Is there a trade match between the Yankees and Giants?

Yanks outclassed by A's again; lose 5-2
Cafardo: Yankees made two offers to David Ross
The state of the Giants rotation in one photo. (Jason O. Watson/Getty)
The state of the Giants rotation in one photo. (Jason O. Watson/Getty)

The Giants and Yankees have an awful lot in common, and it extends beyond being two of the three teams to win a World Series in the last four years. San Francisco’s coaching staff is a who’s who of former Yankees — Dave Righetti (pitching coach), Bam Bam Meulens (hitting coach), Roberto Kelly (first base coach), Joe Lefebvre (assistant hitting coach) — and GM Brian Sabean spent eight years in New York’s front office on the scouting and player development side. Under him the team drafted/signed and developed Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, and others.

This year, the Yankees and Giants share the fact that they’re contenders with holes. They have a solid roster core that has been weakened by injuries, specifically to their traditional strengths — offense for the Yankees and pitching for the Giants. Earlier this week, Danny Knobler reported San Francisco is already looking hard hard for starting pitching help in advance of the trade deadline. Madison Bumgarner is the team’s only Opening Day rotation guy with a sub-4.00 ERA (3.58) while both Tim Lincecum (4.70), Barry Zito (4.79), and Matt Cain (5.09) are all much closer to 5.00 than 4.00. Ryan Vogelsong (7.19 ERA) was a disaster before hitting the DL with a broken hand.

Baseball America ranked San Francisco’s system as the third worst in baseball coming into the year, and their most big league ready pitching prospect (lefty Mike Kickham) got clobbered in his lone spot start last month (four runs in 2.1 innings). Lefty Eric Surkamp, their top pitching prospect a year ago, is out following Tommy John surgery. Exactly one of their regular Triple-A starters has a sub-4.50 ERA and none have a sub-4.00 ERA. The Giants have no help coming from the farm system whatsoever, which is why long man Chad Gaudin (!) moved into the rotation earlier this month.

The Yankees, on the other hand, have perhaps more rotation depth right now than they’ve had at any point in the last ten years. Behind the veteran front three they have Phil Hughes, David Phelps, Vidal Nuno, Ivan Nova, and the rehabbing Michael Pineda. None are stars but all five are capable big league starters, assuming Pineda’s rehab continues to progress well and Nuno’s groin problem is indeed as minor as reported. The Yankees could move one in a trade to shore up the offense and still have depth to spare, and that’s not even counting an emergency starter type like Adam Warren or Brett Marshall.

(Dilip Vishwanat/Getty)
Pence. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty)

Brian Cashman & Co. have some arms to offer the Giants, so now the question is what do the Giants have to offer the Yankees? The answer is not much, realistically. The Bombers need a corner outfield bat, a shortstop, and a catcher. San Francisco has one legitimate corner outfield bat in Hunter Pence, but they aren’t moving their second best hitter for pitching help, especially not with Angel Pagan on the DL. Brandon Crawford and Buster Posey aren’t going anywhere, plus the Giants are already down two regular infielders in Marco Scutaro (finger) and Pablo Sandoval (foot). Their collection of backup catcher stink like most backup catchers. Nothing to see there either.

Because the Yankees a) are trying to contend, and b) live and die with their pitching, I doubt they’d look to move a spare starter for prospects. That would defeat the purpose. Plus, as Baseball America’s preseason ranking indicates, the Giants don’t exactly have many prospects to offer. Fans love to conjure up quantity over quality trades, meaning my three meh prospects for your above-average big league, which is exactly what Giants fans would do when look at New York’s pitchers. I don’t want the Yankees taking a multi-player package of bit pieces for one of their young arms with years of team control remaining. Remember, they don’t have to move a pitcher, it’s just an option.

Ultimately, the Yankees match up well with the Giants for a trade but the Giants don’t match up well with the Yankees. San Francisco doesn’t have a corner outfielder bat to offer, ditto a catcher or shortstop. The Bombers could take some lesser prospects in return for Nova or Hughes — I can’t imagine they’ll trade Hughes for anything less that the equivalent of the first round pick they’ll get when he leaves as a free agent, however — but that doesn’t make a ton of sense right now. They’d be weakening the big league team for a moderate improvement in the farm system, which is the exact opposite of what they should be doing. Unless the Giants are willing to talk Crawford or Pence (won’t happen), there’s no real trade fit for these two teams.

Yanks outclassed by A's again; lose 5-2
Cafardo: Yankees made two offers to David Ross
  • MB923

    Phil Hughes I think would pitch very well in San Fran. Check out his home/road splits this year and his career.

    I know he’s in the last year of his current contract and I know the Yanks won’t get much in return, but I think they could get something valuable back.

    • MB923

      Meant to say something valuable back for this year

      • jsbrendog

        i mean, no. they won’t get anything back that will be anywhere near worth the pick when he declines a Q/O. you know, like it says in the article. phil hughes is a 0.0 bwar (0.5 fwar) player with an ops+ of 84, WELL below league average. AND heading into free agency. he isn’t worth much if anything at all ESPECIALLY since teams cannot offer QO to pending free agents they trade for.

        • King George

          That’s assuming they will give him a qualifying offer. Hughes’ qualifying offer will be ~$12m. $12m for a pitcher with a 5.0+ ERA is a substantial risk.

          • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

            The QO offer last year was $13.3M. It will likely be higher this year.
            And fwiw, Hughes doesn’t have a 5+ ERA (not yet anyways).

          • Phil

            He probably won’t accept a deal that is only for one year

          • Bill

            Hughes is a FA after the year, so offering arb will cost more than 12M (closer to 14M).

            That said he’s only 28 years old and is probably looking for a long term deal. If I’m the Yankees I offer the 1 year and see if I can get a pick. The downside is another year of a guy who we know can handle a mid rotation role. With Pettitte almost assuredly gone and Kuroda also possibly gone the Yankees will need to spend on at least one or two starters.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              I’d give him a QO for sure, and you all pretty much gave the reasons why.

            • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

              Hughes is a back of the rotation guy (at least in the AL East). They will need to acquire at least one and likely 2 top-mid rotation arms. Spending big for a 4th (at best) starter makes filling those bigger roles more difficult within whatever budget they’re going with, especially since they’ll need to spend on offense as well.

    • jjsabo16

      Check out his splits last yr which was his first full season in some time, they were much much better at home.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Unless something that actually makes this team better (and, no, trading the guy you’re pissed off at from the previous night’s game doesn’t necessarily do that) actually is out there, stand put and wear an extra set of underwear every night.

    It’s a marathon, not a sprint and, frankly, to me, my marathon’s finish line isn’t even October 2013. That being said, I can say that because I don’t run the New York Yankees.

    I don’t see a match here either, but it’s pretty amazing to see the Giants starting pitching struggling, even more amazing than hearing about MLB hitters getting advice from Hensley Meulens. There’s still hope for Kevin Maas just yet.

    • MB923

      Nothing at all to do with last night’s performance. He could have pitched a perfect game and my mind would not change about it. As Mike did in the game recap, he’s AJ Burnett 2.0

      Hughes is either WonderPhil or AwPhil

      • The Real Me

        Yes, it seems that Phil has turned into 2009 A.J., (he can either be unhittable or …). That said, what does he bring in return? Is it better than the 1st round draft pick they’d likely get when (if) he leaves at the end of the season? That’s what the trade needs to be weighed against.

        While Phil hasn’t been the model of consistency, the problem is still offense.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

          I’m not sure it’s remotely a lock that a)Phil is offered the Qualifying Offer and b) if he does, he rejects it.
          Really depends on how he finishes the year. The way his numbers look now, a $14-15M one year contract might be better for him than being a free agent with draft pick compensation attached, especially with the problems Kyle Lohse had finding a job last winter.

          • MannyGeee

            The QO is never a lock. That said, as a 26 year old starter hitting their first chance at free agency when teams are ALWAYS looking for starters, I would bet my left nut he would not accept the QO, regardless on how inconsistent he is.

            Also, Kyle Loshe is probably the fringiest of fringe compensation players you’ll ever see… Hughes will get more offers than Loshe based on age and “change of scenery” potential alone. Bad comp.

            • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

              I’d say based on Hughes performance so far, a QO for him is almost as fringe. Lohse was at least coming off a great season.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Oh, I don’t disagree with a lot of that, although I don’t think the AJ comparison is a direct match.

        I’m not sure right now if this sort of inconsistency is what I want in the middle of my rotation moving forward for the next four seasons or so.

        I also don’t think trading him for something that’s not helpful in 2013 is the right idea. That’s more in line with what I was saying.

        • jsbrendog

          hughes 09 blows any burnett yr out of the water (because he was a reliever and only started 7 games) but 22-27 age years burnett was actually an above average pitcher with 8.6 total bwar and hughes is at 6.1 and has been decidedly below league average save for one year, his bullpen year.

          AJ Burnett >>>> Hughes.

          basically phil hughes ia, statistically, a poor man’s AJ BUrnett between ages 22-27. jesus that is frightening.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            I fucking loved AJ back then, though. LOVED Marlin AJ. Even really liked Blue Jay AJ.

            I’m still on record as saying I was happy about the signing when it happened.

  • trr

    Very good analysis and conclusion, Mike. I’m sure the F/O is doing due diligence not only w/San Fran but all teams. Clearly, we’ve some big holes to fill, not only this year but next too….

  • Eddard

    The NL would be a good fit for Phil. The problem is those teams are at least as deficient offensively as the Yanks, probably more so. If Pineda does well in his rehab they should shop Phil and Nova, I just don’t think they’ll get the bat they’re looking for in return. And it almost has to be a corner OF bat if he’s going to play everyday once the injured stars return.

  • 28 this year

    Hughes + our entire Low or High A team for Posey.

    • Phil

      They’d be crazy to do that trade. Even if it was for Hughes, Low A AND High A.

  • Preston

    I’d trade Phil or Nova for Marco Scutaro. He can play all over the diamond and would be an upgrade over what we’re currently getting at SS, 3B and the OF. Don’t know how the giants would feel about it though.

    • jsbrendog

      neither one of them gets that done unless the giants are looking to dump his salary. notonly is he hurt currently but he is also one of their best hitters and under contract til 2016. they Just signed him to a 3 yr deal. you need to actually part with something good to get him.

      • The Real Me

        you need to actually part with something good to get him.

        Not if we turn on Force Trade …

        • The Evil Umpire

          Cashman “You will trade us Buster Posey, Hunter Pence, and Marco Scutaro for Phil Hughes… and pay their salaries…”

          Sabean “I will trade you Buster Posey, Hunter Pence, and Marco Scutaro for Phil Hughes.. and pay their salaries…”

          Force Traded!

  • Kosmo

    “ultimately, the Yankees match up well with the Giants for a trade but the Giants don’t match up well with the Yankees“. True.

    So who do the Yanks mutually match up well with ? SD, Angels , Dodgers ?

  • LarryM Fl

    Mike your article was a good comment about both clubs which are living and dieing with their pitching each night. San Fran has won two of the last three WS trophies with this scheme. But they are weaker than us in the offensive category.

    If Pineda or Nova come back to reasonable performing starters. I would shop Phil Hughes for offensive help or a shortstop better than our present elite group. I gather a guess at the Yankees being an 84-87 plus or minus three wins or losses during ST so 81 or 91 basicaly puts us in the hunt all year. Will this play keep the FO from dropping dead wood if Hafner, Youkilis, Overbay do not turn it around. There are others who could feel the boot. It may be a good opportunity for some young guys to get an oppt. But I’m sure much has to occur before the young guys get the call-ups.

    • Kosmo

      “But they are weaker than us in the offensive category“ Sorry Larry but I respectfully disagree. Giants have a very good top to bottom lineup. Yanks do not. Giants are not getting solid SP. Zito and Lincecum stink. Bumgarner and Cain have been up and down.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

        Yankees: 3.97 r/g
        Giants: 4.33 r/g, in a pitcher’s park, where pitchers have to hit.

  • TomH

    Good article. I disagree, though, with this: “This year, the Yankees and Giants share the fact that they’re contenders with holes. In my opinion, the Yankees only appear to be contenders. This starting lineup can’t be a contender in any long-term sense. It’s laughably weak. The appearance of contention comes from that memorable April, when these otherwise over-the-hill guys were fresh enough to do some serious hitting.

    It’s possible, of course, that if the pitching keeps the Yankees at .500 until the ASB, the return of the wounded will make them more legitimate contenders. However, that depends on whether they come back like their old selves.

    • Kosmo

      after a 16-10 April NY has since gone 21-18.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      “This starting lineup can’t be a contender in any long-term sense.”

      At some point, this stops meaning anything. It’s mid-June. If they’re still in the WC hunt in 30 DAYS, it’s even less long-term.

      Again, we wait for this other shoe to drop and, every day it doesn’t, it’s one less day in the season in which it actually has to drop. Not saying it won’t, but crying long-term is going to actually stop at some point soon.

      • TomH

        The “dropped shoe” metaphor is the wrong one if we’re watching it drop in real time, fast, at 32 ft/sec/sec), etc.

        Better to think of the shoe falling in YES-mo slow. And, lo!, there it is, falling NOW, right NOW.

        April 16-10
        May 15-13
        June 6-5
        RS RA
        April 120 110
        May 102 94
        June 36 43

        “Being a contender” is often an April-June illusion. It’s hard to believe that anyone who is watching the Yankees can say with a straight face that this present lineup is credible as a contender. No matter how close they may be to such status on 13 June that status is an illusion. People like Ichiro, Wells, Overbay, and Hafner are no longer capable of day-in-day-out achievement at a level that can make them credible. (I’m not sure what to expect from Youk. I cringe whenever he has to twist and turn.)

        To be seriously credible as a contender, demands that this lineup maintain not just a consistently high level of pitching achievement from #’s 1-3 in the rotation (certainly possible) but also something like a return to April over-achievement from the starting lineup. The latter are realistically capable only of “lucid moments,” where they have the occasional good game.

        We can, I think, rationally expect from the present team that they might finish ahead of Tampa Bay and Toronto (assuming Toronto doesn’t wake up). Perhaps it’s just me, but when they play Baltimore they look old and slow (and did so much of last season). Against Boston, they just look inferior.

        Still, all predictive bets are off if, after the ASB, Jeter, ARod, and Granderson come back in good form–and Pineda arrives with good stuff on offer all the better.

        Then the starting lineup looks credible, and, as a bonus, the over-the-hill-guys may very well comprise a pretty good bench.

  • Captain Cruiser

    So basically you’re saying the Cubs are going to deal Feldman or Garza to the Giants. Probably Feldman since his pricetag is lower.

    • Kosmo

      Feldman has fallen back to earth. I can´t see SF being much interested. Giants have 0 to give for Garza.

      • Gonzo

        Not sure what your definition of falling back to earth is but I still think he will be moved. He’s had two bad outings against Cincinnati in the past 4 starts. I’m not sure you could take away too much from that. Both games had one bad inning that killed him.

        I mean when you consider that this post talked about trading Hughes, Nuno, and Nova to the Giants, I’m not sure Feldman is a bad comp for a trade.

  • monkeypants

    DFA Vernon Wells. Free Thomas Neal?

    • The Other Sam

      Wells could well turn out to be this years Andruw Jones.

      • The Evil Umpire

        Andruw Jones 2012 lately…

    • Bill

      If they want a look at Thomas Neal the first move is likely sending Adams down. Personally I think that makes sense given that Adams hasn’t hit at all since his hot start.

      That said I don’t think Thomas Neal is the answer to any problem. A marginal upgrade at best.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Potential upgrade over Overbay. Not over Wells, at least to me.

        • monkeypants

          Wells has been this bad for three straight seasons, and four out of the last five, and five out of the last seven. Surely someone in the minors offers a reasonable chance to be an upgrade over the long-dead corpse of Vernon Wells.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Won’t ever happen. Don’t even think it should.

      I’ll take Vernon’s chances of looking like April Vernon again before I take Neal’s chances of looking like a major leaguer.

      • monkeypants

        The question is, when is Wells going to look like a major leaguer? Outside of April he hasn’t looked like one since 2010, and not consistently since 2006.

  • Andrew Brotherton

    I think Kyle Crick and Gary Brown for Hughes would work, Gary Brown still has a lot of potential and Crick has a boatload of talent but is very very raw.

    • Kosmo

      I don´t see SF dealing Crick. Brown has been a HUGE disappointment.

  • jsbrendog

    phil hughes, statistically, is a consistently shitty SP and as a pending free agent is not worth much of anything. NO ONE will trade “a big bat” for him nor most likely anything even remotely useful.

    • Kosmo

      I tend to agree but a team desperate for SP might be willing to trade a prospect or 2. Hughes for Amarista, a solid utility IF who can also play the OF might be worth it to the Padres.
      Hughes and Joba to the Angels for Lindsay?

      • King George

        I can tell you with certainty that the Padres farm system is loaded with pitching. They don’t need Hughes at all. Clayton Richard is about to get DFA’d and they’re going to make Erlin a full time starter. Padres will actually be a loaded team in about a year or two. There’s no chance they’d give up Amarista either.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Unless you literally mean an oversized wooden bat.

  • Dan in Athens

    Am I reading this wrong or did the article say that the yanks would get a first round pick when Hughes departs?

    • 28 this year

      Assuming the yanks offer him a qualifying offer which is likely because I doubt he woudl take a one year deal as a 26 year old when he could do significantly better.

      • The Bastard

        Significantly better than $13M AAV? For a guy with a 93 ERA+ over the last four years?


        • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

          I believe he’s referring to years, not AAV.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          The hashtag is especially hilarious when you consider it’d be another team giving him that money, and not the Yankees.

    • NeilT

      Only if they make him a qualifying offer and he signs elsewhere – same deal as with Swisher and Soriano last year.

      Right now the one-year QO rates to be in the $14-15m range, which is far more than the AAV anyone’s going to offer Hughes, but it’d be for one year only. Hughes might take it and try to have a better 2014 and cash in on FA when he’s still only 27.

      • The Evil Umpire

        Or he might take 5/60 for long term security on the market.

      • OldYanksFan

        I agree.
        Reasons why Phil might accept a QO:

        1) I think guys brought up in the Yankees organization would like to stay with the Yanks if possible. Next year we lose Mo and Andy, and maybe Hiroki, so Phil could see himself as an important piece in 2014.

        2) At his age, I don’t think being 1 year older will hurt his value at all if he becomes a FA a year later.

        3) Unless he has a much better 2nd half, he might feel he can increase his value.

        4) $14m for 1 year ain’t chicken-scratch

        5) If he had a really good year for the Yankees in 2014, it increases his chances that the Yanks resign him, which I think he would like.

        I do believe other GMs are not as down on Phil as we are (because he really disappointed us). FAs often get overpaid, and Phil might look tasty to a NL team that needs Pitching. We might think he’s a bum, but he is a Yankee who cut his teeth in the AL East, and that does carry a little weight around the league.

        However, if he finished this year with an ERA around 4.89, my guess is he accepts a QO.

  • LK

    Maybe the Yankees could offer the Giants Vernon Wells and Ichiro in exchange for not having Vernon Wells and Ichiro on the fucking team anymore.

    • The Evil Umpire

      Hell, Vernon Wells and Ichiro can sit on my couch at home watching Yankees games as long as they throw in nachos and a case of beer!

      • jsbrendog

        i’d holdout for garlic fries and a lobell’s

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Only At&T Park garlic fries, though.

  • Puppet

    What about Belt?

    • Bill

      Sign me up. It’d take a package of at least Hughes+Overbay+ a good prospect, but for a cost controlled OF/1B with upside it would be well worth it.

      I doubt the Giants want to give up on him now though. Especially after seeing a similar player like Dom Brown breaking out this year. If they’re desperate for pitching though I’d gladly sign up for this type of deal.

      • Samuel

        I would take Belt in a heartbeat, and trade whatever it takes to get him.

        I also would look to get Andrew Susac from them, too, a power hitting catcher in Double A Richmond.

        Hughes, Overbay and Jose Ramirez/Rafael DePaula for Belt and Susac.

  • dp

    This Yankees team is going nowhere…so trade Hughes for a couple decent prospects…heck trade the entire team…The Yankees can’t beat winning AL teams…

    • The Real Me

      Right. Cause 1/3 of the season while missing some of your best players shows what you will do over the course of the next 2/3’s when those players return.

      And 2/3’s of a season of Phil Hughes (who’s been onconsistent at best) will always get you a couple of decent prospects.

    • Robinson Tilapia


  • Craig Miller

    On the subject of Pence, would fit well in Yankee Stadium? RH power bat, just doesn’t walk much. Obviously, the Giants won’t give him up this season, but I’d feel pretty comfortable with Pence next to Gardner in the OF next season.

  • The Bastard

    Phil Hughes is a capable MLB starter? He’s a got a 93 ERA+ over the last four years. That’s decidedly below average.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

      Slightly below average as a starter in the AL East is a capable back of the rotation starter.

  • Robert

    Boy if I am a GM trying to trade with the Yanks after Gary Sanchez what else would I take from the farm system……. ????

    • King George

      This is 100% trolling.

  • Fez

    trade them Cano for whatever you can get prospect wise. the last thing we need is another infielder on the north side of 30 with a ten year deal for 200 million dollars or more; especially when the other 3 infield positions are already held down by geezers on the downswing of a career yet the highest paid at their positions despite not producing. tinkers-evers-chance was billed as the first 100,000 dollar infield.. the yankees shouldn’t be trying to be the first billion dollar all over-40 infield who is outproduced by the AAA scranton team statistically.