The In-House Midseason Pickups

The Toughest Stretch Of The Season
The RAB Radio Show: May 26, 2011
(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

The Yankees are always one of baseball’s most active teams at the trade deadline, and that’s because they’re always in contention and looking to add. Last year it was the trio of Lance Berkman, Kerry Wood, and Austin Kearns. Two years ago it was Jerry Hairston Jr., Eric Hinske, and Chad Gaudin. Three years ago we welcomed Xavier Nady, Damaso Marte, and Ivan Rodriguez to the Bronx. Sometimes these moves work out, sometimes they don’t, that’s just the way baseball works.

You can be sure the Yanks won’t be content with what they have this year and will again be shopping at midseason, but they’ve already got two pretty big midseason pickups coming their way. They’re still a ways off from contributing, but how many other clubs will be adding two pitchers the caliber of Rafael Soriano and Phil Hughes to their roster six or eight or ten weeks from now? It sounds kinda silly at the moment, but those two could be very significant additions for the Yankees if they come back healthy and reasonably approximate their true selves on the mound. Hell, even if just one of them comes back it’ll be an upgrade.

For all the negativity surrounding Soriano, from his contract to his performance to his injury, the guy is a better pitcher than what he’s shown us over the first 48 games of 2011. Who knows how long the elbow has been bothering him, but his true talent level is not a 4.84 FIP with more walks (11) than strikeouts (10) in 15 IP. Soriano’s worst non-rookie season was 2007, when he put together a 4.17 FIP setting up for the Braves. Even that guy is an upgrade over the Lance Pendletons and Luis Ayalas of the world (no offense guys).

Hughes is a much bigger question mark but he might offer a bigger reward as well. If he’s healthy (and believe me, that’s a huge if) the Yankees could use him either in the rotation or in the bullpen, wherever they need him more. Given all this time off, imagine how much of a help it’ll be if Phil is just league average but getting into midseason form when others are fading in August in September. He doesn’t have to be a star to help, just better than the 12th man on the staff.

Soriano and Hughes are two total wild cards this year given the nature of their injuries, and the Yankees really shouldn’t count on them to contribute anything the rest of the way. Whatever they give is gravy but you know what? There’s a non-zero chance that one or both comes back healthy and gives the team a boost down the stretch. Not many clubs add those kinds of arms for the stretch run, and New York could end up making two upgrades to the pitching staff without the hassle of making a trade with another team.

Update: This is a complete oversight on my part, but we could also lump Pedro Feliciano into this group as well.

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The Toughest Stretch Of The Season
The RAB Radio Show: May 26, 2011
  • Kosmo

    At this point is it realistic to think Soriano will contribute anything this year?
    Hughes possibly but I ain´t holding my breath.

    • Mike HC

      I think Axisa is on target. I do expect these guys to come back and help down the stretch and into the playoffs. Of course, by then, we might have injuries to a couple of other pitchers on the staff, so they will be needed even more.

  • Ted Nelson

    Any word on Marte’s ETA? Or updates on Feliciano’s for that matter?

    On the same topic, the Yankees are probably as well stocked with prospects they could call up as any contender. Unfortunately the Rays are right there too, but between Montero and all their pitching depth plus depth like Chato and Maxwell… plus Nunez and Jones and Chavez on the MLB roster… plus the real Nick Swisher possibly re-emerging… Yankees are pretty well stocked with potential in-house additions both returning from injury and being called up.

    • Jericho Spade

      Marte was at the game last Saturday, I saw him in the dugout.

  • Rob

    Even if Hughes comes back and is effective, won’t he be back on some kind of innings limit next year?

    • Mister Delaware

      I doubt it. Age 26 season with a 190 IP season (counts playoffs since its stupid to pretend they don’t exist) in his rearview.

      • Ted Nelson

        A lot of people are criticizing the Yankees for weighting previous high too much and previous season not enough with Hughes in 2010… Doesn’t mean the Yankees agree at all or those people have any idea what they’re talking about, but I think it’s worth considering.

        • Mister Delaware

          I didn’t ask him not to consider it, I just gave my opinion on whether Hughes would have an innings limit if healthy to start 2012.

          • Ted Nelson

            I didn’t mean to say you told him not to consider it. I meant that it is worth it for the Yankees to consider it. It might not be a low limit, but if they think there is any credence to the theory that his arm is fragile and prone to go dead after a long season they take him out of some games earlier, skip a few starts where possible, etc. if he’s healthy and effective in the future.

  • Kosmo

    Ted ,just to toss this around a bit ,do you think Swisher stands a chance of being traded mid-season ? My sense if the Yanks need a veteran pitcher he might be the first to go.

    • Mike HC

      No way. We need his bat and his deal is still very team friendly.

    • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Matt Imbrogno

      Swisher has very little trade value right now.

      • Mike HC

        I don’t think his trade value is that low. Sure it was higher before the season, but one hot streak, or even without the hot streak, and there will be plenty of teams who could use a power bat for the next year and half at a mighty reasonable salary.

        • Cuso

          His trade value is equal to an inanimate object right now.

          If the Yankees needs a new batting cage, we may be in luck.

      • MikeD

        I don’t know about that. Swisher is off to a slow start, but he has an established record of being a good offensive player, and he’s only 30-years-old. He also has a team option for 2012, putting the control with team, depenind on how he performs. That’s the kind of player a team will want to take a chance on.

        Yet, I’m not sure what level of pitcher you could expect back compared to the production Swisher would provide on a bounce back. It’s probably better to keep him, unless he was part of a great package.

        • MikeD

          …included as part of a *greater* package of players

    • Jake

      Now is not the time to trade him. His value has likely never been lower given his season-long slump.

      • Kosmo

        I did say “midseason“ it´s not midseason last time I looked.He could pick it up a bit.

        • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Matt Imbrogno

          Even at midseason his value would be low, buoyed only by his affordable option for next year. Also, with whom would he be replaced? If he was traded for a pitcher, you’d be filling one hole and creating another.

          • Kosmo

            Yanks for example could go with a platoon of Jones and Dickerson or adding Maxwell or some unknown future trade possiblity ?
            Once again for example if Bedard is having a rebound season and Seattle is looking for a bat I don´t see any real hole being created ??

            • Mike HC

              I see what you are saying, but I think pitching is a bit plentiful this year. A potential power bat like Swisher is more valuable than some of you guys are giving him credit for. He is slumping right now, but he is too good a hitter, and still in his prime, to not turn it around.

              Although I like Bedard this year, depending on his medicals of course. So I definitely see what you are saying.

            • Clay Bellinger

              Guys like Dickerson and Maxwell aren’t going to ignite the offense. That is a hole.

              • Ted Nelson

                In fairness, Swisher has been a hole so far too and the offense has done alright. I take Swisher going forward in 2011 over those guys in 2011, but you’re not really creating a hole… more replacing one hole with another potential hole.

                If the Yankees have no faith in Jones/Dickerson/Maxwell and no other trade lined-up… no, they’re not going to trade Swisher. The scenario is sort of contingent on the Yankees liking their replacement(s) in RF + what they get in return for Swisher more than they like Swisher.

                • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Matt Imbrogno

                  To blend the two, you’re creating a bigger hole. Swisher is much more likely to bounce back and be a productive player the rest of the year than Maxwell and Dickerson are likely to flip the switch.

                  • Ted Nelson

                    Andruw Jones had a wOBA that was just about in line with Swisher’s last season… so I don’t think it’s a huge stretch to think he can replace Swisher. Maxwell/Dickerson (probably not both, since Chavez should be back) would then replace Jones, not Swisher. This is, of course, assuming the Yankees would stay in-house and not look for a replacement. They could also trade for one. They could even consider themselves to have made out better by trading Swisher for what they feel is more in return than they send out for his replacement.

                    As I said, “The scenario is sort of contingent on the Yankees liking their replacement(s) in RF + what they get in return for Swisher more than they like Swisher.”
                    If you do, you trade him. If not, you don’t. I should have also factored in “(- what they give up to get the replacement)” if they make a trade for the replacement I suppose.

                    • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Matt Imbrogno

                      Unless they use Jones full time, which I think they’re unlikely to do, Dickerson would get the lion’s share of PAs since he bats LH and I don’t think that’s desirable at all. If Justin Maxwell makes an appearance w/the big club this year, it’s going to be because Andruw Jones isn’t doing his job, which I doubt happens.

                      They COULD trade for one but then you’re in that transaction vortex I mentioned before, if you trade Swisher.

                      If you’re going to trade Swisher and get a replacement for him, the upgrade needs to be clear and big; unless they trade for a Braun, or an Upton, or something along those lines (NOT GOING TO HAPPEN), there’s really no point in trading Swisher. If he continues to play poorly and he becomes a bench OF and then they trade for a replacement, that makes more sense. But to trade him AND trade for a replacement makes very little sense.

                    • MikeD

                      Jones is going to be cut at some point this year. He is not a replacement for Swisher.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      Mike, glad you know what moves the Yankees are going to make before they make them. You could probably make a lot of money off that talent rather than just commenting on here for free.
                      Jones had one bad month. That doesn’t mean he’s going to be cut. Certainly he may be cut if he doesn’t turn it around. I’m being a little reactionary here, but a guy wins the game for the team with 2 HRs in a game and the next day you know he’s going to be cut soon?

                      Matt, there are these crazy trade things… the Yankees can pick up a 4th OF who bats left-handed. Jones on his career is not much better against lefties than righties, though, so absolutely you can give him PAs against righty starters.

                      “They COULD trade for one but then you’re in that transaction vortex I mentioned before, if you trade Swisher.”

                      They could have a better idea of what trades they have pending than us fans. Crazy concept, I know. Cashman might actually know he is about to pull off a deal for a RF and we might have no idea. Crazy stuff. How does that guy know what he’s doing better than we do?

                      “If you’re going to trade Swisher and get a replacement for him, the upgrade needs to be clear and big”

                      No. It doesn’t. Period. You can take a small downgrade at one position if you feel it makes the entire organization better. That you wouldn’t personally do that doesn’t mean no one can or should.

                      “But to trade him AND trade for a replacement makes very little sense.”

                      You have no idea what they are trading Swisher for, what replacement they are trading for, or what they are giving up to get that replacement. Yet you’re still sure it’s a bad move. Interesting.

                • Clay Bellinger

                  Swish has been brutal thus far, but he’s still a proven MLB player who’s only 30 yrs with a reasonable option coming in what appears to be a thin market. I know it happened in ’08, but him continuing to hit this poorly all year still seems unlikely given his age and recent success. I have much more confidence in him picking it up than I do in a revolving door RF that includes two AAA players. Of course, if the right deal presents itself I’m sure they’d listen, but as you said, almost all of the teams that will be willing to deal are non-contenders. Unless they expect to contend next year, they’d more than likely rather reel in prospects in a trade than Swisher.

                  • Ted Nelson

                    I never said he isn’t a good player. Alfonso Soriano was/is a good player, too, but the Yankees preferred A-Rod. It’s about improving the team overall. I’m not saying it will, but if a trade or series of trades presents itself/themselves I think the Yankees would be wise to listen (as you suggest they would).

                    Trade doesn’t necessarily have to be for a proven starter… could deal Swisher for prospects and send out prospects for a RF or just role with Andruw Jones in RF… maybe pick up a lefty platoon mate for Jones in a trade and not a real replacement for Swisher… maybe even deal Swisher for a lefty platoon RF + prospect(s).

                    I think it’s really unlikely to happen, just not totally impossible. Interesting to consider, at least.

            • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Matt Imbrogno

              If you don’t see how a Jones/Dickerson/Maxwell platoon is a downgrade over Swisher, then there’s no point in continuing this conversation.

              And another trade possibility? Why would they do that? They’d first be trading a valuable asset for something that could be had for different valuable assets that have little short term impact, THEN, they’d be trading AGAIN, trading more valuable assets to fill a hole they created in the first place. It’s not worth it for what would be a very marginal upgrade at the absolute best.

              • Ted Nelson

                I don’t think it’s at all likely, but I also don’t think it’s not worth at least discussing. Obviously the Yankees would not do it if there is no reasonable buyer for Swisher and no RF option they’re comfortable with. I understand your point that in all likelihood that won’t be the case, but it’s not impossible.

                • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Matt Imbrogno

                  The only way it’s worth discussing is if there is, somehow, a Jesus for The Justin swap, which probably isn’t going to happen.

                  • Ted Nelson

                    I disagree. I think it’s interesting to discuss, even if it’s not likely to happen. I do not see why you feel the need to tell someone who brought it up that it’s not at all worth discussing. If nothing else, it’s worth you telling that commenter why you feel it won’t happen. You have to also except, though, that you’re not the Yankees and there’s a chance they do something you wouldn’t. You can point out why it’s more likely that they don’t trade him and try to quantify how unlikely it is, but you can’t just say it’ll never happen. You have zero control over whether or not it happens (besides being a fan, and Swisher’s popularity with the fans might be a factor that makes it even more unlikely actually… still not much control over the Yankees’ decision making).

                    • Ted Nelson

                      And I also don’t see why Justin Upton is the only RF in MLB… he had one good season and is young, he’s not the only guy the Yankees might replace Swisher with. He’s actually not even necessarily a short-term (as in rest of 2011 and 2012) upgrade over Swisher.

                    • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Matt Imbrogno

                      I’m no saying Justin Upton is the only RF in baseball. My point is that if you’re trading Swisher and then trading for a replacement, that replacement needs to be a VERY CLEAR upgrade over Swisher in terms of either production and team control; Upton is the perfect blend of that. There aren’t many right fielders who, at true talent level, are going to out produce Nick Swisher. The ones who are aren’t going to be available for trade or don’t have enough team control to make a trade worth it.

                      I don’t think trading discussion of trading Swisher isn’t “appropriate” because of how unlikely it is to happen, but rather that there are no clear upgrades that are cost effective. If Jesus Montero was a RF, I’d think trading Swisher would be an option worth exploring. Even then, I’d be hesitant because you could still use him as a bench OF. Again, my distaste for this discussion doesn’t have to do with the event’s likelihood, but the fact that it wouldn’t be a wise move on the part of the Yankees.

                    • http://twitter.com/stephen_mr Stephen R.

                      This entire conversation, starting with some guy asking another guy what he thought about the likelihood of trading Nick Swisher, makes me want to feed myself headfirst into a woodchipper. Good lord.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      It’s unlikely because it wouldn’t be a wise move for the Yankees… If it were a wise move for the Yankees it would be more likely. Do you really not see that?

                      You don’t have to make a big upgrade over Swisher to get rid of him. You just have to be better off afterwards than you were before. That doesn’t have to be in RF. It could be that you’re a bit worse off in RF, but relatively more so better off in starting P. Or in the farm. I keep going back to this trade just because it’s the one that popped into my head, but the Yankees went from Alfonso Soriano at 2B to Miguel Cairo in order to go from whoever would have replaced Boone to A-Rod at 3B. There will likely be no A-Rod return for Swisher, but that’s an exaggerated version of what I mean. Perhaps Oakland, just as an example, wants to add Swisher to the line-up badly enough to give the Yankees a package that the Yankees thinks makes them better than Swisher. That could be a starter. That could be prospects. That could be David DeJesus to platoon with Jones + a starter/prospect(s).

                    • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Matt Imbrogno

                      That could be David DeJesus to platoon with Jones + a starter/prospect(s).

                      Neither Beane nor Cashman would do that.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      Stephen, really constructive comment. Thanks for adding to the conversation. You seem like a really quality human being based on that comment. Good for you.

                      Matt, thanks for reading Cashman and Beane’s minds for me. Beane didn’t draft Swisher out of college in the 1st round or anything. He doesn’t like patient hitters. David DeJesus is someone they’re definitely going to sign past this season. Great. Glad you read minds.
                      It was a hypothetical. I took one team with a bad offense, a smart GM who values patience, and a lefty OF who is a pending FA that’s underachieving… Just an example. I do not know what GM is exactly willing to deal what player for what. Just saying there could end up being a situation that emerges that makes sense.

                    • http://twitter.com/stephen_mr Stephen Rhoads

                      It’s not a conversation, it’s one guy who thinks far too highly of himself mouthing off endlessley into the ether. It’s a bunch of noise, and no one’s listening. Get your own blog, bud. You have too many opinions to be constantly trolling someone else’s site with comment after comment after comment.

                    • NJYankeeFan

                      Thanks for putting him in his place Stephen R.

                      This Nelson guy ALWAYS has to have the last word about everything no matter how trivial the argument. He’s a self anointed expert on all things Yankee of Francesa-like proportions.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      Stephen,

                      A. Matt has replied to all but my last comment… that’s a conversation. It is very hard to look at the back and forth between myself and Matt and saying that it’s one guy… I can promise you I am not commenting under Matt’s handle.

                      B. I don’t really see how I think more highly of myself here than Matt does. He thinks he’s right, I think I’m right.

                      C. My comments always relate to the topic at hand and are mostly confined to the topic and not inflammatory with some exceptions… so I would not consider myself a troll.
                      I sort of consider the point of a blog to be a place where commenters can hash out ideas. I don’t know if you have any affiliation to RAB, but I don’t really care what you think. If Mike or Joe or Ben feels I should be banned, so be it. That’s well within their rights.

                      D. Instead of insulting the commenter who brought up the question and being a dick, you could actually state why you think it’s so ridiculous for the Yankees to even consider trading Swisher. And I think one could make a good case. Matt makes a pretty good one. I was merely laying out the circumstances under which they might and Matt was laying out why he thought they wouldn’t and why he thinkgs it would be a bad idea to. You just came in a made a rude comment… if anyone is a troll here… it might be you. I have never seen you comment here, and suddenly you decide to just leave a personal attack instead of commenting on the topic? That’s pretty much a textbook troll buddy.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      “Thanks for putting him in his place Stephen R.”

                      I’m in the same office in front of the same computer I’ve been in front of all day…

                      “This Nelson guy ALWAYS has to have the last word about everything no matter how trivial the argument.”

                      If people keep responding, I do not have the last word. I leave a lot of comments and don’t like to stop showing why I feel something is correct, to a fault really. Some of the arguments may be trivial, but there are always two or more people involved.

                      “He’s a self anointed expert on all things Yankee of Francesa-like proportions.”

                      I have not anointed myself an expert on anything… I saw what I think, and other people can say what they think.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      And to be honest with you NJYankeeFan, 99% of the long arguments I have are against people who have decided their opinion on something is a fact. That bothers me, when people think they know everything. I don’t think I know everything, just that when I think I’m right I don’t give up trying to show why I am right. When someone is sure that only one outcome is possible or possibly the right decision… and I think that any of the several or dozens or hundreds of other options are possibilities… I usually think I’m right. Mike Axisa himself is fond of saying that in picking between one guy to, say, win MVP or one team to win the WS he’ll always take the field. It’s a similar principle. In this case someone is saying that there can only be one possible outcome (not just I pick Cano to win MVP… I know he will win) when there are clearly more than one. Matt, for example, can point out why it is unlikely that the Yankees find a scenario under which they can trade Swisher… but he’s not saying that… he’s saying it’s impossible.

                    • NJYankeeFan

                      How in the world do you keep your job when you spend sooooo much time typing out these dissertations that you call comments?

                    • NJYankeeFan

                      As for always taking the field, it isn’t original or profound to be a contrarian. Someone says something is white and you’re there to tell them it’s black, another person says it’s up and you say it’s down.

                      In my book, that’s just insufferable.

                      Stephen Rhoads is right. You should get a blog and call it the “Why I’m right and the rest of you are wrong” blog by Ted Nelson.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      Part of the problem, NJYankeesfan, is that people like you miss the subtleties of everything not always being black and white. If someone else argues white, and I say it could be white but it could also be any one of these shades of grey or black… or if I say it’s probably white but there’s a chance this and this could make it grey (which was the case on this thread)… I am not saying black. Where you read that I am saying black… I have no idea.

              • Kosmo

                Swisher has contributed next to nothing so far this season and yet any possiblity of a change with current personal is a downgrade? What if NY can flip Swisher for a pitcher and swing a trade for Beltran? That could be a likely scenario . NY has a team friendly contract with Swisher a more compelling reason a minor market team might be interested in his services.

                • Mike HC

                  The thing with MLB is, it seems that teams are either buyers, or sellers. If a team is looking to add a big bat, they most likely won’t be looking to trade off one of their best starters. And if they are looking to trade a starter, they most likely want prospects, not a guy for the next year or two. There are exceptions of course, if teams have surpluses, but it is harder to find a match.

                  • Ted Nelson

                    I agree with you point and it makes it less likely, but not impossible that a situation could emerge. Most trades seem to be player-for-prospects, but there are some times when two teams just swap players. A team with 6 starters may want Swisher more than one of their starters (though it would also take the Yankees wanting the starter both more than Swisher and their starters…). Or a team might want Swisher more than their RF and the Yankees may feel the same way in the other direction. Or the Yankees might take prospects for Swisher and roll with Jones or trade for a replacement/platoon lefty.

                • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Matt Imbrogno

                  True talent level wise, yes, those players are downgrades. The chances of Swisher rebounding are more likely than the chances of Dickerson or Maxwell having great success.

                  What kind of pitcher are you going to get for 2011 Nick Swisher? Chances are, you’re not going to get much for him.

                  I think the chances of trading for Beltran are high, regardless of what Swisher does but my point is that the Yankees can give up guys who have less immediate impact on the team–minor league players–for a pitcher. That not only hurts the big league team less in the present but will also help to get a better return since prospects have greater trade value than an underperforming Nick Swisher. Like someone pointed out, teams dealing at the deadline are likely to be out of contention and less interested in a bat like Swisher’s. If the Yankees were playing poorly and were going to be in sell-mode come July, trading Swisher would make a lot more sense. But, then again, if things were different, they wouldn’t be the same.

                  • Clay Bellinger

                    “True talent level wise, yes, those players are downgrades. The chances of Swisher rebounding are more likely than the chances of Dickerson or Maxwell having great success.”

                    Exactly. And if they are not, why would anyone ask for Swisher over those guys?

                  • Ted Nelson

                    You know what Swisher’s true talent is, but no MLB GM does? I find that hard to believe. If MLB GMs agree with you that Swisher could bounce back this season and certainly in 2012 (and I’m sure some do)… they might give up something for him.

                    “the Yankees can give up guys who have less immediate impact on the team–minor league players–for a pitcher. That not only hurts the big league team less in the present but will also help to get a better return since prospects have greater trade value than an underperforming Nick Swisher.”

                    A. Your making a huge assumption about what a GM would give the Yankees for Nick Swisher… Is it necessarily less than for an unproven prospect? Usually it works in largely the opposite way, and prospects are discounted since they haven’t actually proven anything. And again, you know Swisher is likely to turn it around, but no MLB GM does?
                    B. It might hurt the team more in the long-run. Say a team tell the Yankees we’ll take Swisher or we’ll take top prospect x. If the Yankees don’t plan to re-sign Swisher they’re losing 1.5 seasons of him vs. a bunch of potential seasons for top prospect x if he sticks in the bigs.

                    “Like someone pointed out, teams dealing at the deadline are likely to be out of contention and less interested in a bat like Swisher’s.”

                    You don’t have to deal Swisher for a proven pitcher… a RF and/or prospect(s) could also make sense in some situations.

                    • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Matt Imbrogno

                      You know what Swisher’s true talent is, but no MLB GM does? I find that hard to believe. If MLB GMs agree with you that Swisher could bounce back this season and certainly in 2012 (and I’m sure some do)… they might give up something for him.

                      Yup, they’d give up something for him but why would it be anything valuable? After all, he’s in a bad slump. Why would an opposing GM give a package commensurate with Swisher’s true talent level? Swisher’s actual value is probably a little higher than I’m giving credit for, but his perceived value is definitely low. If I’m a GM trying to trade for him, I’m exploiting the latter value, not the former.

                      And again, you know Swisher is likely to turn it around, but no MLB GM does?

                      When did I say that? That fact makes it more likely that the Yankees will KEEP Swisher. And again, no GM would call Cashman up and be like “Hey, your boy Swish is due for a correction and a turnaround. What do you want for him?!” They’re going to try and trade for the guy he IS, not the guy he’s supposed to be.

                      The prospect of trading Nick Swisher isn’t exactly a bad idea, but right now, there is no clear replacement that is cost effective or a guaranteed upgrade, whether it be an in house replacement or a trade (which would mean a foolish squandering of resources).

                    • Ted Nelson

                      Obviously no GM gives up anything more than they have to for Swisher and starts the negotiations low… the final price is not likely to be where it starts, though. If you can see that Swisher is likely to turn it around, why can’t a GM? GMs rarely make a trade for this week… it’s usually a little more far-sighted than that. You think the Yankees should keep keep Swisher over other options because he’ll turn it around, but if you were an opposing GM you wouldn’t think he’d turn it around?

                      “They’re going to try and trade for the guy he IS, not the guy he’s supposed to be.”

                      The guy he IS, is a guy coming off back-to-back .370 wOBA seasons and only 30% of the way through this season… that 30% does not necessarily predict the next 70% any better than last season’s stats. You really think we understand these things and MLB GMs don’t?

                      “but right now, there is no clear replacement that is cost effective or a guaranteed upgrade, whether it be an in house replacement or a trade (which would mean a foolish squandering of resources).”

                      Every trade is a foolish squandering of resources?

                      You have no idea who is available on the trade market unless you frequently converse with MLB GMs. That there are no media rumors a RF is readily available doesn’t mean no team would be willing to trade their RF in what both they and the Yankees think is a good deal for their respective organizations. You are just speculating about who is available. If yesterday ESPN had a rumor Justin Upton was very available at a discount because Towers “doesn’t like him” you’d probably be all for making a switch… even if that rumor was actually 100% BS.

    • Clay Bellinger

      I highly doubt it. It would take a pretty unique set of circumstances for it to make sense.

    • Ted Nelson

      The big problem I see is what Matt Imbrogno points out about trade value. Yankees would be selling low on Swisher and I’m not sure how many teams selling a proven starting pitcher would be more inclined to take Swisher than prospects… since most teams willing to give you a proven starting pitcher are not contending. Especially since in 2008 he struggled basically all season. Worth pointing out that he did have some strong months in 2008, and will probably have a couple of strong ones from here out in 2011. So, a savvy GM might figure he’s buying low on Swisher and being willing to take him on, but then the question is what he’s willing to give up… do the Yankees want it more than Swisher?

      The Yankees don’t just need a starter for the sake of getting a starter right now (though by the trade deadline that could change… even then a mediocre starter could be stealing a chance for a Noesi or whoever to prove themselves). All their guys (besides Hughes obviously) have been passable at least, and they’ve got some possible depth with Silva (he’s still around right?), Hughes maybe, and their prospects. Dealing Swisher for a mediocre starter right now wouldn’t make a lot of sense to me. Not for 2011 and especially not looking forward to 2012. For reliever it probably makes even less sense. Even getting Austin Kearns cost the Yankees McAllister last season and Berkman cost Melancon, so I’d imagine the Beltran types people are speculating about are not going to come for nothing. I’m not sure how much more likely Beltran is to continue his healthy, hot start than Swisher is to turn it around. If you thought Beltran (or whoever else) was the right play perhaps you could get the prospects coming in for Swisher that went out for Beltran… but the way Swisher is hitting… who knows? And if Swisher isn’t their RF in 2012, trading for a pending FA like Beltran opens up that hole going forward… but that depends whether they want Swisher in RF going forward (I think I would).

      You have to replace Swisher this season (or try a Jones/Dickerson platoon or something) plus get something back for him that makes sense. It’s possible, but I wouldn’t guess it’s likely.

    • MannyGeee

      All this trading Swisher for an SP talk goes away if he hits .400 during the West Coast swing…

      • Mike HC

        Exactly. It is like everyone has written Swisher off. The guy is going to hit this year.

        • Jorge

          And, even if he didn’t, it’s not like he didn’t rebound from a season in which he hit .215 before.

        • JobaWockeeZ

          It’s not a guarantee by any means. He’s shown that bad luck can kill his season.

      • Cuso

        Not from me it doesn’t. Swisher can hit all he wants on the West Coast. He is going to have a down year. He is going to go 2-for-37 for a third straight year in the playoffs (should they make it that far), and he is not going to be in a different uniform in 2012(thank God).

        His “track record” everyone loves to allude to is based on 2010 which was his best year ever and 2009 (which looks better than it was because of a hot April/May).

        The guy is a .250 hitter with 25-homer pop playing from RF. That caliber player is a dime-a-dozen, AND Swisher is not getting to 25 HR this year either.

        I am counting the days until his ass is gone.

    • Mister Delaware

      Maybe we can get Wilson Betemit for him.

      • Mike HC

        genius comment

      • Jorge

        You’d have to include Jhonny Nunez (or was it Jeff Marquez), or its no dice. We already got Texera back.

  • Mike HC

    Who could blame you for forgetting about Feliciano.

  • jayd808

    Am I the only one who read the topic “The Potential Midseason Pickups” and had a complete disconnect with the content?

    How hard is it to look at the biggest MLB losers and judge which players they might make available and how good a fit they would make for the Yanks? There is an article I would like to read. Yes they need an SP and a BP arm and an outfield bat. Who do you think is coming in? Is Justin Upton coming through the door?

    dj

    • Mike HC

      Oh, definitely. I assumed it was going to be about other teams players we could get. But I like the point Axisa made here anyway. And you know there will be no shortage or articles and speculation on possible trade targets. So much so that you will be sick of it by the time the Yanks even make a move.

      • MannyGeee

        ‘So much so that you will be sick of it by the time the Yanks even make a move.’

        how dare you…

        • Mike HC

          haha … Maybe this is the year we pull off that three team trade that nets us Josh Johnson and King Felix.

    • Ted Nelson

      I think that was the point of the headline…

      You say they need a SP (which is debatable at this point… could use one if the value is there, but don’t need one right now) and a bullpen arm (also debatable if Girardi is willing to give some guys a chance)… and those guys might already be in the organization. That’s the point of the article as I understand it.

      Justin Upton may come through the door if the Yankees are A. willing to give up Jesus or Manny or Dellin or at least Slade as the headliner and B. willing to give up on Swisher. Swisher’s wOBA each of the past two seasons has been higher than Upton’s to date in 2011 (which matched exactly to his 2010 wOBA)… so it’s not obvious Upton will even outperform Swisher from today through the end of 2011. I really doubt Upton is a Yankee in 2011, but who knows?

      I could see the Yankees getting a lefty OF to upgrade over Dickerson, but that guy wouldn’t necessarily have a roster spot when Chavez comes back… so with Dickerson starting out really hot (.500 BABIP will do that I suppose) and Chavez supposed to come back pretty soon, I think they probably just stick with what they have in the OF.

  • http://Facebook.com/andrewjcalagna Drew

    The only thing I’m worried about is what are we going to do with Hughes next year. He clearly isn’t going to throw 200IP this year so is it back to the “Hughes Rules”? It all depends if he comes back healthy this year I guess.

    • Mike HC

      I doubt it. All rules are definitely off for him.

      • Ted Nelson

        After the shoulder problems coming off a heavy work-load maybe they shouldn’t be off though… A lot of people are blaming rightly or wrongly) the shoulder on the Yankees overusing Hughes in 2010. If he doesn’t get many innings this season, the Yankees throw him back out there 200 IP in 2012, and those people are right… 2013 might be a repeat of this season. I have no idea how likely that is, but I wouldn’t mind the Yankees taking it easy with Hughes given what little circumstantial evidence I have about his fragility.

        • Mike HC

          Sure, you have to monitor his injury. But I don’t think that will be related to any rules based on previous innings. More about how his arm feels, and how he looks on the mound, as the the innings accumulate.

          • Ted Nelson

            No, the point people are making is that because they had no rules in 2010 they overused Hughes (increased his innings too much from 2009 to 2010) and that directly led to the injury in the first place.

            His arm has apparently, according to him, felt fine throughout this whole process. He said there was no pain. I don’t think that’s a good indicator. Innings limits are not meant to stop a pitchers arm from getting sore, they’re meant as a precautionary measure to prevent future or cumulative injury.

    • CP

      The innings limits are based on previous career highs. So what he does this year doesn’t affect his innings limit for next year.

      • Ted Nelson

        Yeah, but a lot of people think that was exactly the mistake the Yankees made with Hughes in 2010: looking at previous high and not weighting last season enough. Those people may very well be dead wrong, but they also may be right. So I think it’s very reasonable to ask whether the Yankees’ll do that again, or think that was part of the problem with Hughes’ shoulder and will ease his innings up this time.

        • CP

          Last season he threw something like 50 or 60 innings more than his previous career high when you count the playoffs. The problem was that the Yankees made the ALCS and had 2 injured starters (CC and Pettitte) and two ineffective ones (AJ and Javy) to choose from for the playoffs.

    • Midland TX

      Speculating about next year’s limits is pretty pointless until we know whether or not he even throws another major-league pitch this year, or how many, or how he does.

  • A-Rod’s Wingman

    I’m thinking Hughes is probably done for the year at this point, just hope for the best for next year. Seeing as how Soriano has a set back, what feels like, every two weeks I don’t think he’ll contribute much this year. Feliciano? Maybe a September arm to help out the bullpen. Swisher and Posada might come on strong in the second half, if not there’s other bats out there.

  • Lehigh Yankee

    You may want to look in the minor leagues this year. MLB has its parity now take the AL East 3.5 games is seperating 5 teams. Also free agent class of 2012 isn’t a good one so dumping contracts in late July may not be the case. Over pay for talent or go to the dance with the one who brought you.

    • Clay Bellinger

      Ensuring that you make it to the dance is part of the equation.

  • Zooboy

    Jesus.

  • Jorge

    My hope is that Phil Hughes will be curveballin’ it back into our hearts by August and in the rotation until he’s old, fat, and grey.

    My hope is also that a little rehab can help soothe Mr. Soriano’s inflamed elbow, as well as inflamed ego.

  • Monteroisdinero

    After 3,000 hits and if Swish is still stinking it up, Jeets to RF! This may be the time to move the Captain to the OF for the 38, 39 and 40 year old seasons. We can see how he does out there and how Nunez does at SS on a regular basis. Jeter better against righties than Swish this year is truly a YCPB stat.

    I know this won’t happen but I like whimsy.

    • Thomas Cassidy

      Jeter’s defense is perfectly fine and there is no reason he should be moved. And if he was you want Eduardo Knoblauch taking over for him? I’d hope not.

    • DCBX
  • Billy Mumphrey

    If Hughes returns he’ll have to go to the pen as we don’t have a starter opening right now. Nova, Garcia, and Bartolo are just pitching too well to take out. Maybe if one of them gets hurt or has a string of bad starts, but Hughes would be a good addition to the pen especially if Soriano can’t return. Robertson for the 6th, Joba for the 7th, Hughes for the 8th. Best bullpen in baseball.

  • Andrew Brotherton

    I think the additions of Hughes, Montero, and Soriano along with Feliciano would make a great impact. Only other additions I see us making are most likely Beltran because we always add a bat, and I’d love to see us make a play for Yonder Alonso. He could take over in right field for Swisher.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      They’re going to need a legit number two for the playoffs. Who knows how long Colon will last. Hughes is a big time ? and Garcia will crumble against playoff teams. Burnett is the x factor here but I’m nto exactly full of confidence over here.

      • Mister Delaware

        Eh. 2008 and 2009 had staffs with one legit #1 (Hamels and Sabathia) and no real legit #2 (Myers and Burnett). Its doable.

  • Tom

    You write, of Hughes: “If he’s healthy (and believe me, that’s a huge if)….” I agree that it it’s a huge IF, only I’m still not sure what the health issue is. He was cleared of that strange ailment when he went to Colorado (was it?). At one point, there was talk of pain. Then this seemed to disappear. “Dead arm” is what remains, with its symptom of reduced speed. It’s one of those cover-all ailments. Have I missed something? a reference to inflammation or something?

  • DoDo

    At what point can we expect you to contribute anything of value to the internet?