Sorting through the Yankees’ trade chips

Yankees have plenty of needs as trade season approaches
Manny Banuelos to pitch for Double-A Trenton tomorrow
(Dilip Vishwanat/Getty)
(Dilip Vishwanat/Getty)

Earlier today we looked at the Yankees’ long list of needs, and outside of getting some players back from injury, they’ll need to go outside the organization to find solutions. That makes them exactly like every other team in baseball. No club comes into the season with everything they need to contend, and even if they somehow did find that right mix in the offseason, chances are someone will get hurt or underperform during the summer. That’s baseball.

As always, the Yankees’ biggest asset is their wallet. They have more money than everyone else (at least more than every AL team) and that definitely comes in handy. They could go out and sign Kendrys Morales tomorrow to beef up the lineup if they wanted. The only payroll limit they are up against is their self-imposed limit. Not every team is in that position. Not even close. The Yankees have the ability to absorb considerable salary at the trade deadline and Hal Steinbrenner has already said he is willing to do that to improve the team.

Taking on salary is one thing. Having pieces other teams want in a trade is another. The Yankees have run into some trouble swinging deals the last few years because of a lack of quality prospects — they reportedly tried to acquire Justin Upton two offseasons ago, but the Diamondbacks did not love the prospects they had to offer — and while the farm system has improved this year, it certainly isn’t loaded with top notch talent. Most of their best prospects are in the lower minors, which makes them less valuable in trades. Let’s (try to) take stock of the team’s trade chips.

Young Catchers
This basically boils down to John Ryan Murphy and Gary Sanchez at this point. Austin Romine is not a complete non-factor, but he has little value at this point. If I was another team making a trade with the Yankees, Romine is someone I would target as the third or fourth piece in a package of players. He’s still young (25) and the talent is there, so I see him as a change of scenery guy. That said, Romine won’t net the Yankees much on his own. I don’t buy the “Frankie Cervelli could start for half the teams in the league!” line of thinking and think he has tiny, almost negligible trade value. Maybe they could get a Grade-C pitching prospect like the Rays got for Jose Lobaton over the winter.

Murphy. (Elsa/Getty)
Murphy. (Elsa/Getty)

Murphy and Sanchez are the team’s two best prospects and they offer very different things. Murphy is as close to big league ready as it gets. A team could plug him into their lineup tomorrow, though his ultimate ceiling is more along the lines of solid regular than future star. Sanchez has that star potential but he is still in Double-A and he isn’t exactly tearing it up either. Trade for him and you’ll have to wait a year or two before he starts paying dividends, maybe longer given how hard the transition from the minors to MLB can be for catchers. I am an unabashed Murphy fan and he’d be the guy I’d want in any trade with the Yankees, but it doesn’t matter what I think or what Baseball America thinks. It depends on the other team’s evaluation.

Brett Gardner
No, I don’t think the Yankees will trade Gardner. I don’t think they could afford to lose him at this point either, not without getting a bat in return. He’s been what, their second or third best player this season (again)? Anyway, I would be very surprised if the Yankees traded Gardner but I don’t think it’s completely off the table. If another club is willing to give up both a bat and a pitcher — who would do that, really? — then sure, I doubt he’d be a dealbreaker. That extension makes him mighty attractive, especially since the next few free agent classes have little to offer as far as outfield help. Gardner’s not untouchable, but he’s damn close.

Relievers? Maybe?
Every team needs bullpen help (including the Yankees!) and with a bevy of hard-throwers in Triple-A, the Yankees could part with one or two to get help elsewhere. Would they trade Dellin Betances? Given his track record of sudden control issues, it’s not a crazy idea. How do you replace him through? That’s the problem. No team is giving up an impact bat or especially a starter for reliever, even a great one. It’s hard to see how the Yankees could trade him and make the team appreciably better.

The idea of trading Shawn Kelley and/or Adam Warren is the same as trading Betances. How do you trade them and improve the team? I’m not sure it can be done. Preston Claiborne though? He’s someone who should be very available if another team likes him. Same goes for the Triple-A guys like Mark Montgomery, Danny Burawa, and especially Jose Ramirez given his injury history. I can’t imagine a contending team would balk at including a minor league bullpen prospect in a trade that would improve their big league roster. Minor league relievers are on the bottom of the list of untouchables.

O'Brien. (Ken Inness/
O’Brien. (Ken Inness/

Mid-Level Prospects
By mid-level I mean prospects at Double-A who are a year or two away from the show, not guys you’d find in the 10-20 range of the top 30 list, for example. I guess Sanchez would fit here based on that definition, but I was thinking more along the lines of Tyler Austin, Mason Williams, Slade Heathcott, Peter O’Brien, Rob Refsnyder, Manny Banuelos, Bryan Mitchell … guys like that. Ramon Flores is in Triple-A, but it might make sense to classify him as a mid-level guy too. Can these prospects headline a package? Seems unlikely at this point. Austin, Heathcott, and especially Banuelos and Williams might have been able to once upon a time. The Yankees would be selling low on all four of them right now, though I don’t think that automatically means they should hang onto all of them either. You don’t want them to flame out all together and be left with nothing.

Lower Level Prospects
In about six weeks, teams will be able to trade their 2013 draft picks without having do the whole “player to be named later” trick. The Yankees could shop Aaron Judge, Eric Jagielo, and Ian Clarkin if they want — it wouldn’t be unprecedented, they did quickly cut bait on C.J. Henry to get Bobby Abreu a year after drafting him — plus others like Luis Severino, Abi Avelino, Rafael DePaula, Greg Bird, Jake Cave, and Miguel Andujar have some trade value. How much? That depends entirely on how the Yankees view them (they love them, all of them) and more importantly how the other team views them. These guys could be centerpieces or throw-ins depending on the team interested in acquiring them.

* * *

I think the Yankees will be at a disadvantage come the trade deadline because they don’t have an elite number one prospect to peddle. The Blue Jays could shop Aaron Sanchez or Marcus Stroman. The Orioles have Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy (and Hunter Harvey). The Red Sox have a bevy of youngsters to offer. The Yankees don’t have a 2011 Jesus Montero or a 2006 Phil Hughes in their system. Their ability to take on money and their best realistic trade chip, and given how sky high revenues are these days, that isn’t an powerful as it once was.

Yankees have plenty of needs as trade season approaches
Manny Banuelos to pitch for Double-A Trenton tomorrow
  • Geno

    Who needs a “State of the Yankees” fan poll to determine fan morale, when their #1 blog is such a Debbie Downer?

    • Chip

      The fact that we really only have catchers as trade bait shouldn’t really surprise anybody. Pointing it out isn’t being a Debbie Downer, its being realistic

  • Chip

    The only realistic trade partners I see are the Phillies for Utley or the D-backs for one of their infielders. Both would probably cost Murphy I would imagine

    • Cool Lester Smooth

      Utley has 10-5 rights and is a god in Philly. He’s not going anywhere.

      • Chip

        Can’t really argue with that logic

        • Nick

          Utley also wants to win, so it wouldn’t be crazy for him to accept a trade.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            Utley wants to know which Nick this is befor accepting any trades.

    • nycsportzfan

      I completely disagree. I think Mikes wrong about the Yanks trade chances. I think there at a high they’ve not been in along time actually.

      Just look at this example package. How could this not get a prime piece in a trade? Brett Gardner, John Ryan Murphy, David Phelps. Thats one example and your getting a fairly inexspensive CF/LF whos just hitting his prime and signed for 4yrs in Gardner. A catcher whos raked at the pro level so far in limited AB’s, and most expect him to be better pro then minor leaguer anyways. Then the versatile Phelps who can be solid mid to back rotation guy or key bullpen contributor.

      Pete O’Brien, Greg Bird, DePaula, Severino, Warren, Claiborne, Sanchez, Austin, Flores, are all guys who can fill up a trade behind a headliner of Gardy, Murphy, Betances..etc

      The Yanks will make a deal or 2 this trade deadline, i’ll almost guarantee.

  • JLC 776

    What moves can be made to improve the team two or three years down the line instead of this year?

    Sure, I’ll be labeled a defeatist, but come on – there are far too many holes in the dam this year. We can buy our way into fixing some of them, but at some point we’ll have to ante up even more of our farm and, frankly, that will just further compound depth issues in the future! You know, the depth issues that are a major problem right now!

    • Chip

      Sign Morales to DH and play first. Make RF a platoon of Ichiro and Soriano and trade Murphy for a middle infielder and this team looks pretty good. All they would need is for McCann to remember he’s good at baseball and Pineda to return and do exactly what he was doing earlier in the season and suddenly this team is pretty loaded

      • Cuso

        Getting Pineda back can’t “fix” the entire staff.

    • JGYank

      This year’s team is fixable, especially if guys stay healthy and play to the backs of their baseball cards. You’re confusing this team with last years, which was pretty much a lost cause.

      • JLC 776

        Guys won’t stay healthy – I’d say there’s compelling historical and current proof on that. Hell, we still don’t know for sure what Tex’s status is!

        Sure, maybe some of the guys are just off to a rough start and they’ll rebound a bit. But we’re almost a third of the way through the season, I’d temper expectations a bit.

        There are still a lot of worries for this year alone. Kuroda is 40 and tends to taper off. We’re crossing our fingers on Pineda. Jeter’s body just seems like it’s going to disintegrate any day now. Will CC pitch again and what will it look like.

        I’m not saying we sell everyone right now, but I’m curious about what the options are if this team is in a seriously bad situation in a month. There are elements to this team that I love and think are an improvement to 2013, but there are still a lot of red flags – at least in my opinion.

        • JGYank

          Yeah but the rest of the division is just as flawed as the Yanks. One or two to moves can push the Yanks ahead of the rest of the pack and help us win the division. Even if we don’t there are two WCs to fall back on. And then playoffs are a crapshoot. We still have a decent chance to make it to October and have the money to add players to help us do so. I’m not saying everyone is going to stay healthy but we’re getting guys off the DL soon so that’s a good start. Others, like McCann, are due to end their slumps any minute now. There’s a chance Beltran and Pineda come back and the team gets hot and are in a good position at the deadline just like there’s a chance the lineup stays cold and the rotation keeps pitching 5 innings while giving up too many runs. There are red flags, but every team has one and a couple of deals before the deadline could really help to eliminate some of them.

          • JLC 776

            I love the attitude and am not throwing in the towel just yet, either! Hell, I was a staunch ‘buyer’ last year at this point, too.

            I’m hoping there are positive signs over the coming weeks, but like I said, I’m more just curious about what the plan might be if we aren’t in a good position come deadline. Mike puts out a lot of great articles detailing what’s available to improve the team now, I’m kind of curious about what’s lurking in other team’s farms that might gel well with our ‘2 to 3 year out’ guys.

            • JGYank

              The Yanks won’t sell. Even if they are terrible in June, they just won’t do it especially if selling hurts the 2015 team. It’s not in their DNA. I’m intrigued by selling/rebuilding at times too, but it’s not happening. If we’re going to trade for prospects, it’s going to be an AJ Burnett type of deal where we just want to get someone off the team and off the payroll. Hopefully their plan to go crazy in the international market pays off and helps rejuvenate the farm.

              • Kenny

                If it’s not “in their DNA” to sell, and if the structural issues are as Mike’s post makes them out to be (see that final sentence e.g.), then isn’t this what will happen:

                they will begin sinking until they reach some appropriate level?

                In 1964, it only took 2 years–1965 was a practice descent–for them to hit bottom.

                They’re an old team with very few stellar prospects in the minors.

                Their $$ clout ain’t what it used to be. In this regard, I was amused by the delicate adjustment of this sentence: “They have more money than everyone else (at least more than every AL team)….”.

                We know that free agency isn’t the royal road to success it was for George in the 1970s–and that things are getting bad even in the IFA market. Etc.

                It really does seem to be an organization in need of new high-quality blood in management–and maybe at other levels (coaching, scouting, etc.). Guys like Cashman were raised during an era that’s fast disappearing. If they can’t make it to the post-season again (while maintaining the story that the NYY always aim for the World Series, etc.), Hal may have to show the real color of his money by making some serious personnel changes. (Personally, I was a bit surprised by the change-o-phobia he displayed after last season.)

                As for someone’s “Debbie Downer” comparison–come on, what the hell’s he supposed to do? tell uplifting just-so stories?

    • ALZ

      Partly agree, although this year isn’t a lost cause. They need to start hanging onto their prospects. Free agency isn’t what it used to be, and they can’t blow the rest of the league out of the water in money. I get people always want to win now, but this team doesn’t have win windows. Over the long haul they are more likely to win more games stop trying to throw bandaids on. Use their financial might in trades, maybe see if you can take a large contract off someone’s hands, but try and hang onto the good prospects.

  • Mike Myers

    What about future picks…although it isn’t happening, I see no reason why someone wouldn’t take a flier on the Yanks 2nd and 3rd round picks for a player.

    Picks seem to be overvalued these days, maybe we could make a team in rebuild mode jump. Would the Cubs or Phillies see a lot of value in the Yankees draft picks? I dont see why they wouldnt.

    Also, dont forget the ability to absorb an unwanted contract in return for the player we need. $ we have…..

    • TheRealGreg

      Can’t trade draft picks in baseball

    • ebonix

      Since when can you trade picks in baseball?

    • Cuso

      You can trade sandwich picks only now, I believe. Not specific round picks. I don’t think they have any sandwich picks this year, right?

  • Yangeddard Solarte

    Under no circumstances do I trade JRM. He’s untouchable along with Delin Betances. Brian McCann was brought here for his power. He got the big $85 million contract and so far has an OPS less than Jeter. This is the 40 year old version of Jeter on his last legs. We cannot afford to trade JRM because he may be our starter next season.

    Can’t trade Gardner either. This team is already inept defensively and you want to trade away their best defender. Not to mention his contributions at the plate. Gardner, Teixera and Solarte are the only reason this offense even scores.

    There’s nothing wrong with staying the course. Columbus did it and found America. I think we wait until Pineda, Kelly, and Beltran return and see where we’re at come the trade deadline. We cannot not overreact to one bad game and trade away the only future we have on a whim.

    • Chip

      JRM is the very definition of touchable. He’s not projected to be a star and we have an all-star blocking his path. You can’t argue that McCann is done based on such a small sample size and he’s still a great defensive catcher

      • Yangeddard Solarte

        You know who else is a great defensive catcher with an OPS in the .600’s? Chris Stewart. That’s how bad McCann has been. Jorgie Posada always pulled his weight with the bat. McCann was brought here for his power, not for his defense. If we just wanted that we would have kept Stewie.

        • JGYank

          McCann is average defensively but that’s without getting into pitch framing

        • qwerty

          You mean 500s. There’s no way Chris Stewart touches McCann’s 600+ OPS. Stewart has no power whatsoever. The yankees wanted power and they’re getting it.

        • Darren

          Please don’t mention Jorge Posada in the same paragraph as C**** S****** or even B**** M*****.

          Jorge did much more than just “pull his weight”. Jorge was one of the best catchers of all time. Replace McCann with prime Posada and the line-up looks exponentially better.

          • Slu

            I like Jorgie, but one of the best catchers ever? Please….

            • Kiko Jones

              Not of all time. but he is the best offensive catcher of the 2000-2009 decade.

              • Cuso

                No, he wasn’t. I love Jorge, but just because he played in every year during the arbitrary span of ’00 – ’09 doesn’t make him the best offensive catcher in that decade. Mike Piazza and Joe Mauer say hello – among others.

                • Kiko Jones

                  The other 2 guys didn’t play that entire span—Jorge did. And he has better numbers during that span, which is a full decade and not an arbitrary section of time.

            • The Other Mister D

              I think that would depend on how big a group that is. Is he top 10? No. Top 20? Maybe. There’s 15 or so catchers in the Hall, and last I looked at the stats, he would rank near the worst of those. That’s still pretty good. Add in Piazza, Pudge and Mauer, allow for a few others who may be borderline HoFers who didn’t make it, I think Jorge can squeeze in somewhere around 20th, give or take. Given the fact that there are roughly 75 catchers who play every season now, and roughly a century of modern baseball, that’s pretty damn good.

    • thomas

      I can see trading Gardner for the right player. A pitcher like Lester.

  • JGYank

    Unless we get a complete steal, there’s no way I’d trade Gardner. Only outfielder besides ichiro doing well right now and that’s just asking for a crappy outfield in 2015 with ells, 39 old Beltran who really should be a DH, and soriano ichiro will be gone and the FA market isn’t loaded with talent especially in the outfield.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      Soriano will be gone as well.

      • JGYank

        Mentioned him just forgot the and in between him and ichiro. Unless the Yanks are comfortable with Beltran in the outfield, they’ll need an outfielder with or without Gardy. Without him they’ll need two.

      • ALZ

        Thank god.

        If Flores can put up a good year in AAA, then I think he should be in the mix. I get that he doesn’t have a huge ceiling for a corner ofer, but he has put up strong numbers at every level, while being very young. Next winter’s outfielders are Melky, Morse, Soriano, Ichiro, Rasmus, Sizemore, Aoki, Cruz, Cuddyer, Hunter, Markakis, Schierholtz. Markakis, Aoki, and Melky are really the only ok ones, and not really thrilled about any them.

  • John

    I’d do JRM and a pitching prospect like Severino with somebody else in that “mid tier” group for an Addison Russell in a heartbeat. Although, while however clear it remains that this teams major need relies in the middle infield for the future, I’m not too sure that teams like the Cubs, Athletics, or Indians would trade their SS guys for JRM/Severino +

    Mike, how do you like Arismendy Alcantara from the Cubs? I’d part with Sanchez plus Montgomery easily for him. Maybe I just love his game too much. What would you say to that?

    • WFAN Caller

      Why would Oakland trade Russell for JRM and a bunch of throw-ins? You’d have to give up a whole lot more than that for him.

      • John

        It was just an idea, guess I should’ve worded that the + implied multiple guys.

        I just don’t get the point of holding onto Murphy for a prolonged period of time when his market value deeply exceeds the value for a backup catcher.

      • qwerty

        Not to mention the fact that they have John Jason and Derrick Norris right now.

        • qwerty


    • ALZ

      somehow I don’t see that trade happening.

      • John

        I don’t either. You never know with MLB GM’s though. Then again, you’d never think Jon Daniels would give up THAT for half a season of Matt Garza last year.

        • qwerty

          He traded a prospect for a proven veteran. Only idiots do straight prospect for prospect trades. I know Cashman likes to do these so draw your own conclusions.

    • Kosmo

      Didn´t the Cubs move Alcantara to 2B to make room for Baez ? trading Sanchez for Alcantara + a Cubs mid-level prospect would be an OK deal.

      • John

        I’m not sure how both teams view each other, but Sanchez has struggled the past 2 years while Alcantara last I checked has excelled beyond expectations.

        Then again, prospect for prospect trades rarely happen.

  • Farewell Mo

    The Yankees best trade chip is their ability to absorb salary and hopefully some team will eventually look to dump someone who’s useful and not too grossly overpaid.

  • wilcymoore27

    I don’t consider this year a lost cause but, really, are the 2014 Yankees a player or two away from championship caliber? Uh … no. So why should the team be trading prospects at the trade deadline just to improve their championship chances by a couple of percentage points?

    If the Yankees are going to win this year – even the division, much less a World Championship – there will have to be a lot of good luck involved. Personally, I’d be more likely to trade a veteran or two if we could get good prospects in return.

    • Farewell Mo

      Totally agree for the most part with the first paragraph (unless it’s for someone like Cliff Lee) and while the 2nd paragraph makes some sense should they fall out of the race, it’ll never happen.

    • RetroRob

      This is not a lost cause at all. They have absorbed a ton of injuries to their pitching staff, yet they are over .500, they the race in the AL East and in fact leading for a Wild Card spot.

      Yet, strangely, some Yankee fans just want to toss the entire season away. I assume they came of age with the 1990s teams and still have little perspective.

      • Farewell Mo

        He said he doesn’t consider this season to be a lost cause, he just opined he believes they’re likely more than a player or two away from being championship caliber which is a perfectly reasonable and probably correct opinion.

      • Kosmo

        June will certainly be the acid test for NY. Oakland, a 10 game road trip and playing within the division for the rest of the month.

        Yanks are no better off now then they were last year at this time. I doubt an 85 win team makes the playoffs.

        • JGYank

          “Yanks are no better off now then they were last year at this time.”

          That’s not true. The lineup is definitely better on paper than last year. The pitching staff is banged up right now but Pineda is coming back and Tanaka almost by himself makes the rotation almost as good as last year considering last year we really only had Kuroda and Nova pitching well. Even those two were only good for parts of the season. The pen has done pretty well this year too. Plus, the competition this year in the east is weaker. Boston was great last year and TB was pretty good. The Os were above .500 and the Jays weren’t a complete pushover. This year is a 5 team free for all.

        • Winter

          For whatever reason RAB keeps freezing when I try to submit a long comment, so I’m going to have to break this one up:

          This team is much better off than at this time last year:

          • Winter

            Soriano>Ichiro (at least in theory…)
            Jeter+Solarte>Nunez+Nix+Adams+Luis Cruz+Alberto Gonzalez

            • Winter

              Roberts+Johnson are much worse than Cano

              Personally, I’d say that the first six make up for the last one. I’d call the pitching staffs roughly equal:

              Tanaka=Kuroda (Tanaka has been more impressive so far, but who knows how much he’s due to regress)
              Kuroda+Whitley=Sabathia+Hughes (maybe one is slightly better than the other, but I’m not sure which…)

              Last year’s bullpen was a bit better, but I don’t see that as a significant difference.

      • viridiana

        I disagree totally with the premise that Yankee farm doesn’t have chips. That’s just what other teams want Cash to believe.
        Yanks have possibly the best (certainly among the best) cohort of young power hitters in all MiLB. In O’Brien, Jags, DBJ, Bird, Judge and Sanchez they have a group that could revitalize Yanks for next decade — or help revitalize a wise trading partner. And that doesn’t even count other prospects who are due to rebound soon. (I’m looking at you, Tyler Austin. And you, Mr. Banuelos). In coming months, Yankee system is going to get a lot more credit than it’s been getting.

    • qwerty

      The yankees have no veterans they can trade outside of Gardner and David Robertson. They had their chance with Hughes, Swisher, Granderson, Cano and Nova. They didn’t take it and this is what they have left.

  • Kosmo

    I´d offer Murphy a 2nd rounder for Cody Asche a 4th rounder. Phillies are considering moving Asche to LF next year to make room for Franco. I´m not sure what they´ll do with D. Brown. Phillies have a 35 yr old catcher in Ruiz and their catching prospects don´t look so hot. Yanks might throw in a mid-level prospect or 2
    This would allow NY to move Solarte to 2B and with Asche NY would get a young 3B with good upside who´s bat would play up well at YS3.

    Another possibility is trading for Aaron Hill and taking on his contract. Yanks could agree to take Cahill off their hands for a discount as part of the deal.

    Sign Morales because it appears Tex is subject to breakdowns from here on in.

    The Shark is probably to steep a price to pay for NY.

  • 461deep

    `Tanaka for Giancarlo yeah. Damp day needed a chuckle. No one should be untouchable but Betances a very possible future closer is close. Sanchez should be held to see how he develops another year or 2 unless a really nice offer turns-up. Maybe Frankie for one of Red Sox infield prospects. He likes Fenway wall. Yes, Utley going nowhere
    as is Jeter who is SS & bat #2 all year. Bet that 4-5 day gave him 2 more months of management grace as his All Star vote spiked. Maybe Jays trade Lawrie for Warren or Kuroda & Ryan. With their bats they can get by with 3-4 run a game starters.

    • Kosmo

      What kind of acid trip are you on ?

      • I’m One

        He did say “Damp day needed a chuckle.” Guess that was referring to his entire comment.

  • “FOLLY” of the pre-determined outcome

    Does anyone else think Adam Warren is wasting in the bullpen? He’s handling lefties brilliantly, he is also throwing in the mid 90’s, & his change-up looks much better. I don’t want to hear that he is doing well as a reliever… would you use Tanaka or a healthy Pineda in the bullpen? If Warren has starter’s stuff then start him! We won’t know if stays in the bullpen.. Then obviously we filled a needed position without trading anyone.

    • Dick M

      If Warren goes to the rotation, he loses 3-4 miles on his fastball and he needs both his curve and his change to be working. Not gonna happen. I’d leave him where he is — a reliable, cost-controlled and very valuable setup man.

      • I’m One

        I would not be opposed to having him stretch out as a starter … provided he was truely needed and there was an adequate replacement for him in the BP. Next season works as well. A starter is almost always more valuable than a reliever.

        • John

          There is an adequate replacement for Warren. It’s just those 3 guys that Mike referenced in the article are still sorting different things out in the minors.

          I’d much rather see Ramirez, Montgomery, or Burawa than Preston Claiborne or Shawn Kelley.

          Alfredo Aceves is one of my favorite players the past week. Somebody has to be a dumpster fire in these ridiculous games. He sure does take that bullet for the team like a champ. Other than that he is a terrible pitcher and has no place in an MLB bullpen.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner


        I’d be willing to listen to the argument that perhaps he knows his stuff better now than that guy who came up throwing that very hittable fastball, though.

  • Argenys

    I would like to see a list of possible bats\arms that we can obtain as salary dumps.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      Jeter, Ichiro, McCann, Ellsbury, Beltran, Texeira, Kuroda, Sabathia, Soriano

      Oh, wait…

      • I’m One

        I laughed.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Golf clap.

  • Slu

    The only payroll limit they are up against is their self-imposed limit. Not every team is in that position.

    This is not correct. In fact the opposite is true. Every single team is up against their own self imposed limit.

  • AndrewYF

    I actually kind of like that the Yankees don’t have that one single can’t-miss prospect (and instead have a bevy of mid-level B-type guys). It makes trading easier. You know that teams will always demand that top prospect from the Yankees no matter what (remember, what was it, Rondell White for Phil Hughes?), and the Yankees will always balk, and the talks go nowhere. Talks are easier if you’re after a prospect that the team is willing to give up, and I’m certain the Yankees are willing to talk about anyone. Sure, you probably won’t get a guy like Smardzjia, but you can much more easily acquire the mid-level guys who can give the team a small boost and some stability.

  • Kiko Jones

    Cervelli COULD be a starter for half the teams out there but who’s gonna trade for him and give up a player of higher value?

    So, “[t]he Red Sox have a bevy of youngsters to offer.” Stupid question: why don’t our guys? Is there a motherlode of scrubs on the farm? And if so, why?

    • Jgibs816

      Because years and years of winning the division takes it’s toll on draft pick order. You win-you pick lower and lower in the draft, where there’s not a lot of talent.

      • Kiko Jones

        Understandable. But the Sux have won the WS 3 times in the last 10 seasons, so they’re not getting a look at the high level talent either. Yet, they “have a bevy of youngsters to offer.” What gives? Bad scouting on our guys’ part?

  • W.B. Mason Williams

    In all fairness to our farm, the Red Sox have had a bunch of problems with their alleged “top prospects” lately.

    Will Middlebrooks is severely underperforming.

    Jackie Bradley Jr. Is playing subpar.

    The only one who’s played well is Bogaerts.

    • jgibs

      Very good point. As far as Middlebrooks goes, banging NESN’s Jenny Dell has been his biggest accomplishment in Boston

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      It’s not only Yankee prospects that break your heart, something lost on some Yankee fans.

    • ebonix

      I think you’re not peeling back one layer. Yes, Middlebrooks, to date is a wash-out. Bogaerts looks like a star, and Bradley clearly is overmatched at this point and could use more ABs down in AAA. But when people say the Sox have a deep system they’re talking about Owens, Betts, Cecchini, Swihart, Vasquez, Ranaudo, Merrero, etc. They are very, very deep. And certainly many of those guys won’t pan out, but I wouldn’t say the three you mentioned are the “top prospects”.

      • ALZ

        Coming into this season that was 2 out of the sox top 3 prospects at least according BA. And of course their major league team is yet again a mess.

  • lightSABR

    Fun fact: by both fWAR and bWAR, Gardner has actually been the best position player on the team this season, with Solarte second.

    If you rank people who’ve played at least half the season by wRC+, here are the only above-average hitters on the team:

    Teix (137)
    Solarte (121)
    Gardner (109)

    The rest of the team isn’t abysmal. They’re just not very good:

    Jellsbury (94)
    Beltran (89)
    Jeter (85, better than I expected)
    Roberts (85)
    Johnson (83)
    Soriano (81)
    McCann (75)

    No wonder I’m not having any fun watching. Well, that and the infield defense. (shudders)

    • ALZ

      The big takeaway here is that they are getting more from their 85 year old shortstop than their dh.

  • TheRealGreg

    Brett Gardner, LF
    Brian Roberts, 2B
    Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
    Brian McCann, 1B
    John Ryan Murphy, C
    Ichiro Suzuki, RF
    Brendan Ryan, SS
    Kelly Johnson, 3B
    Hiroki Kuroda, P

    White Flag lineup

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    I slightly disagree with mike’s assessment here. I think Betances and/or Warren have higher trade value. Still cost-controlled and very effective in the majors. They also both have that “but can they start?” glimmer, although I like both better where they are. They also could be transitioned to close for some teams. They’re not enough on their own to get you a top piece, but one of them and JRM could lead any package out there (so we really have a new Melky + IPK?!)

    Would I pull the trigger on either? I’m not sure. There’s value to keeping both, although th idea of cashing in on two months of Dellin Betances after years of raw talent not leading too much is a potentially amazing place to be. I’d need to be overwhelmed……which was sort of Mike’s point anyway.

    All for making moves, but this team gets better through both their monetary advantage with FAs and having some patience that someone doesn’t fall through the Scranton trap door.

  • The Other Mister D

    Once again this can go back to last season, when the Yankees, in their futile attempt to pretend they were still relevant, decided NOT to deal Cano (among others, but mostly Cano).

  • http://riveraveblues sandyg

    how about a matt kemp for brett gardner trade.the dodgers need a true cf which they do not have.the yankees need a power bat for a corner of position.the dodgers also get salery relief with kemps contract.

    how about a jeff samardzija trade for any 5 of the following.
    jr murphy,gary sanchez,david phelps,mark montgomery,danny burawa,jose ramirez,tyler austin,mason williams,pete obrien,rob refsnyder,miguel andujar,jake cave,greg bird,manny banuelos,bryan mitchell,ramon flores,aaron judge,eric jagielo,luis severino,rafael depaula

  • fred robbins

    I don’t believe the Yankees could have traded Cano. Who would have offered what? A Stanton for Cano? It’s hard to figure what kind of deal could have been made.

    Agreeing with the concept that the Yankees are not 1-2 players away from a championship caliber club, the 2 questions I would pose to Hal would be 1)— WHY? and 2) who is going to finally be held accountable and when does the real team building begin… ok– 3 questions:)