Ubaldo to the Yankees Indians; Oh S&%#!, what now?

Yanks win big in second game of doubleheader
Banuelos promoted to Triple-A

Ubaldo to the Indians? Really?

Well, hey, more power to the Tribe, I suppose. The cost ultimately paid for Jimenez was right in line with what the Rockies had been requesting over the past several days now – that is to say, two elite prospects plus a couple of others. Or, simply put, a haul that would “wow.” And so, Colorado’s farm system instantly became that much stronger with the addition of right-handers Alex White and Joe Gardner, first baseman/outfielder, Matt McBride, and a player to be named later. The mystery player to be named later is largely expected to be Drew Pomeranz (once he becomes trade eligible later this August). Simultaneously, Cleveland’s newest rotation member could wind up being the final piece that allows the Indians to surpass their fellow AL Central rivals in the standings and achieve the much desired playoff birth.

Interestingly, Pomeranz may eventually be viewed as the most valuable component of the deal down the road. The 22 year old lefty is ranked 14th in Baseball America’s top 20, and has looked mighty impressive with Cleveland’s High-A squad. Alex White was the 15th overall draft pick in 2009 and was ranked in Baseball America’s top 50 list heading into the season.

Although he’s currently on the disabled list with a strained finger ligament, White was pitching well prior to the injury at the big league level. Overall, I think the trade represents a pretty solid haul for the Rockies (and a curious departure from typical organizational practice for the Indians). It also leaves me somewhat aghast at what the Yankees would have had to trade in order to make this happen for themselves; I’m thinking Banuelos, Betances, and Ivan Nova along with a possible complimentary player like Laird.

So, where does this turn of events leave the Yankees? I guess that depends on where your priorities lie. For an organization such as New York, the emphasis is always on the present tense rather than that of the future. Judging how much of the future can acceptably be mortgaged away is really a matter of opinion. As it turns out, Brian Cashman‘s opinion was one of reluctance and faith.  Time will tell whether this was the prudent move or not.  Admittedly, there’s still the possibility of a big trade with another organization, but given the short time frame remaining today, the chances have to be smaller.

Obviously, the Yankees rotation would have been deeper with Ubaldo in the mix than it is without him. There’s no arguing what he accomplished the past few seasons, just as there is no denying what he’s capable of doing going forward. Still, I maintain that Yankees fans *should not* jump off the ledge just yet.  Time will tell whether the Yankees would have experienced buyers remorse with Ubaldo, and with every transaction, we’ll have plenty of time to scrutinize the move retrospectively.

It’s looking more and more likely that the Yankees will make the postseason again this year, and as cliché as it is, anything can happen once you get there. As the rosters are currently constructed, I do believe the Yanks are a better team still than either the Rangers or whatever team emerges from the AL Central. Boston is beastly, no doubt about it.  Still, their rotation like everyone else, is far from perfect. There’s a legitimate reason the Sox made a strong bid for Rich Harden — who Joe expertly discussed last week — just as there are plenty of reasons why we, as fans, should be thankful the talks fell through thanks to a failed physical examination.  Overall, the Red Sox may be the better team, but if they are, it’s not by a substantial amount.

Also, regardless of whether one agrees or not with Cashman not pulling the trigger on some of the club’s more notable prospects, it’s always a good thing when the farm system has an abundance of talent. I know this brings very little solace to some — I am all for trading prospects under the right circumstance too — but in today’s baseball climate, valuable cost-controlled young players are more important than ever.  At least for now, the Yankees have flexibility in that regard.

New York may “pay the price” in the immediate future (i.e.- the postseason) by not having another very good arm in the rotation, but with a little luck, perhaps the return on prospect patience will be worth its weight in gold down the road.  Sure some of the prospects will undoubtedly not pan out, but given the potential of some of their young players, don’t be surprised if some of them do contribute in a big way in the future.  The obvious question remains the same; does cost controlled talent outweigh the salivating-inducing thought of another successful World Series run?

I, for one, am okay with how things turned out.  Yes, I realize this may just be a Yankee blogger’s way of rationalizing.  I would have loved to have Jimenez on the Yankees roster, but honestly, I wasn’t nearly as disappointed when this trade didn’t work out as I was when Cliff Lee departed to the Rangers last season.

For what it’s worth, I do believe the Bombers have enough talent to contend in the postseason this year.  I’m also delighted the team still has guys like Jesus Montero waiting in the ranks, and bringing reason optimism for the future.  Who knows; perhaps, we have the best of both worlds at this point.

* * *

I’d also like to share some news on a more personal level. Yesterday afternoon, I went hiking with my wonderful girlfriend of six years, Kylee. We reached a secluded spot with an absolutely breathtaking view of the lake. I proposed and she said, “Yes!”  Ky is now officially my fiancée.

Kylee, you mean the world to me. I love you. I’m the luckiest man alive.

Yanks win big in second game of doubleheader
Banuelos promoted to Triple-A
  • http://www.twitter.com/hulkheyman HulkHeyman


    • Scout

      You had a much better day than Cashman, Matt.

  • Will (the other one)

    Congrats, Matt! Best wishes to you both.

  • Zach


  • Granderslam

    Congrats on the engagement!

    Also, I have a question. It has been reported that the Yankees inquired on Span and Willingham. Why so much interest in Outfielders when we are set in that aspect?

    • http://riveraveblues.com Matt Warden

      My guess is as good as yours Granderslam. My hunch though, is that if they got a guy like Span, it would be part of a larger move.

  • Jake H

    Congrats, you will now be miserable just like the rest of us! Just kidding.

    Now onto the Ubaldo trade. I think that Colorado got a lot less then they would have gotten from the Yankees. They wanted Jesus and 1 of the B’s. That is better than what they got from Cleveland. A ton of people think that White is destined for the BP and Keith Law thinks Pomeranz is also destined for there too.

    • Sam

      Heyman said they wanted Hughes, Nova, Montero and Betances. If that’s true, it’s beyond ridiculous.

  • SteveD

    Congrats to you and Kylee. I am also ok with the non trade. I am glad to see Cash hold onto our top prospects. I did not think any of the guys in consideration were worth giving up several top prospects. I like most really want to see some home grown talent come through.

  • Ballgame


  • Jorge

    Congrats on the engagement!

    As for Ubaldo, I think I’ve made my feelings known that this was a bullet dodged by the Yankees. Time will tell, though. Contrary to what several posters on here seem to think, none of us have a crystal ball.

    Last year’s Giants won with a patchwork offense and superb pitching. The Yankees may have patchwork pitching, but it is succeeding and the offense can get the job done. While there wouldn’t be any guarantees fielding a team full of All Stars, this team can get the job done.

  • Jack Merridew

    If Cashman fails to get a starter for the 2nd year in a row he at least needs to call up Montero for Cervelli and call up Nova for Hughes. There’s no reason anymore to keep better players in AAA and worse players on the MLB club.

    • Oscar Gamble’s Fro

      Completely agree.

    • BrazilianYankee

      I agree million times! Is it possible to send Burnett to AAA for the second in that rotation?????

  • The Big City of Dreams

    Congrats Matt

  • http://riveraveblues.com Matt Warden

    Thanks everyone for your warm wishes! We are both ecstatic!

  • http://RiverAve.Blues GT Yankee

    Great job, congratulations!….Here’s to Kymatt! :-)

  • paul a

    I think Cash finally learned his lesson.Everytime the Yanks bring in a pitcher from the National League they bomb. I’m glad the trade didn’t happen.I’ve been pushing all year to go out and get starters in place of Colon and Garcia, but right now I’ll take them over anyone left on the market.

    • Jim S

      Oh yeah, totally. Couldn’t agree more. Just like that CC Sabathia guy who was pitching for the Brewers. Man, what was up with him? Wish he could have pitched better for us.

      • S

        there’s a huge difference CC was an AL developed player who spent his entire career save one half season in the American League.

      • Rob H.

        Yeah, because those 3 months made Sabathia an NL pitcher in the same breath that paul a was talking about.

        • Jim S

          My point is his point was stupid, because pitchers who dominate in the NL can dominate in the AL.

          Everyone overreacts to Pavano and Vasquez.

      • TheMick

        So, in other words, you know nothing about about baseball and just want to lash out at someone?

  • Bobcats

    What does “payed” mean?

    • http://RiverAveBlues.com Matt Warden

      Good catch. *Paid

      • Bobcats

        Just messing with you buddy, congrats on your engagement

  • Rick

    What does “payed” mean?

  • Sayid J.

    Jimenez spelled wrong in the first paragraph…

    • http://riveraveblues.com Matt Warden

      Ahh, my bad. It was pretty early in the morning when I wrote this. Didn’t have a chance to do an extra proof read!

  • MikeW


    I think the Yankees have a great number 2 pitcher. His name is Freddy Colon. Garcia for the first 80 pitches and Colon the rest of the way. The other 4 starting pitchers plus Freddy Colon are all on the traditional 5 day rotation. If this works it is the best chance to keep both Garcia sharp and at the same time not overwork them. And if it works the bp gets a day of rest so having 6 “starting” pitchers does not strain the bp.

    This does not address the concerns of the nay sayers who say neither Hughes or Nova are playoff quality pitchers (or AJ too). This is the staff the Yankees have (which thus far has been good enough for the 3rd best record in the major leagues). This thought is just looking aoutside the box and suggesting the Yankees might have a reasonable solution right now.

  • YankeesJunkie

    Congrats to you Matt and to your engagement. I am surprised you were able to find a girl outside of your mother’s basement, but alas.

    As for Ubaldo, I am disappointing that they pulled the trigger because right now the Yankees have CC and 5 other #4 type starters with their ups and downs. The biggest concern of this non-trade is that the Yankees will push for and overpay for CJ Wilson and turn into another AJ Burnett situation. However, the Yankees are good enough to win the World Series, however they need CC and to a lesser extent Colon and Burnett to all be on top of their games.

  • #24!!!!

    Congratulations! I liked your insight in the article, as well!

  • Gonzo

    Congrats on the engagement.

    I like the objective view of the trade.

  • CMP

    I’m glad the Yanks didn’t get Ubaldo because there’s too many red flags to give up that many top prospects. I totally disagree with the idea however that once you get to the playoffs, it becomes nothing more than a lottery.

    Great starting pitching wins in the playoffs almost every year. It always has been the great equalizer against teams with big offenses. Right now, Boston, Texas and LAA would have the advantage in starting pitching over the Yanks not to mention the Phillies and Giants should the Yankees get that far.

    With their rotation as currently constructed, CC would have to have a playoff run along the lines of Schilling/Johnson/Hershiser for the Yankees to have a legitimate chance to win the whole thing.

    • BK2ATL

      I agree with most of your post.

      Our offense though is better than any of those teams, other than Boston. As of today, Boston have the same starting pitching as us. There’s Lester and Beckett then a bunch of question marks. And Boston is only 2 games up on us, not 5 or 7. If we put together a strong 2nd half with our full roster back, we just might overtake them, which is why Theo’s reaching on Harden and Bedard.

      I’m not gonna even play that “Colon and Garcia will break down” card. Since that could theoretically be said about every team. If Girardi correctly manages their innings for the rest of the year, both are former aces. They know how to pitch. They know how to get outs with what they have. This is a different situation from Hughes or Joba or even AJ.

  • Mark B.

    Congrats on the good news, Matt!

  • BK2ATL

    Congrats on the engagement!!!

    I’m also okay with the non-trade. I thought Cashman handled it prudently. While the Indians’ package of prospects wasn’t crap, it appears less than what the Rockies wanted from us. Hughes, Montero, Betances and Nova. That’s just ridiculous. It’s more than Halladay and Lee offers, and for a lesser product.

    I can’t see how anyone would expect Cashman to make that deal, or any deal for a questionable “ace” without a physical.

    I’m okay with our roster as is, but also with the youth infusion. Montero needs to be called up. Maybe even Adam Warren and Hector Noesi longer term. Last year, the kids brought us some good energy, some hunger. This year, I’d hope for the same, but also some rest for Colon and Garcia, if that’s what we’re going to battle with in October. Plus, trade value increases if they are successful.

    By the way, Harden couldn’t even pass a physical. Interesting.

    Braves stole Michael Borne from Houston. Watch that offense take off now, and the defense solidify. Great deal.

  • Brandon


    As for not getting Ubaldo, the Rockies raped the tribe. They wanted the world from the Yankees and wouldnt have even given Ubaldo a physical. To me, that screams something is going on there and they knew it. So instead of waiting it out until he gets hurt, they decided to deal him and get some value.

    Anyway, this is going to be a fun day, IMO. We got a baseball game and the trade deadline. Plus we hear that the Yankees are in on Heath Bell, which brings music to my ears.

  • Dan

    great day yesterday. Ubaldo and the questions around him do not merit what the Rockies were supposedly asking. In the long and short we are far better off.
    If you want to get better immediately, bench posada and call up Montero. Stay with Phil for 2 more starts. Put Nova in the rotation and disable AJ with a unknown ailment.
    If you are going to trade our top prospects, the return should be a true 1 or 2 not a has been 1 and a national leaguer who will fall at least 2 positions in the rotation in the AL East.

    If we dominate the sox in the remaining 9 games, say 6-3, you will see the sox as more beatable and appreciate that we held the course when the option was greatly overpaying for a player with many questions.

  • Oscar Gamble’s Fro

    Plaxico to the Jets. Love it.

    Carry on.

  • MikeD

    Congrats, Matt.

    And congrats to the Yankees for not stripping their farm system of their top talent. Live to trade another day when the market opps are better.

    I still think the Yankees should go after Bedard, despite his crappy performance the other night. He just came off the DL. One game does not negate how he’s pitched in his career. He’s always been a good pitcher. An unhealthy one, but a good one!

    • BK2ATL

      What would you be willing to give up for him? What do you think Jack Z. wants back?

      I just don’t think a fair deal could be had right now for the Yankees. Everything starts with Montero and Banuelos or Betances.

      To some degree, I think that’s our fault as we don’t showcase our AAA arms enough. Ivan Nova now has some value. Adam Warren deserves a chance very soon. I’m sure there are others, but just don’t get the opportunity to get seen on the MLB radar for enhancing trade value, in favor of bringing back Sergio Mitre or Chad Gaudin types. Nunez, Laird, and Dickerson have shown something, when given the opportunity.

  • KenC

    Congratulations Mike!

  • BK2ATL

    Where does Heath Bell fit in our bullpen?

    Closer – Mariano
    EIG – Robertson & Soriano
    Ayala, Wade, Noesi have all been effective
    Boone freaking Logan is our only LOOGY (no further comment), but Bell is not a lefty. For what it’s worth, Michael Dunn hasn’t materialized yet either. Phil Cole either anyone?

    I’m not sure what Bell does for us, other than making a trade for making a trade’s sake.

    • Jim S

      Meh. I’d rather avoid him, but adding solid bullpen arms is never a bad thing. Figuring out where to use all your good arms >>> not having enough good arms.

      But yeah, we’d probably have to give up too much, I’d rather stick with what we’ve got.

  • Brandon

    Umm, anyone care to explain why the Nationals want Span or Upton? They do realize they are 12 back in the wildcard. There not making the playoffs. Why deal a good young arm for an outfielder that is in there mid to late 20’s that wont be around much longer due to FA? The things they do will never make any sense to me. I mean if there going to deal Storen, deal him for some top prospects. Pull a haul close to what was done in the past. Dont do Storen and another major leaguer for an OF that will be gone soon when you have no chance of making the playoffs.

  • Steve (different one)

    So apparently the Indians were going to do the deal without a physical and the Indians only insisted on the physical after Ubaldo’s 45 pitch inning last night.

    At least that’s how I interpret Kevin Goldstein’s tweets.

  • Stan the Man

    Good article, I agree that keeping a strong farm system is a huge pluse for the yanks and trading those guys away doesn’t automatically mean good things.

    Side note keep the personal stuff out of the Yankeen news. I can read that on the E! news.

    • Dave the Ox

      Whoa Stan. Way to be a killjoy.

      Side note to Matt: Congratulations and best wishes.

    • Betty Lizard

      “Breathes there the man with soul so dead . . . ”

      Nice analysis + happy news = win.

      Congratulations, Matt!

    • Jim S

      Or just ignore people like Stan the Man, since this wasn’t a news article, it was an opinion article.

      Geez, go post somewhere else. Ass.

  • Molon Labe

    2 words: Ironclad Prenup.

    • Dela G

      Holla we want prenup!

  • Dela G

    Congrats, Matt!

  • YankeeInCary

    Great article. Congrats on your engagement as well.

    Cashman has made the right (but difficult) choices all through this trade deadline period. The Yankees are an aging club and as such NEED their top prospects more than ever now. Here’s why…as the backbone of the roster ages and begins to slow, they will (and are becoming) more like role players themselves. In the next few years they will still be solid contributors, but they will be making such huge $$$ that without a serious injection of youth, the roster will just grow old together…making too much $$$ to trade and no longer able to carry a team on their own due to age. (Think about what Cliff Lee said about the Yankees current roster.)

    The main prospects being discussed aren’t borderline or average prospects, but rather the Yankees latest crop has amazing potential and, I believe, high probability. Look at recently traded prospects Clippard, Melancon, Karstens or McCutchen they have all contributed well at the big league level and they were nowhere near the prospects that we currently see. The current cream…Montero, ManBan and Betances have higher ceilings than almost anyone we have seen for a while (exceptions Hughes, Joba, and MAYBE IKennedy). They are serious studs that can help soon AND for the next six years. All three being major contributors as early as next year and may even make an impact on this years pennant run.

    The image that scared me the past few days was the thought of Betances making it to the bigs and rolling off a streak like he did last year….but doing it for a team other than the Yanks. Of the current big three, he has the highest ceiling and potential for dominance at the big league level.

    So….Great job Cashman!!!

    From the top of my keyboard….


    • murakami

      Well said. Betances is a beast.

  • Nathan

    First off, congrats! I’m sure that was pretty nerve wracking and you two are happy now.

    Thanks for the great article. I’m of the ideology that prospects are OK to trade if it makes sense, is for an area of immediate need or for a superstar. Of course prospects are needed to develop from within, after all, thats how the the core of the dynasty years came to be. But after the “Big Three” really hasn’t produced and the trades that never came to be that centered around them, it’s a bit frustrating.

    The Phillies are a team that are showing that trading prospects can work: Halladay, Oswalt, and now Pence. Areas of need. They took the chance and it is working (at least Halladay and Oswalt, Pence we’ll see).

    It is a bit frustrating around the trade deadline right now as other teams are actively getting better while the Yankees, as of 12:13 PST, are standing pat.

  • meaty balls

    congrats brothaman

  • Jose M. Vazquez..

    Congratulations Matt, may your lives be one of bliss forever. Talking about trades, as you know the Red Sox and Phillies never give anything ofg value while fleecing other teams such as the Pirates, Astros and Padres. However, when it comes to the Yankees every one wants to hoodwink, drygulch, bushwack them. This includes the free agents and their agents.

  • Jason