innings):

      1.) Jonathan Broxton 2.78
      2.) Billy Wagner 2.81
      3.) Mariano Rivera 2.97
      4.) Joe Nathan 3.11
      5.) Heath Bell 3.14
      6.) Brad Lidge 3.18
      7.) Takashi Saito 3.25
      8.) Francisco Rodriguez 3.27
      9.) Bobby Jenks 3.29
      10.) Joakim Soria 3.30
      11.) Jonathan Papelbon 3.37
      12.) Mike Adams 3.40
      13.) J.J. Putz 3.41
      14.) Huston Street 3.42
      15.) Hong-Chih Kuo 3.44
      16.) Jose Valverde 3.45
      17.) Rafael Perez 3.47
      18.) Chad Qualls 3.48
      19.) Brian Wilson 3.54
      20.) Mike Gonzalez 3.57

      • Tubby

        So Papelbon isn’t the best closer in baseball history?

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

          Fun Fact #2:

          Jonathan Papelbon, K/BB ration by year:

          2006 (age 25): 5.77
          2007 (age 26): 5.60
          2008 (age 27): 9.63 (!)
          2009 (age 28): 3.17
          2010 (age 29): 2.40 (!)

          • pat

            Holy shit, Paps is 29? Daaaaamn. I thought he was only 27 or 28.

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

              He turns 30 a month after the season is over. College + two years of the minors.

              That’s what (some) people keep forgetting when discussing the careers of young Messrs. Hughes, Chamberlain, and Kennedy: They all reached the bigs two, three, or even four years sooner than most normal prospects do. So some of their developmental struggles are due to facing elite competition at an age when most prospects are still learning the trade on the farm.

              • pat

                Spoken like a true prospect hugger.

            • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

              I honestly remember when the Red Sox ROTATION was supposed to be shored up for years on the arms of these three:

              Jon Lester (okay, that one worked out okay)
              Jonathan Papelbon
              Craig Hansen (yeah, no)

              • http://www.yfsf.org AndrewYF

                I’m sorry bexy, but Craig Hansen was never a starting prospect. The reason he went so high in the draft was because he was supposedly such an advanced relief prospect that everyone thought he could help during the stretch run the same year he was drafted.

          • Thomas

            If Boston wasn’t a small market team, they’d be able to give him a larger ration.

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

              Heh. My bad.

              • Thomas

                I actually make the exact same mistake. I always type “ration” and have to go back and delete the “n”.

      • keithr

        Not sure xFIP is the best stat to be using when discussing such a large sample size.

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

          Why, pray tell?

          • keithr

            Because with enough data the fluky nature of HR/FB% will smooth out. Over smaller samples i.e. a season that rate can vary greatly but when talking about the majority of a player’s career you have to be willing to acknowledge that some of preventing home runs IS a skill, and not just random.

            Or, why xFIP underrates Mariano Rivera. That’s pretty much it. ><

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

              Okay, you’ve got a point. But over a larger sample, the two numbers regress towards each other, more or less, meaning the difference is fairly negligible.

              • Jose the Satirist

                What two numbers are you claiming regress towards each other?

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

                  FIP and xFIP. There’s some minor flip-flopping involved, sure, but the bulk of that above list appears in the same order whether you do it via FIP, xFIP, tERA, etc.

                  • Jose the Satirist

                    Ah, gotcha. That may occur, but just for future reference try to avoid xFIP in the situation above. I don’t want you to use it arguing something in the future where it may change your premise completely. Hopefully you better understand xFIP as a result of this discussion and can use it even more effectively.

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

                      Yeah, I got it, thanks.

          • Jose the Satirist

            xFIP sets HR/FB rate at 10.6% and treats it as not related to pitcher skill set. Mariano has a 6.4% HR/FB in his last 593.2 IP. That is an enormous sample size for a relief pitcher. Something about the way he pitches doesn’t allow for many HR/FB. Clearly that 10.6% of xFIP isn’t a good predictor, so why would you use it? xFIP is not appropriate for what you were trying to show.

      • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

        I’m not quite sure what the point of this is, especially because, without checking (sorry, Fangraphs makes my computer do silly things sometimes =/), I suspect K-Rod’s xFIP, FIP, etc., are all trending up over the past few years.

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

          Oh, sure. I just thought it was interesting how similar the career mark of KRod was to Papelbon and Soria.

          Nothing profound.

          • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

            Ahhh, gotcha. I thought you were trying to say K-Rod > Soria and at this point, I don’t agree at all. K-Rod used to be really, really nasty. He’s declined a lot, though.

  • Januz

    I remember when the Tabata/Marte trade was made and most people crucified Cashman over it. This guy is hitting .281 with 2 homers and 14 RBI’s. I would give that up any day for what Marte did in the playoffs and the series. I can think of very few trades this team ever made that were awful: Larry Gura/Fran Healy, Fred McGriff/John Mayberry and Jay Buhner/Ken Phelps are three that come to mind (None of which happened in recent memory). I have little doubt that Cashman will find a useful piece or two (Like Jerry Hairston jr was last year) before the deadline, without mortgaging the future.

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

      I have little doubt that Cashman will find a useful piece or two (Like Jerry Hairston jr was last year) before the deadline, without mortgaging the future.

      Mike Fontenot?

    • pollo

      YOU DONT KNOW WHAT THE HELL YOU’RE DOING

    • bonestock94

      It’s ridiculous to write off Tabata for his first month + in the big leagues. Marte did amazingly in the WS but overall he’s been unreliable, both health and performance wise.

      • Januz

        No one is writting off Tabata (It is way too early), but that trade turned out to be a Godsend. As a comparison, in 1996, we traded Bob Wickman for Graham Lloyd (Another lefty specialist). While Wickman had some very good seasons for Milwaukee, without Lloyd we would have not won back then……….. The same concept applied to Marte in 2009. In hindsight, both of those trades worked out very well for the Yankees.

  • Tom Zig

    I irrationally hate Pudge because I blame him for Joba’s shoulder injury even though he probably had little if anything at all to do with it.

  • Frank Horak

    You know you are living large when your only concern at trade deadline time is bullpen set up men and bench players.

  • pat

    I love that pic of Hairston. That was such a fun game watching the Angels implode.

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

      MIKE-MIKE-MIKE SCOSCIA FACE
      MIKE-MIKE SCOSCIA FACE

      • pat

        Haha, I’ll actually fix my own comment
        That was such a fun game series watching the Angels implode.

        FTFM

      • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

        I turned on one of the Angels/Rangers games this weekend and the Texas announcers were going on about the Sciosciaface. Very funny.

    • Tom Zig

      big mistake or biggest mistake: not walking Arod with fast freddy and gardner due up behind him

      • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

        Big mistake, the biggest mistake was that delicious meatball sub Fuentes threw after actually getting A-Rod to 0-2.

  • http://www.workwithpete.com Pete

    I had completely blocked out that I-Rod played for the Yankees, and that was only a few years ago. Wow he really must have contributed *nothing*…

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

      I was actually interested in trading for him as a Cervelli upgrade a while ago, but he lost his BABIP AJaxLuck™ and he’s been pathetically Varitekian for a while now. He’d actually be a Cervelli downgrade at the moment.

      Pudge’s monthly splits, 2010:
      April: .413 /.449/.524 (.456 BABIP) – Jacksonian.
      May: .233/.242/.350 (.255 BABIP) – Oof.
      June: .250/.284/.297 (.302 BABIP) – that’s just pathetic.
      July: .167/.177/.217 (.192 BABIP) – I spoke too soon.

      • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

        I got yelled at on Twitter for suggesting AJax had been even slightly lucky. :( The guy apologized after he found out I’m not one of those people that blindly cries “BABIP!” but COME ON, his BABIP is over .400. That is way beyond “but he has a good LD%!”

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

          I’m calling extreme, bizarre, and utterly unsustainable BABIP good fortune “AJaxLuck™” from now on.

      • Tom Zig

        Maybe we should bring him back in case he catches Jacksonitus again. He can’t ruin Joba anymore than he already did.

        /irrational thinking.

  • Carcillo

    Fwiw, the following is inaccurate:

    With the exception of Cusick, all of the players in these deals have since moved on to different teams via free agency.

    Marte is still here, as I’m sure you know.

    Also, Mike, where did you find the FIP split on Farnsworth from 2008, because it sure as hell isn’t on Fangraphs.

  • Pete

    lol @ Alberto Gonzalez for Jhonny Nunez. That’s a “who cares” trade if I ever saw one

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

      I wonder if Kenny Williams would have bit on the Swisher trade if the package was Betemit-Marquez-Alberto Gonzalez instead of Betemit-Marquez-Nuñez. It might have tipped the scales, knowing Krazy Kenny.

  • Mike HC

    Seems like the Yanks have made some pretty solid moves over the years. Nothing great, except the Abreu trade maybe, but every trade seemed to definitely help the team as much as could be expected.

    As for this year, the Yanks seemed to do their damage this off season trading for Javy and Granderson. The Javy trade has been a pretty clear win so far, while the Granderson deal is looking like a draw at best.

    I wish we could have landed Lee. Was not that thrilled with the Haren deal with Joba involved, and pretty much hate the Montero for Soria rumors. But since none of those deals have been made, it is all moot.

    • Mike HC

      I would think Billy Beane would start crying tears of joy if the Yanks offered him Montero for Andrew Bailey, who seems basically pretty similar to Soria.