The Other Trade Deadline


Exactly a month ago, the Yankees stood pat at the trade deadline while other AL contenders improved their teams. The Tigers added Doug Fister, the Rangers added both Mike Adams and Koji Uehara, the Indians landed Ubaldo Jimenez, and the Red Sox brought in Mike Aviles and Erik Bedard. “I just feel like we’re a lot deeper [compared to the last few years],” said Brian Cashman shortly after the deadline. “I’m willing, by the position I’ve taken in the last three weeks, to rely on that [rather] than go out and pay an enormous price on something that I’m not certain what it’s going to provide.”

The Yankees were just two games back in the division 6.5 up for the wildcard at the time, so there was hardly any desperation. Phil Hughes, Bartolo Colon, and Rafael Soriano had all just come off the disabled list, and Alex Rodriguez would be joining them eventually. Even if they did need help (what team doesn’t?), the Yankees would still be able to swing a waiver trade in August. It was a trade deadline in name only really, but tonight is the real deal. As Joe explained last week, a player must be in the organization by 11:59pm ET tonight to be eligible for the postseason roster. That’s a firm deadline, there are no loopholes. If the Yankees want to bring in a player from outside the organization, they have to do it today if they plan on using the guy in the playoffs.

The good news is that the extra month of playing time has helped to further separate the contenders from the pretenders. The Twins and Cardinals can stop kidding themselves about a playoff run, maybe even the Giants too. Other clubs even further from contention are probably looking forward to seeing what some kids can do in September, and might have a spare part to … well, spare. Unfortunately, what the Yankees need just isn’t walking through the door today, and that’s a number two starter.

You can forget about Chris Carpenter, because he was claimed off waivers by multiple teams and pulled back earlier this month. Same deal with both Wandy Rodriguez with Edwin Jackson. Apparently the entire White Sox rotation went through waivers at various points and no deals were reached. They’re trying to fight their way back into the AL Central race anyhow (have won seven of their last ten and are five back now), so I doubt they’d be willing to move a John Danks or Jake Peavy within the next 13 hours or so. I suppose Rich Harden could still be in play, and we do know the Yankees have at least some interest. Still holding out hope for Andy Pettitte? He’d have to sign today to be eligible for the postseason, and that’s not going to happen.

The Yankees made a pair of minor moves this month, adding two sketchy left-handed relievers (Raul Valdes and Aaron Laffey) via waivers. That’s pretty much the best you can do without giving up anything of value, and I think we’re all aware that relievers are highly volatile and not even the best of the best are guaranteed to be effective over a month’s time. They really don’t have any needs beyond a number two starter and another decent lefty reliever, though perhaps they could look to add a bench piece given A-Rod‘s problematic thumb. Will that player be better than Eduardo Nunez and Eric Chavez? Doubtful, but the added depth is never a bad thing.

Barring something completely unforeseen today, the Yankees will have made exactly one trade during the 2011 season, and that’s getting Sergio Mitre back from the Brewers for cash. Hardly significant. They’re putting all their eggs in the rotation basket that’s surprised all season long, and it’ll be up to CC Sabathia, Freddy Garcia, Ivan Nova, and Bartolo Colon to get the Yankees to where they want to go. Oddly enough, that doesn’t sound all that crazy.

Categories : Trade Deadline
  • MattG

    “Oddly enough, that doesn’t sound all that crazy.”

    Only when considered against the alternatives, because in a vacuum, that sounds like the Twinkie Way, not the Yankee Way.

    I agree Hughes has to be the odd man out, and not because I expect him to ‘play up’ in the bullpen. 2012 may be a huge turn-around for him, ala Bumgarner, but I hold no hope for Hughes’s meaningful participation the rest of this season.

    • jsbrendog

      so you’re advocating for aj burnett to remain in the rotation? what are you smoking?

      and can i get some?

      • jsbrendog

        well, i get it now, i guess you meant during the playoffs. fair enough, carry on, nothing to see here move along….

        • Ted Nelson

          Even still I don’t think anyone *has* to be the odd-man out based on MattG’s *expectations* a month before the season is over.

          • MattG

            Well, if not my expectations, then what will decide the Yankees’ post-season roster?

            Seriously, take it easy with the *attitude* will ‘ya? You didn’t notice Mike’s exclusion of Hughes’s name in the final paragraph? Why can’t I comment on that if I like?

            • Ted Nelson

              Where did I tell you what to comment on?

              I said that you were speculating prematurely…

    • Ted Nelson

      “Only when considered against the alternatives, because in a vacuum, that sounds like the Twinkie Way, not the Yankee Way.”

      Having 3 healthy starting pitchers with FIPs under 3.75 hasn’t been the Yankee way in a while (they’ve finished for 2010 and 2009 with 1). I’ll assume that’s what you mean, and not that because those guys aren’t getting paid a lot they can’t be good.

      • MattG

        Wrong on both counts. The Yankees are not ones to rely on reclamation projects for long durations. The fact that they might go (nearly) wire-to-wire with two of them in their rotation is pretty crazy.

        The explanation may be that they absolutely did not plan to, but were forced to thanks to the alternatives.

        • jsbrendog

          dude totally, the yanks have never relied on sidney ponson, aaron small, shawn chacon or guys like that for extended periods of time. nope.

          • MattG

            Thanks for proving my point.

            Which of those guys started in the post-season, again, in the six player seasons they were with the Yankees? Chacon–1 start. Colon and Garcia will top that in one playoff series.

            How many games did those three start for the Yankees’ again? 53 total, spanning four actual seasons. Colon and Garcia have already combined for 42, and might top that in one season.

          • nsalem

            I don’t know the definition for extended periods of time but without Chacon and Small in the second half of 2005 we may not have even made the playoffs. Chacon start in game 4 of the DS also helped extend the series to a Game 5. I don’t know if you remember the games started by Tim Redding and Darrel May in July 2005 but they were pretty ugly and Small and Chacon did a great job in stabilizing a very shaky rotation.

            • MattG

              They did, and those sorts of contributions will be found on many winning teams. Some teams will enter the season with the opportunity to benefit from such stories. That is clearly not the Yankees’ way. For one thing, all of those players being mentioned were in-season pick-ups, due to issues with Plan A.

              Cliff Lee was clearly plan A this off-season. Colon and Garcia were at best Lee insurance, but they were also insurance against Pettitte, and others (even Carl Pavano!).

              The question I ask is would the Yankees have jumped off this bandwagon given a viable alternative? If you consider Ubaldo Jiminez such an alternative, you could say no, but the cost for Jiminez being what it was, I don’t know that that option was so attractive. There were no real attractive options, so no, it is no crazy that Garcia and Colon roll into the playoffs as part of the rotation, but in any other year, yeah, that’s pretty outlandish for the NY Yankees.

              • Ted Nelson

                Yet the Yankees are doing exactly that… maybe you need to rethink your strict definition of “the Yankee way.” Which was my point from the beginning. I am not saying you are totally wrong, just questioning parts of your point. Instead of being willing discuss, you simply say you are right and don’t explain why with any evidence.

                “The question I ask is would the Yankees have jumped off this bandwagon given a viable alternative?”

                I again don’t see how you’ve come up with that question. Garcia and Colon are not the most likely candidates to be removed from the rotation due to an acquisition. A highly paid free agent pick-up who fits your definition of “the Yankee way” is the most likely candidate.

                ” in any other year, yeah, that’s pretty outlandish for the NY Yankees.”

                Again… you’ve done nothing to substantiate this other than basically pointing to their salaries (which represent the market demand for their services based on recent past performance). When I disagree with you and go to great lengths to explain why, you are unwilling to discuss your stance and simply write me off as somehow feeling I am superior…

                • MattG

                  You are acting superior because you insist on telling me the meaning behind what I write. Case in point, nowhere did I even once mention ‘salaries’ (“other than basically pointing to their salaries” ftw?). Not. Once.

                  Yesterday, you insisted I didn’t know how xFIP was relevant, further insisting that comparing a player’s in-season HR/9 to his career HR/9 was somehow the cornerstone of xFIP. You wrote that it was the same principle…which I suppose would be equally true if I were comparing Robinson Cano’s BABIP in 2011 to his career BABIP. Its the same principle in as much as I am comparing two rate stats, otherwise there’s nothing similar about it, right, Professor?

                  Garcia and Colon ARE the most likely candidates to be removed from the rotation–another comment I did not write, or imply.

                  What I did write is “in any other year, yeah, that’s pretty outlandish for the NY Yankees.” You want evidence? Produce for me the last season the Yankees gave 20 starts to even one veteran they inked for a minor league deal, much less two.

                  So, yeah, this season is pretty fucking wackaloo for the NY Yankees. They got shut out in the off-season by about 12 options they preferred to Colon and Garcia, spent copious time in-season looking for an upgrade, and then, when nothing shook lose, benefited brilliantly when both of them succeeded beyond expectations, which hadn’t happened to this franchise since ever.

                  And let me save you the trouble of your armchair psycho-analysis–no where in this post did I hint at my opinion of what has transpired, I have only shared an observation that is virtually indisputable.

                  • Ted Nelson

                    Salary is very related to what you are talking about, yes. Again, if you discussed issues instead of deciding you are right we could get to that point. I have said this before, but apparently you have not comprehended it. Generally why does a player get a certain salary? You have some exceptions, but generally it is the expected performance over the life of the contract. Why are Garcia and Colon cheap? Because they are “scrap heap guys.” Why aren’t they typical Yankees in your book? Because they are scrap heap guys. Thus there is an implied link between salary and scrap heap. I have been saying this all along, but instead of trying to understand what I’m saying you decided you were right and told me I should not say what is implied in your words.

                    It is the same principle: normalizing HR-rate. The factor you normalize is by does not change the principle. Again… expand your mind a little.

                    “Garcia and Colon ARE the most likely candidates to be removed from the rotation–another comment I did not write, or imply.”

                    You specifically asked whether they would have stayed the course if someone became available. This directly implies that they would remove Garcia or Colon from the rotation should a legit #2 have been acquired via trade.

                    Why do you keep writing things and then acting like you did not write them???

                    “They got shut out in the off-season by about 12 options they preferred to Colon and Garcia”

                    Cliff Lee, Andy Pettitte, and Carl Pavano… I count 3.

                    And as others have tried to point out to you, Colon didn’t open the season in the rotation. He was an injury replacement for Hughes… like plenty of guys such as Aceves, Ponson, etc. have been in the past. Again… you know you are right so you don’t take those comments into consideration.

                    “when nothing shook lose, benefited brilliantly when both of them succeeded beyond expectations”

                    Or they out-scouted other teams and took two smart risks which paid off. They could have signed both Colon and Garcia even if Lee had come on board. Especially Colon. I didn’t hear of any other team interested in Colon. He was just trying to get a chance to pitch, he was not offered a starting spot.

        • Ted Nelson

          “Wrong on both counts.”

          Where am I wrong? You are implying that what you and others thought of these pitchers coming into the season is more important than how they’ve actually pitched. I disagree with that. That’s what I said. You only verified my point. AJ Burnett is not a reclamation project and fits more with the Yankees’ M.O. of high-priced free agents… and that’s not necessarily a better thing than lower priced, more effective pitchers.

          Furthermore, how often have the Yankees swung big deals for front-line starting pitchers mid-season? Not sure why you imply that’s their M.O.

          “The explanation may be that they absolutely did not plan to, but were forced to thanks to the alternatives.”

          Or… thanks to how well those two guys have pitched. If a pitcher were to be removed from the rotation, it would not be Garcia or Colon.

          • MattG

            1. you posited two reasons for my post, both wrong.

            2. you continue to state I am implying things I am not writing. I did not imply what I and others thought of these pitchers coming into the season is more important than how they’ve actually pitched–I wrote specifically “The Yankees are not ones to rely on reclamation projects for long durations.” That does not even hint an my opinion of that strategy.

            At this point, you can take your superior attitude and argue with yourself.

            • Ted Nelson

              1.… I assumed you meant that because they aren’t highly paid “studs” they weren’t Yankee types.

              2. Seriously? You are saying that they were reclamation projects and that it is surprising they are still on the team. I disagree. I think your point makes no sense at all. Again, if the Yankees went out and traded for a #2 starter, Hughes, Burnett, and Nova would all be better candidates to be replaced in the rotation than Garcia and Colon.

              I have a superior attitude? Get a mirror.

              • Plank

                Garcia and Colon were clearly brought in as something of a last resort (especially Colon.)

                It is amazing that they are both not only in the rotation, but arguably out 2 and 3 pitcher in September. I don’t want to put words in MattG’s mouth, but it seems he is simply saying it’s surprising the Yankees are at this point in the season without replacing one of their “stopgaps” they picked up at the end of the offseason.

                It is a strategy the Yankees haven’t tried in my memory and in that way it really isn’t “the Yankee way”

                • MattG

                  Isn’t reading comprehension fun?

                  • Ted Nelson


                • Ted Nelson

                  Colon, like Ponson, Aceves, and dozens before him was an injury replacement for a starter (Hughes). It was just early in the season and he has done better than most of those others.

                  Garcia was a 5th starter coming into the season.

                  On the surface it seems a lot different than other seasons, but when you actually examine the details it’s not much different. That’s what I’ve been disputing with MattG. Not whether or not the Yankees have had scrap heap guys start x, y, or z games in a season before. Ironically he attacks my reading comprehension.

                  • MattG

                    Get this through your skull, Professor. Ponson, Small, and Rincon combined for 53 starts in parts of six seasons with the Yankees (Aceves was not a vet–come to think of it, Small might not have been a vet, either). Garcia and Colon have started 42 in 5 months. That is unheard of for the NY Yankees.

                    The next time I tell you what you mean to write will be the first. You, on the other hand, are a condescending troll who makes huge assumptions with other people’s words, in many cases assumptions with no defensible train of logical thought. If I wanted to talk about the salaries of Carl Pavano or Cliff Lee in relation to Garcia and Colon, I would have. If I wanted to talk about who should be replaced in the Yankees’ rotation, I would have. I can’t stand that you keep insisting what I meant to write; it’s condescending and arrogant, and it’s got me pissed off to no end.

                    What I wrote, and what your so-much-greater-than-my-intellect fails to accept, is that the Yankees have NEVER GIVEN THIS MUCH RESPONSIBILITY TO RECLAMATION PROJECTS. Talk about Ponson, Small and Rincon all you want–they don’t add up.

                    Ironically, your defense of your reading comprehension is to use further examples of words I did not write, while continuing to miss the simple fucking point. Can you comprehend this?

                    • Ted Nelson

                      There’s no need for that tone at all.

                      I understand your point. You don’t seem to understand my point or those of others who have commented. People are trying to tell you A. that Colon entered the rotation only due to injury and B. that disregarding context hurts your comments. Why are Colon and Garcia getting more of a chance than Ponson? Because they are pitching better. Why more than Chacon or Small? Because they entered the rotation earlier in the season. You continue to ignore context in your simplistic narrative. No one is disagreeing with your point that they’ve started more games than what you term “reclamation projects.” Yet you keep beating that drum. Get over it. You are missing all the other points with your dogged defense of that point no one is disagreeing with.

                      I am reading what you wrote, not telling you what you meant to write. Stop making stuff up. All I can do is interpret what you write. Do you want me to read your mind?

  • CP

    Just curious, but do players not on a 40-man roster have to clear waivers to be traded now?

    • Mike Axisa

      No, just 40-man guys.

    • Plank

      Non-40 man guys can be traded at any time, too, not just before the trade deadline. The only players that can’t be traded are new draftees.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    We don’t need to trade the farm for any help. We’ve got our rotation, the best lineup in baseball, and the best bullpen in baseball. Essentially tied for the best record in the AL.

  • Mickey Scheister

    How about bringing CMW back or work a deal out with the Royals for Chen? Both pass the BTAJ test. We need Asian reprensation!

    • MattG
      • Mickey Scheister

        I laughed, well played!

    • Mickey Scheister

      Or even Dontrelle, having a 57% GB rate wouldnt hurt. I’m not sold on Hughes or AJ starting a playoff game and Garcia against a patient team scares me. Finally. Colon could fall off a cliff any time now.

      • nsalem

        Garcia’s last 3 starts (going back to last year) against the Rangers have all been quality. In his last start against Texas he gave up two hits in six innings. The Tigers have hit him in his last 3 starts against them,
        but his 3 starts before that were all quality. The Red Sox been pretty good against them, but they are pretty good against everybody. It’s September and Colon and Garcia are still here and they are still performing well. if you are waiting for them to fall off a cliff please don’t hold your breath.

  • Bronx Byte

    Among other players, it would help to have Valdez or Laffey to take some non pressure innings off Boone Logan to keep him fresh for the postseason.

  • Chad Gaudin the Friendly Ghost

    This is totally off topic:

    I admit that the extent of my baseball following is this board. That said, what am I missing about Mark Buerhrle as either a trade candidate or as a free agent acquisition this winter? Isn’t this the last year of his contract?

    • Mickey Scheister

      Per MLBTR, it doesn’t appear he cleared waivers.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        That, and he’s a 10-5 guy who can veto any deal anyway and rumors have floated that the only non-White-Sox team he was interested in joining was the Cardinals.

        And, as Kosmo noted below, his option vest if he’s traded, so he’s got a two year contract for all intents and purposes.

    • Kosmo

      Buerhle has a 15 million vesting option .The option vests if he´s traded .
      He´s Andy Pettitte reincarnated.

  • dkidd

    fat elvis!!!

    • theyankeewarrior

      Right? Why freaking not. Guy is an absolute animal.

  • Elmgrovegnome

    I am rooting for this years Yankees more than I have in recent years. Sometimes the buying of big names sours me a little to their success.

    My favorite Yankess Series was 96 due to so much homegrown talent.

    This year it would be great to see guys like Colone and Garcia off the scrap heap and winning the big one.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      My favorite Yankess Series was 96 due to so much homegrown talent.

      Homegrown talent on the 1996 Yankees World Series roster:
      Andy Fox
      Derek Jeter
      Jim Leyritz
      Andy Pettitte
      Bernie Williams
      Mariano Rivera

      Hired gun mercenaries imported from elsewhere on the 1996 Yankees World Series roster:
      Mike Aldrete
      Wade Boggs
      Brian Boehringer
      David Cone
      Mariano Duncan
      Cecil Fielder
      Joe Girardi
      Charlie Hayes
      Jimmy Key
      Graeme Lloyd
      Tino Martinez
      Jeff Nelson
      Paul O’Neill
      Tim Raines
      Kenny Rogers
      Luis Sojo
      Darryl Strawberry
      David Weathers
      John Wetteland

      • Peter G.

        Boehringer was home grown, but yeah that team was built from other teams pieces

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

    MLBTR’s list of available players who have cleared waivers:

    Aaron Harang
    Dontrelle Willis
    Carlos Zambrano
    Rodrigo Lopez
    Chris Capuano
    Bronson Arroyo
    Bruce Chen
    Jason Vargas
    Chien-Ming Wang
    Tom Gorzelanny
    Ted Lilly

    Chad Qualls
    Hong-Chih Kuo
    Brian Fuentes
    Jon Rauch
    Mike Gonzalez
    Kevin Gregg
    John Grabow
    D.J. Carrasco

    Position players
    Aramis Ramirez
    Alfonso Soriano
    Lance Berkman
    Ryan Theriot
    David Wright
    Conor Jackson
    David DeJesus
    Hideki Matsui
    Jason Bay
    Willie Harris
    Angel Pagan
    Carlos Lee
    Johnny Damon


    Dependent on price, I’d be interested in several of those guys (Willis, Gorzelanny, Bray, Berkman, Matsui, Harris). Of course, the key words are “dependent on price”.

  • YankeeBaseball

    I’d love to see them add Gorzelanny. He could be the elusive “situational lefty” they’ve been looking for and he shouldn’t cost too much. He’s had good success against lefties this year, a lot better than Boone Logan…

    • Mr. Wallace

      I’d take any but Berkman, he doesn’t function as well in a yankee uniform… Needless to say matsui is not what he used to be.

    • Mr. Wallace

      I’d take any but Berkman, he doesn’t function as well in a yankee uniform… Needless to say matsui is not what he used to be