If the Yanks make a big move, it will come in August

The extremely high asking price for Scott Downs
Pettitte 'feeling good' down in Tampa

Joel Sherman passes along some excellent advice: “Avoid writing what is not going to happen.” I read that line as I was 800 words into an article examining why the Yankees won’t look into two possible upgrades in the starting rotation, Roy Oswalt and Carlos Zambrano. The loss to me: 30 minutes of my life. The gain for you: the cost of reading some thoughts on moves that will not happen. I think we all win at least a little in this transaction.

To Sherman’s larger point, the chances of the Yankees making a deadline deal do not look optimistic. Instead their deadline dealings will probably resemble what they did last year. Acquiring a bench bat, or maybe a low-profile bullpen arm, is all we’ll probably see from Cashman and Co. by the time the non-wavier deadline passes at 4 p.m on Saturday.

That doesn’t mean that the Yankees will stay put. It just means that they won’t pursue any of the names currently available. That’s not only because they’re luxuries and not needs, but also because many of them will be available for another month. Plenty of interesting players will clear waivers, which will open the way for deals. This group will certainly include a number of starting pitchers.

All of this works in the Yankees’ favor. As we move through August the team will have a better idea of how Phil Hughes is reacting to the increased workload. They’ll also have a better assessment of Pettitte’s injury. If they feel they need a starter after that, they should have options available. If they don’t, they can save the money and prospects by sticking with in-house options.

There still exists a possibility of a pre-deadline move. Brian Cashman works quickly and stealthily, so anything is possible at any time. But considering the potential August trade market, they might choose to just wait it out. There will be options later, and those options might not be any worse than the ones they have right now.

As to Oswalt and Zambrano, it’s not happening. I kinda just wanted to drum up something on them to get everyone talking, but really that wouldn’t be a productive discussion. Both are owed too much money, more than they’re ultimately worth. While the Cubs would likely kick in some cash, there are some other negatives from Zambrano that make even a complete salary dump a questionable move. If the Yanks do acquire a starter, it will likely be a name we haven’t seen them associated with yet.

The extremely high asking price for Scott Downs
Pettitte 'feeling good' down in Tampa
  • B-Rando

    Thank you for sparing us Joe!

  • Frank

    How’s this for an interesting scenario: Tigers fall 10+ plus games back by mid-August. They ship Damon back to Yanks. Yanks have their LH DH.

    • Brad Toughy

      Peter Abraham?

    • Steve O.

      This seems like a good idea, but I can see the Central going down to the wire. I think they’d be looking to buy, rather than sell.

      • whozat

        They kinda got reamed by injuries in the last week or two, and just can’t fill all the holes that got created.

        Honestly, I’d dig it. I think Damon’s bat plays WAY better in YSIII, and he’d not be in LF very often.

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

          I’ll give them Eric Wordekemper. That’s my final offer.

    • Andy In Sunny Daytona

      This idea is worth about as much as a Roche Vouceau timepiece in a Philadelphia pawn shop.

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


      • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H


        Took me a second.

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

        Great movie.

  • Grandy

    I still hope that Cash makes a stealth move for someone like Dunn by the deadline. Then he can focus on the BP, Bench, and possibly a SP in August. I also think Capps would be a great 8th inning arm, but I prefer Dunn if possible. One can dream.

    • Steve O.

      As much as I would like Dunn, I just don’t see it happening. Rizzo is placing Dunn’s value ridiculously high, which is why I don’t see him coming to the Yankees.

      • CountryClub

        Tim Dierkes said in a chat today that Jesus or Joba would get the Yanks Dunn. Obviously, they;re not trading Jesus for him. But I’d seriously consider doing the Joba deal.

        He also mentioned a package with Gardner getting it done. But I’d have no interest in that either.

        • Steve O.

          I wouldn’t deal a package around Joba for Dunn. I’d rather deal a lower level guy like a Banuelos package instead. Whether Rizzo blinks is a different story.

          Gardner isn’t happening.

  • Brad Toughy

    For how good a fit he’d be, it’s strange how quiet any connections about Adam Dunn and the Yanks have been.

    • whozat

      a) for several years now, the trades that have happened are the ones we didn’t hear much about until they were essentially done deals
      b) We’ve heard enough to know that Rizzo is valuing Dunn like he’s more than a one-dimensional rental player. Makes sense for the Yanks to stay on the sidelines as long as that remains true.

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

        c) The Nats are reluctant to sell any of their key contributors (Dunn, Willingham, Capps) since they’re trying to build their fanbase up around Strasburgmania and don’t want to punt on a season, so all those good trade chips have high, high pricetags.

        My guess: this winter, Dunn and the Nats meet in the middle and agree to a 3 year extension with an option for a 4th. He likes it there, they like him there, he’s a big part of their team.

        Dunn stays put.

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

          He likes it there

          Except when he has to play baseball, he hates it.


  • Steve O.

    So you’re telling me AJ Burnett for Zambrano isn’t on the table?


    • Scout

      I understand you are joking, but I shudder that anyone would propsoe such a swap even as a joke. A.J. has his issues, but they are nothing compared to Zambrano’s. He’s the Milton Bradley of pitchers.

  • nsalem

    Let’s all root for the Jays to become big sellers. 20% of the reamining games are against them. Nothing like playing a team full of late season call ups and tired vets who are just counting down the days till the end of the season. Jays 2 top pitching prospects (Stewart and Drabek) are only in Double A so hopefully we won’t have to contend with the “MLB Debut Jinx” It’s not who you play, it’s when you play them.

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

    I love how Sherman had a pithy line about the folly of superfluous blather… 800 words into a superfluous blather.

    I guess irony can be pretty ironic sometimes.

  • Mike HC

    Wow, responsible reporting of trade rumors. Shocking. Or, knowing RAB, I should not that shocking.

    Unfortunately there probably will not be as much discussion, plus the 4:30 post time slot never seems to get much attention as people are either leaving work, or eating dinner, etc …

  • JoeC

    The Red Sox will be putting in claims on everyone and their mother come August 1st. Guaranteed.

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

      Who the f#$% are the Red Sox?

      • http://twitter.com/j_yankees2213 j_Yankees

        pretty sure the red sox were a team back in the early 1900’s. got caught for fixing games.

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

          Well, I could be wrong, but I believe diversity is an old, old wooden ship that was used during the Civil War era.

          (Isn’t it funny to be talking about diversity and the Red Sox? Ha ha ha get it??????)

          • http://twitter.com/j_yankees2213 j_Yankees

            Wacca Wacca!!

      • Brooklyn Ed

        I have a pair of red socks. :)

        /grandma’s boy.

        • jsbrendog (returns)

          i’m way too fuct up to drive to the devil’s house….

    • JohnnyC

      They’d better be careful who they claim. Remember Jose Canseco. The problem with that strategy is that literally everyone with an onerous contract is placed on waivers after July 31st.

      • jsbrendog (returns)

        eh i wouldn’t say canseco was that bad. randy myers, now that was a huge f u

      • Big Juan

        IIRC, the Jose Canseco claim was essentially blocking him from the Red Sox. I could easily be wrong though.

  • Brooklyn Ed

    still waiting on Willingham coming to the Yanks. sure he’s not linked to the Yanks, but since Cash is talking to Rizzo, might as well mention Willingham. Cano-Willingham-Posada, OH MY!!!!!!

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

      Don’t hold your breath.

  • Craig

    Saying Rays in heavy on dunn hope this changes the yankees view on being passive with him to at least drive up the price

  • http://www.nysportsballs.com Nick

    A lefty bat for the purpose of being a DH or a good bat off the bench I think is the way to go at the trade deadline. The Yanks’ issues in the pen will only be solved or alleviated by giving themselves as many arms as possible to choose from. There really aren’t any 8th inning guys out there, so the best thing they can do in the bullpen is mix and match.

  • mustang

    I was looking around for a move and came up with this:

    Ted Lilly and Jeff Blaker for Park and some middle level prospects.

    Lilly is owed $4.43 million the Cubs are said to be willing to eat some of it I say ask them to take Park. Lilly would be an upgrade over the current 5th starters once Andy comes back he can take Hughes’ spot when he reaches his pitch limit. Then they can send Hughes to the pen making that stronger. Lilly can also be use as a left-handed relief pitcher in the playoffs.

    Jeff Blaker can play a few infield spots and has become a decent pinch hitter (6 for 10 as a pinch hitter this season). He is an upgrade over Pena.

    This is not a glamorous move, but it’s cheap and addresses a few need areas.

    What do you guys think?

    • FachoinaNYY

      Pending the prospects given up… I like it.

    • Big Juan

      Not a fan. Lilly isn’t the type of pitcher that would succeed in YS3 at this point. Too many fly balls. (51.4% FB and 10.6% HR/FB in 2010)

      Good thought however.