Jul
08

Scouting The Trade Market: D’Backs’ Position Players

By

Thanks to baseball’s general mediocrity, the Yankees remain in the postseason hunt — they come into today 3.5 games back of both the top spot in the AL East and the second wildcard — but there’s little chance they will play in October without getting help at the trade deadline. They already acquired Brandon McCarthy, but that move alone isn’t putting them over the top. They need more help, both pitching and offense.

We know the Diamondbacks are ready to sell because they’ve started doing it already. It’s not just the McCarthy trade, they also dealt Joe Thatcher and Tony Campana over the weekend. Last week we looked at the pitchers they could peddle (pre-McCarthy deal), and now it’s time to look at the position players. Remember, just because the Yankees and D’Backs have already gotten together for one trade this month does not mean they can’t hook up again.

Hill. (Norm Hall/Getty)

Hill. (Norm Hall/Getty)

2B Aaron Hill
Hill, 32, has been one of the most productive second basemen in baseball over the last few years, at least on and off. He hit .298/.359/.501 (129 wRC+) with 37 homers in 243 games from 2012-13, but this year he’s dropped down to .239/.275/.356 (70 wRC+) with six homers in 85 games. It’s not the first time Hill has had this kind of drop-off either. He went from 36 homers to almost being designated for assignment while with the Blue Jays back in the day.

Hill’s strikeout rate (17.5%) is way up and his walk rate (4.3%) is way down this year (13.0 K% and 7.9 BB% from 2012-13), though his plate discipline stats are right in line with the last few years. He isn’t swinging more or less often, either at stuff inside or outside the zone, which suggests his strikeout and walk numbers may return to his career norms in time. Maybe he’s offering at more pitchers’ pitches, but the plate discipline numbers don’t come with any red flags. It’s weird.

The biggest concern with Hill is that his power is way down. He had a .203 ISO from 2012-13, but is down to only .117 this year. Again, his batted ball profile is right in line with the last few years, so there are no red flags there, and batted ball distance data shows he is hitting the ball just as far this year (on average) as the last few seasons:

Aaron Hill Batted Ball DistanceI’m not quite sure how the explain the poor strikeout, walk, and power numbers, which is not necessarily a bad thing or a good thing. It could be a indication he is having an unlucky year — I think the word “luck” has jumped the shark in baseball, but it still exists, sometimes guys have bad years or no real reason — and will bounce back in the future, or it could be a sign there is some kind of mechanical/swing issue we can’t detect with the stats. That’s much more problematic.

The Diamondbacks bought into Hill’s huge 2012 season (132 wRC+) and gave him a three-year, $35M extension the following spring. He is owed approximately $5.5M through the end of the season plus $12M in each of the next two seasons. If he was still mashing 20+ homers with a 120+ wRC+ and average defense at second, it would be more than a fair salary. But he’s not doing that anymore. Hill’s production has fallen way off and he is at that age when second basemen tend to fall off a cliff.

Prado. (Norm Hall/Getty)

Prado. (Norm Hall/Getty)

IF/OF Martin Prado
Like Hill, Prado’s production has fallen off this season after very successful 2012-13 campaigns. The 30-year-old hit .292/.346/.427 (111 wRC+) with 24 homers and 20 steals in 311 games from 2012-13, though this year he is at .268/.313/.365 (86 wRC+) in 89 games. His strikeout (13.9%), walk (4.9%), and plate discipline numbers are right in line with the career averages, though he is hitting a ton more grounders (53.8%) and that has sapped his power (.097 ISO).

Now Prado is not much of a power hitter to start with, at least not over the fence power. He’s usually good for 10-15 homers per season, though he’ll also chip in 30+ doubles per year as well. This season he has four dingers and only 13 two-baggers. It’s fairly common for contact hitters to start beating the ball into the ground when they decline, but Prado seems a little too young for that. A half-season of batted ball data is hardly enough to conclude he’s in irreversible age-related decline.

As you may know, Prado has always stood out for his versatility. He has a ton of experience at second base, third base, and in right field. He’s also filled in at shortstop, right field, and first base on occasion. The various defensive stats say he’s a tick above average at third and in left but slightly below average at second. Hill has been a second baseman exclusively for about eight years now, so while Prado can not match his over-the-fence power ability, he makes up for it by being able to play more positions competently.

Arizona gave Prado a four-year extension worth $40M last spring. He is owed about $5M through the end of the season plus $11M in both 2015 and 2016, so he and Hill have basically identical contract situations. If he was producing like regular old Martin Prado, it would be more than a fair wage. Since he is having a down year and it’s unclear if there is something more to it than just the general ups and downs of baseball, it’s a bit more scary.

Ross. (Christian Petersen/Getty)

Ross. (Christian Petersen/Getty)

OF Cody Ross
The Yankees have received only 15 homers from right-handed hitters this year, six by the departed Alfonso Soriano. They went into last night’s game hitting only .257/.321/.375 (92 wRC+) against lefties this season. That’s pretty terrible. The need for another right-handed power bat is pretty obvious.

Ross, 33, dislocated his hip (!) running through first base last August, an injury that required surgery and kept him on the shelf at the start of the season. He returned in mid-April and has hit .224/.278/.279 (53 wRC+) overall, including .260/.327/.260 (67 wRC+) against lefties. Before the injury, Ross put up a stout .339/.399/.612 (170 wRC+) batting line with 16 homers in 242 plate appearances against southpaws from 2012-13. Considering he is coming off the hip injury and has nearly twice as many plate appearances against righties (103) than lefties (55), this year’s poor performance isn’t all that surprising.

The D’Backs gave Ross a three-year deal worth $25M two winters ago, so he is owed approximately $4.5M through the end of the season plus another $9.5M in 2015. That’s pretty pricey for the right-handed half of a right field platoon, no? Maybe Arizona would be willing to eat some money like they did with McCarthy. Ross can play all three outfield spots and is no worse than slightly below-average everywhere, which is neither good nor terrible. It’s tolerable. If you think he can get back to his 2012-13 form as he gets further away from the hip injury and are willing to live with that salary, Ross would make a lot of sense for the Yankees.

Owings. (Mike McGinnis/Getty)

Owings. (Mike McGinnis/Getty)

Young Infielders
In Didi Gregorius and Chris Owings, the Diamondbacks have two highly marketable young shortstops. Gregorius, 24, is hitting .222/.337/.389 (97 wRC+) in only 87 plate appearances this year after opening the season in Triple-A, where he had a 123 wRC+. Last season he hit .252/.332/.373 (91 wRC+) as the everyday shortstop. The book on him continues to be that he can legitimately play shortstop long-term, but his bat leaves a lot to be deserved.

The 22-year-old Owings took the shortstop job from Gregorius to start the year, though he has been sidelined by a relatively minor shoulder problem these last two weeks. He was hitting .277/.313/.458 (110 wRC+) with six homers in 254 plate appearances before the injury. Owings is considered a slick fielder like Gregorius, but he offers way more pop and impact potential with the bat. UConn product Nick Ahmed, 24, put up a 119 wRC+ in 336 Triple-A plate appearances before being called up the other day. He is the best defender of the trio but also likely the worst hitter despite his minor league numbers this year. That is an enviable group of young middle infields, no doubt about it.

* * *

Real talk forthcoming: if Hill and/or Prado were on the Yankees, we’d be talking about them as overpaid veterans who are part of the problem. But, because they’re on another team and the grass is always greener, they’re being looked at as possible solutions. I think versatility is overrated and would prefer Hill to Prado, especially given the team’s need for right-handed power, but I’m just not sure if he’s simply having a bad year or is starting to decline.

Hill had two and a half years left on his contract when he was traded from the Blue Jays to the D’Backs a few years ago, and all Arizona gave up was … Kelly Johnson. They bought really low and it has worked out wonderfully. (No, Kevin Towers probably will take Johnson back for Hill now.) Hill’s trade value figures to be a little higher this time around despite his performance, especially if Arizona is willing to eat some cash like they did with McCarthy, but I don’t have any idea what a reasonable package would be. Two good but not great prospects? Someone like Ramon Flores or Rafael DePaula? I’m not sure.

Ross is owed a ton of money relative to his role and the D’Backs would have to eat some to make a deal palatable. Even then they would have to take back very little, a player to be named later type. I greatly prefer Owings to Gregorius and especially Ahmed. Obviously adding Derek Jeter‘s long-term replacement should be a goal for the Yankees in the near future. Players like Owings and Gregorius are usually dealt as part of a package for an established veteran, not by a team that is selling. Tough to gauge their market value. Arizona has some potentially useful position players for the Yankees, but for different reasons, it’s tough to pin down the exact trade value of each.

Categories : Trade Deadline
  • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

    Just don’t see it with Gregorius. On the cheap? Sure. Doubt Arizona will give him up for pennies though. Much prefer Owings if we’re giving up anything of value.

    • I’m One

      I bet the D-Backs prefer Owings as well, which could be a problem.

      • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

        Agreed.

    • rogue

      I agree with Owens, but Gregorius draws walks (.337 OBP with a .222 BA is encouraging), makes the deal easier to make, and is a big improvement for the Yankees at SS regardless. I’d take Prado over Hill – Prado’s 2 years younger than Hill and he’s stronger on D at 3B than Hill is at 2B. Forget Ross. He’s damaged goods.

      In any case, no deal unless Arizona pays for a big chunk of Hill or Prado’s salary.

      • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

        It’s not that I hate Didi in a vacuum; I just have a hard time seeing a price point that I’d be ok trading for him at.

        • Preston

          Would you do Murphy for Didi? John Ryan is currently blocked by McCann and we have Sanchez at AA. Derek retires after this season and the most MLB ready SS in our system is who? Cito Culver? The Dbacks have Montero, but if they’re going full rebuild he’s probably going to be on the market soon. I’d throw in some lesser prospects to make it work.

  • Rob S.

    I’m not in favor trading for any mediocre middle infielders. I actually think Brian Roberts is going to have a big second half. He has looked much better lately especially at the plate. I’m sticking with Roberts at second for now. If rather see them acquire a right handed corner infielder or outfielder. A true third baseman and backup for Teixeira. Or a platoon partner for Ichiro. And of course, more starting pitching.

    • JLC 776

      I think you’re right about Roberts (and it’s the same line on McCann, too) – they invested a lot of money in them and need them to simply become the hitters they’ve always been.

      Beltran is different – he’s never been the same since his early injury this year and I think he’s not bouncing back until he’s fully healed. OF help, preferably with pop, is needed – badly.

      • Bats

        Brian Roberts’ salary is an expendable 2 mil for just this year. He’s not an “investment.”

        However, I would not drop Brian Roberts from the Yankees entirely. If the Yankees are able to upgrade the 2B position this season, Roberts’ salary is low enough for the team to keep him on as a bench guy and let Girardi worry about his ABs

        • JLC 776

          You’re right – I was kind of lumping him in with McCann and didn’t realize he was just a drop in the bucket in comparison.

        • OldYanksFan

          Brian Roberts: .251 .317 .384 .701, 1.4 bWar, 95 OPS+

          This is solid middle-of-the-pack for 2nd basemen.
          Nothing to write home about, but certainly NOT near the top of the priority list.

          Maybe we should shop for, and be willing to pay, a player for our future. For me, the priority is a big bat for RF.

          • The Great Gonzo

            OK, then who? Who is in sell mode with a long term answer at RF?

            The Yankees are held to make deals with teams who are in fact selling, and right now the only two teams selling are Arizona and the Cubs. Doesn’t mean there are more that should not be, but here we are.

            • Evan3457

              They are most definitely not in sell mode, but I wonder if the Dodgers might make Scott Van Slyke available?

              Might cost the Yanks someone like Murphy, though, as the Dodgers are bereft of young catchers/good catching prospects.

              • The Great Gonzo

                Is Scott Van Slyke _really_ the ‘player for our future’ OldYanksFan was referring to?

                See, I know where he was going. I know he was trying to troll a Giancarlo Stanton conversation out of us. I know this because Boston Sports Radio has been trying to do the same thing for the past two weeks. I was willing to go there. I really was.

                • Preston

                  They aren’t going to do it until the off-season, but the conversation starts at Sanchez, Severino and Judge. It ends by cutting much, much deeper than that. If the Yankees can negotiate a long term deal with him, then I’d be willing to trade it all.

          • Now Batting

            A RFer helps right now but it relegates Beltran to DH duties for 2015-16 and I don’t see Gardner or Ellsbury going anywhere.

            • OldYanksFan

              Nothing wrong with that.
              As the 4th OF’er, Beltran can spell the Regular RF’er 30 or so games, and can have 10-20 days off. This leaves the DH spot open 40-50 games.

              Frankly, since we have another 2 years of Beltran, we should just hide his glove. Staying healthy for him will be hard enough just being a DH.

        • Wolfgang’s Fault

          If they try to acquire a 2B such as Hill in an effort to upgrade there, Roberts is expendable as he isn’t a flexible utility guy. Roberts either is your starting 2B or he should be dealt or released. IMO, I like what Roberts is giving this team, I think (I’m optimistically hopeful) he’ll be better in the 2nd half as he’s probably starting to get acclimated hitting pitchers he hadn’t seen before — many of the league’s pitching staffs are comprised of guys who’ve come up over the past 4 years, the time he was mostly sitting it out w/a variety of injuries. I would consider playing/platooning either Brendan Ryan, Zelous Wheeler, or Kelly Johnson at 2B against southpaws if Roberts #’s against them don’t improve (although his career #’s against them are ok but w/less power than from the L/H side). Though Roberts #’s vs. southpaws for 1st half of this year are a SSS, they don’t figure to give you much pop if he continues to start against them.

          I think Refsnyder comes up to play one of the corner outfield spots after the ASB (should they wait even that long?) in order to add pop to the lineup, & you can move Refsnyder to 2B next spring if that’s in everyone’s best interests. If Refsnyder goes to right or moves Gardner to right and he goes to left-field, you use Beltran as your everyday d/h if he’s healthy enough, & use Wheeler as your wildcard 3B/2B if he hits enough (I think he will).

          If that falls into place, Cashman can focus on upgrading the pitching rotation and whatever else he can do to lengthen and improve the BP. If they can land a true top of the rotation guy who’s still young enough and it doesn’t cost them Luis Severino or Gary Sanchez, they should name that tune. They need to acquire a young starting SS w/upside (needless to say) over the winter, so they’ll need to hold onto those prospects that can help them acquire that type of player.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Roberts isn’t a big investment, but he’s remained healthy and not killing anyone out there. They could do better than him, but it could be far, far worse.

        • I’m One

          I’m in the camp that Roberts is doing well enought that the investment in Hill is not worth the upgrade, especially with the possibility he’s beginning his decline (with 2 years remaining on his contract after this season.

          Prado? I’d probably go for him on the right deal. Ross is a question mark, but even if he comes back to form, he’s probably too expensive to be the “short side of the paltoon” player.

          To me, 3B, right handed pop (RF?) and pitching are the most important for this season. Would love to have Ownings for next season and beyond. If thye can get him, find a way to get him in the line up to keep him sharp.

    • Rob S.

      Can Refsnyder play right field? They should start playing him there in AAA and call him up right after the break.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        He can, but it seems like they really want him to learn second. In that case, keep him in AAA for now and have him get more reps at second.

        • CountryClub

          Supposedly he’ll start playing the outfield in AAA this week.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            Not a fan of that decision.

            • Preston

              Not at all.

              • Admiral Ackbar

                He doesn’t need to be rushed up here to play the outfield. Have him fucking learn second base in peace and we’ll see him in September or something.

                • Admiral Ackbar

                  Also…..IT’S A TRAP!!!

                  • Wolfgang’s Fault

                    Sorry, skipper, can’t agree. Refsnyder’s already an outfielder. They were trying to move him to 2B because they didn’t think he’d hit enough as an outfielder. He’s proven that evaluation wrong. He’s a good enough athlete whereby he can play the outfield for the remainder of the year, and if they want/need him to, he can head to Tampa over the winter to work on his 2B technique & get himself ready to play there for SP. The Yankees need his bat in the lineup, & plugging him into one of the corner outfield spots does the trick. Bringing him up to play 2B at this time is dangerous as the keystone positions have a lot of things going on & it takes time to know where you should & shouldn’t be at critical moments. I’m comfortable w/Roberts playing at 2B most of the time w/help from Ryan, Wheeler, Johnson, & even Solarte should they need someone to fill in against a lefty or give Roberts a breather for a game or two. Refsnyder is exactly the guy who should get the call to fill one of those corner outfield spots. Probably left-field, & move either Gardner to RF, or Ellsbury to RF and Gardner back to CF. If they bring him up soon & he holds his own, Cashman can focus on improving the pitching staff which is where they will either qualify for the playoffs or watch them on TV. It really would be huge if they could get Beltran healthy & hitting (full-time D/H) and keep McCann doing so as well.

                    • Wolfgang’s Fault

                      I might add to all this that Jose Pirela has been killing it at Scranton as well this year. Moving Refsnyder up to play a corner outfield spot in the Bronx opens 2B back up at Scranton for Pirela to once again play there. The guy may not be Refsnyder, but he’s not chopped liver either. No reason why you can’t endeavor to maximize Pirela’s value while you’re grooming/playing other players in the Bronx. Pirela’s hit tool makes him a valuable prospect, & if he’s even just an adequate 2B, you’ve got an asset here that can be called on later if needed or to be packaged in a deal later.

                      I think Pirela’s underrated, and could surprise a lot of people at the big league level w/the production he can provide. Probably needs a little more time though. It’s just my guess, but I think playing for the NY Yankees might be a big adjustment for Pirela, one that this franchise & fan base may not be patient enough to afford him. At any rate, that’s something we need not concern ourselves with unless/until Pirela’s called up, & that’s not happening at the earliest until rosters expand in September, and if he’s still in the Yankee system.

                    • Preston

                      Refsnyder is fine being at AAA (he’s played 27 games). He still has things he can work on, his Ks are up and after the fast start his BA has dropped recently. There is no reason to rush him, especially at the expense of his long term value, which is as a 2b. He’s not going to iron out the kinks to being a major league 2b in ST. He needs to be playing everyday. If they want to call him up in September and stick him in the OF that’s fine. But for now he needs to be working on his defense. Oh, and Pirela is chopped liver, and he’s not at 2b because he’s short, stocky and not good at the position.

                    • Wolfgang’s Fault

                      Preston, we’ll just have to agree to disagree on (at least) these two points. Pirela was moved from 2B to make room so Refsnyder could play there. Pirela doesn’t have to be a gazelle or all league there; just competent, make the outs that should be outs, & not injure any teammates Anything more than that is a huge plus. Maybe Pirela’s eventual future is as a corner outfielder. We’ll have to see. Chopped liver ain’t all that bad btw. Spread on a quality bagel/pumpernickel/rye, add an onion &/or tomato, s’wonderful.

                      Gotta figure Refsnyder would adapt to big league life much easier having grown up in CA, played at and won a CWS w/Univ. of Ariz. On the other hand, Pirela’s probably a small town kid from Venezuala, & you could imagine playing for the NYY’s might take some adjustment time for him. I like Pirela & I think he’s going to be a very good big league ballplayer. Just might take some time for him to acclimate, & don’t know how patient the Yankees can or will be w/him, or how he’ll react when he screws up or struggles & unanimously loyal & patient Yankee fans get on him. I just add he’s got more power in him than he’s shown so far. He’s still growing into the player he’ll eventually become. While he could control his strike zone better, he doesn’t strike out a lot either & generally puts the ball in play. There’s a lot to like about Pirela and imo, a mistake to sell him short.

    • Scott

      I concur on Roberts, he has hit .310 in his last 10 games and always has good ABs. He is crushing the ball when he hits it, unfortunately it is usually right at someone. However, good things happen when you hit the ball hard, I believe some of those loud outs are going to start turning into doubles.
      Plus, if he gets hurt, bring up Refsnyder to see how he can do. I actually like that Roberts has been hitting keeping Ref from coming up. Get him more experience at AAA as a hitter and a 2B.
      This allows Cash to work out a trade for a legit corner IFer with some pop.

    • Mandy Stankiewicz

      Where did all the “cUt robbertz’ enthusiasts go?

  • JLC 776

    Grabbing Owings would be fun – I’d love to see him get a bit of an audition on the days that Jeter DHs. It could really change the tone of the offseason and how hard we would try to court one of the pending free agent veterans.

    Could we get him and Ross just by eating the rest of Ross’ contract plus maybe a PtbNL lottery ticket from our end? Hell, it isn’t my money…

    • I’m One

      I’d take Ross in that case.

  • Bats

    If you say Hill over Prado, then without question,….you gotta go with Prado. Versatility is not overrated, it’s just an additional bonus. It would give Joe Girardi more flexibility to make maneuvers. Prado is the player to target over hill because he’s a better overall hitter. He doesn’t have the overwhelming power potential as hill, but he can generate power with his career .290/.340 career stats at only the age of 30. Hill is 32.

    Between the Gregarious and Owings, you gotta go with the more rounded player. That would be Owings.

    If the Yankees can swing a deal for Owings and Prado, and able to acquire Chase Headley, then the infield is potentially set for years to come.

    However, all these players won’t help the Yankees offense as long as Kevin Long is still hitting coach of the Yankees. Last year was an eye opener as to the skill of Kevin Long as a coach. This season is the confirmation, since he has the All Star caliber veterans that he did not have last season, to work with…..LOL…..and not Brian Cashman (referring to previous Mike Axisa post)

    Replace Kevin Long with Tino Martinez!

    • Kosmo

      I like Hill but i can see how many on here have soured of him of late. He´s slumping. He was banged up a bit earlier in the season. He doesn´t take a walk but has been decent in the clutch. His RH power as Mike pointed out would be a bonus. He could be another change of scenery guy. Although at this point I doubt Roberts is going anywhere.
      Prado would be great, he could slide over to 2B if needed and can play a little 1B too.
      Gregorius is more within reach than Owings who I doubt will traded.

      Both Hill and Prado are on a few teams wish lists.

  • mitch

    Not really interested in any of the older guys. I’d be fine taking a chance if it was just half a season, but they don’t need any more potentially worthless guys under contract for multiple years.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    I did dream we dealt for Gregorius the other night, so there’s that. All my dreams ALWAYS come true.

    • Wolfgang’s Fault

      I’d pass on Hill and Ross. I like all three of their shortstops (Owings, Gregorius, & Nick Ahmed) and I like Prado a lot too. If the Yankees bring Refsnyder up as an outfielder for the rest of the summer, don’t see a match here at present. I’d like to get a chance to deal for one of the three SS’s and Prado over the winter, though, if at all possible.

      Should be interesting to see how much playing time D’backs give Ahmed at SS and what #’s he puts up, & if Owings shoulder injury is as Mike writes not a big deal. From what I saw of Gregorius last year, I liked him a lot. You figure none of these guys steal a lot of bases as they move into their big league careers. Doesn’t figure Owings power #’s translate as a huge plus at YS3, but you could see Gregorius’s power #’s jump considerably playing in the Bronx. I love Ahmed’s glove and think he’ll hit enough & be a lockdown shortstop defensively for years to come. Owings would cost the most to acquire in a trade. I’m leaning Ahmed for the time being.

      If the Yankees could find some club to take Ichiro off their hands for 2nd half, I’d love to try & pry Prado away for the stretch run & into next year. It wouldn’t stun me to see The Bosox dealing for Prado if the Yankees don’t make that move first.

  • pinedamaybegreata (formerly Monterowasdinero)

    Definitely not Tino. Never hit for high average, had a quirky swing. Still amazed Roberts has not had a DL stint. What is going on here? I thought he had Nick Johnson written all over him. Next year 2B with Refsnyder and ??? at SS. Big hole to fill and not with Brendan Ryan.

    I still think we should go after a cheap and still maturing Jesus Montero (I used his first name so as not to confuse with Dback Montero). He is blocked in Seattle with Zunino, Logan Morrison, Smoak. Perfect right field power and a righty bat at DH and a backup at 1B. Do it Cash!!!!

    • Farewell Mo

      You want someone who can’t unblock himself from Smoak or Morrison? Seattle needs a bat yet he’s still in AAA. That should tell you something.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Time to switch out the “formally,” it seems.

      • Pinedamaybegreata (formerly Monterowasdinero)

        Formally? lol

        Anyway he is leading their AAA team in homers and rbi’s and is hitting .287

        Getting plenty of playing time at 1B now and only 9 errors! Still 24

        His heart is in NY-we’ll take him back.

        Corey Hart also blocking him. M’s paying more for Smoak, Hart so they are ahead of Montero. Money talks folks.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          I’d take him back. It’s all price-dependent, though.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting

          9 errors in 43 games.

          That’s a lot of errors.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            Some of those even happened while he was DH’ing, I heard.

            • Looser trader droids FotD™

              He does have that penchant for running straight to 2B out of the box.

        • The Great Gonzo

          “Anyway he is leading their AAA team in homers and rbi’s and is hitting .287″

          You know, Dean Anna won a batting title in the PCL last season. Also, do you know who is the record holder for most wins in SWB History? Yup, Kei Igawa.

          So… AAA number and all.

          That said, if you could get him for a song, I’d take a chance on him again. He’s just not “The Answer”, for 2014 anyway.

          • Looser trader droids FotD™

            Crash Davis holds the all time record for minor league dingers. You could look it up.

          • Wolfgang’s Fault

            Ditto this!

  • Yankee$

    Well since Aaron Hill is discussed as possible trade target, let me now post this since it is on topic…
    Baseball America. Prospects to watch beyond Top 50…
    “Robert Refsynder, 2b, Yankees: Without question the best pure hitter in the Yankees system, Refsnyder bashed his way out of the Eastern League the old-fashioned way—by barrelling ball after ball until the powers that be could no longer ignore the results. After a slight adjustment period in Triple-A, he went right back to mashing the baseball and showing a keen sense of the strike zone. His problem is defense. He’s a converted outfielder who is transitioning to second base, and there have been some early growing pains for sure. He’s very raw at the position and needs to make improvements in just about every aspect before he’s a real option there. The problem for Refsnyder is that he doesn’t have a lot of options if he can’t play second base. He can’t be a utilityman because he doesn’t offer enough defensive versatility, and his lack of power means he doesn’t fit the profile for a corner outfielder.”

    • Yankee$

      This is under the “Rising Stars” section of the article. No brainer to me that Ref will be on the 51-100 list. Also, there is a Falling Stars portion too and Gary Sanchez is NOT, repeat NOT mentioned in that section so IMO it is very likely he will stay on the top 100 and fall on the 51-100 portion of the list post season (depending also on second half.)

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Good write-up, and therein lies part of the conundrum in having him RIGHT HERE AND RIGHT NOW.

    • CountryClub

      According to the Daily News article today, Marcus Thames (batting coach) made some adjustments to his swing in AA and that’s the reason for the power uptick.

      • The Great Gonzo

        Holy Christ, I hope Marcus Thames didn’t get anywhere near him while he was fielding. That could end badly.

    • Wolfgang’s Fault

      He’s a natural outfielder, can play it without a lot of adjustment time (particularly if it’s LF if need be, moving Gardner or Ellsbury to RF), and he’ll hit plenty of line drives for doubles, triples, & yes, HR’s. Refsnyder should be one of our starting corner outfielders no later than 1st game following the ASB. We can talk about his future at 2B in the off-season.

      Find a team that could use Ichiro, & w/so many teams still in the hunt, gotta figure there’ll be a few where Ichiro would be an upgrade. If you can deal Ichiro, deal w/D’backs for Martin Prado as his versatility and bat will be huge in a playoff run & in post-season play (should they get there).

  • AndrewYF

    Maybe the Yankees could trade someone like Phelps+ for Didi or Owings? Maybe not now, but perhaps in the offseason? Cheap, effective starters are getting harder and harder to find. And Phelps could do quite well in the NL.

    • Kosmo

      Unless NY lands another SP soon then NY has to find 4 SP to begin 2015. CC and Pineda are now at this point no sure fire thing. Nova will be on the shelve to begin the season.
      Phelps can be an effective BOTRSP might as well keep him.

    • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso

      The opposite of this is true. Cheap, effective are becoming almost a dime a dozen (except for the Yankees).

      Offense is the rarer commodity. Phelps alone won’t be enough to pry Didi and especially not Owings.

      • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso

        Cheap effective starters….

        And, I overstated with the “dime a dozen” characterization, but the idea that they’re “harder and harder to find” when compared to young position players (especially shortstops) is just not true.

  • Farewell Mo

    I’d take back Hill or Prado if instead of Arizona eating half their contract they threw in Owings instead to sweeten the deal for the Yankees

    • Wolfgang’s Fault

      Owings is a huge asset to the D’backs. If they’re going to deal him, they’ll want a boatload back for him. Less for Gregorius and Ahmed, but they won’t be giving these two away either. The Yankees shouldn’t concern themselves w/acquiring their future shortstop until the off-season unless they’re offered the Don Vito Corleone special.

  • Kosmo

    Yanks need another SP ( a good one) an everyday RF not named Ichiro, possibly a DH with the most recent Beltran knee problem and an everyday 3B not named Kelly Johnson. Might even consider another experienced RP.

    • Wolfgang’s Fault

      The pitcher they’ll probably have to go outside & acquire if there’s even one worthwhile enough to get. The RF, 3B, & others could be filled in house. If Refsnyder is called up to play a corner outfield spot & continues to hit, that solves our outfield problem. If Kelly Johnson/Zelous Wheeler can platoon & hold down 3B, & I think they can, they’re good to go there too. If they add someone flexible & talented enough such as Martin Prado to bolster both infield & outfield for the stretch drive, they cover themselves if Beltran can’t get healthy enough or hit enough in the 2nd half. Would be huge if they could acquire another quality starter or Pineda comes back soon enough and is capable enough to give them quality starts. Aside from plugging Refsnyder into the outfield & acquiring someone like Prado, Cashman needs to focus on improving & lengthening the quality of the pitching staff if they want to be playing (meaningful) baseball in October.

  • Robert

    Nice article calling for REF in todays NY Papers.He was an allstar RF in collage has hit everywhere he’s played is right handed now plays 2b and OF yet the Yanks keep him in Scranton and we speculate on this dumb trades for Arizona’s garbage.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      http://riveraveblues.com/2014/.....nt-8657607

      What part of this didn’t you get?

    • Dr. TJ Eckleberg

      I used to make the most awesome collages in middle school, but it never occurred to me to make a baseball one.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        I used to love peeling the glue from my fingers and, ah, rubber cement….

      • The Great Gonzo

        You apparently were not an all-star at making collages, then. #RefsnyderToArtClass

        • Dr. TJ Eckleberg

          Your joke was much better than mine. *golf clap*

  • http://www.Iamplinythewelder.blogspot.com bpdelia

    Towers is so bad I can’t even imagine what it would take to get these guys. Also…. Why is he employed as a gm? What the hell are they doing? Personally I’d prefer gregorious because he will be the cheapest of the SS. I like Prado and he is a good bet to bounce back to be a useful player in the second half but… Only if the front office is comfortable paying that salary to be a super utility player. I ding like the bat enough anywhere aside from 2b.

    And id like to give Ref a shot next year.

    Hill. No. Not signed that long. He’s proven to be one of those guys now where anything can happen.

    But Gregorious is going to take more than anyone here wants to give.

    Prefer to wait for the offseasons.

    Roberts has been hitting for a few weeks now.

    I’d take a flyer on headley

    Otherwise, if they aren’t going to replace jeter it doesn’t seem worth it.

    Go get a guy to DH. if Beltran can’t play the OF he can’t play. Get an OF who mashes lefties (one who is CURRENTLY mashing lefties).

    Just seems unlikely they will acquire a jeter replacement this season.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      I am still DYING to know what the mystery package that almost landed us Hammel and Russell was, if that’s even true.

      • 28 this year

        it was melky + IPK but then Beane realized that they weren’t on the Yanks anymore. Cashman almost got away with it.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting

        Pirela and Montgomery.
        If only they still had Musty and Jorge Vazquez, they could have finished the deal.

      • tom

        Cubs probably didn’t waste their time waiting for Levine/Steinbrenners to come around.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          Everything we’ve heard said that the Yankees finished second in whatever race for whatever combination of Samardzija, Hammel, and Russell it was. That would contradict your thought.

          • tom

            2nd best offer for Samaradijza only. Cubs could be dancing around and waiting for better offer from Yankees for Hammel.

            • Jorge Steinbrenner

              Second best offer for the guy considered to be the second best starter available on the market based on what we currently know.

      • Andrew j

        I know it didn’t include betances, who has become an untouchable for all the right reasons.
        AJ

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          I’d say he’d be untouchable for anyone in that potential package. Is he truly untouchable, though?

          • Andrew j

            Well, I guess if you can get Mike Trout for him, the Yanks should make an exception! Otherwise, talking about homegrown electric talent we haven’t had in awhile.
            AJ

            • Jorge Steinbrenner

              There’s a flipside to that, though.

              He’s the guy who was practically DFA fodder as recently as six months ago now at the highest trade value he may ever have.

              Let’s not get ahead ourselves. I love him too. He’s not a 6’8″ Mariano Rivera just yet…..although, yeah, he kinda could be….

              • Andrew j

                Exactly. He kind could be real soon and if so, an asset to hold onto.
                AJ

              • http://www.Iamplinythewelder.blogspot.com bpdelia

                Yeah. In extremely uncomfortable calling any reliever untouchable. The list of explosive reliever to Japanese league set up guy is just too long.

            • The Great Gonzo

              I would trade Betances as the centerpiece for David Price so fast his neck would snap back.

              Cocaine muthafuckin heartbeat.

              • Jorge Steinbrenner

                Only with an extension window.

                • The Great Gonzo

                  I will say, however, that David Price has an infinitely better chance at staying at this level through October 2015 than Betances does.

                • Preston

                  The extension window is a year and a half.

  • tom

    I won’t give up on DePaula. He is in for a bulk of inning pitched this year so he could move up as fast as he pitches well next year.

  • willie w

    boy arizona is sure fools giving out all the overpaid on the decline contracts

    teams never seem to learn.

  • http://www.twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (formerly Drew) RIP Egon

    Roberts is doing a good enough job where upgrading 2B (unless it is Chase Utley) is not worth it. Let Refsnyder get his reps in and be ready to take over in 2015, no need to move him to the OF. And if/when Roberts gets hurt you have him as a good backup plan. Yankees should be concentrating on acquiring (in order) SP, OF bat, and a RP because Betances is being run into the ground. Cody Ross doesn’t fit the criteria, so nobody really on the Diamonbacks (outside of Goldschmidt which would never happen) really doesn’t interest me all that much.

  • http://www.twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (formerly Drew) RIP Egon

    Roberts is doing a good enough job where upgrading 2B (unless it is Chase Utley) is not worth it. Let Refsnyder get his reps in and be ready to take over in 2015, no need to move him to the OF. And if/when Roberts gets hurt you have him as a good backup plan. Yankees should be concentrating on acquiring (in order) SP, OF bat, and a RP because Betances is being run into the ground. Cody Ross doesn’t fit the criteria, so nobody really on the Diamonbacks (outside of Goldschmidt which would never happen) really doesn’t interest me all that much!

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Betances may be holding up better than Warren is at the moment, and Kelley does not look like his early season self.

      • Mandy Stankiewicz

        Man, Kelly is out of gas.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          I think it’s coming back from injury more than running out of gas. Still a huge believer. He was great when DRob was out. Not an easy task.

          • Scott

            I agree on Kelly, I think he will be fine, needs work to get back to his previous ability/

  • emac2

    A lot of point but very few of them consider any kind of goal.

    This team isn’t better with a little upgrade at at 2b. Unless we aren’t trading for a star, dumping salary or making a long term investment we need to say no. Headlines aren’t a goal.

    The thing forgotten in the write up on ref posted in the comment section above is that the Yankees have Gardner and Ichiro at the outfield corners. Power sounds great but when it’s not an option you take the low power upgrade.

    Roberts has a 1,000 ops so far this month. He also has the potential to be well above average at 2nd.

    Johnson is and has been terrible. His career numbers are also terrible. He would be fine as a util guy but with Solarte and Wheeler he’s a complete waste.

    We should be playing Wheeler full time to see what he can do. The guys we promote should be given every assistance and opportunity to succeed and cut if they don’t make it so the next guy up gets a shot. I would have ref in right and Wheeler at third and make a move quickly if it doesn’t work. I would bring up Garcia too and rotate Garcia, Ref, El and Gardner.

    • Wolfgang’s Fault

      That’s actually a pretty good plan, but Johnson’s playing better at 3B, he does have power which could translate at YS3, & due to his early lack of playing time, I’d give him more time to lock in before deciding his fate. As for Wheeler, I love his versatility, so far his glove at 3B, and I’ve really liked the few A/B’s he’s had so far. Looks like he’s got enough pop from the right-side and I love having him on this team. Hope they play him & a’re patient w/him. As I’ve posted above, Refsnyder should get the shot at filling the open corner outfield spot. If he hits anywhere close to what he’s done in Trenton & Scranton, they’ve solved their corner O/F problem. Would prefer going into the 2nd half/stretch drive w/a veteran like Martin Prado over another rookie (either Almonte, Garcia, or Pirella), and would prefer finding a way to deal or give Ichiro away and acquire Prado as their 4th outfielder/5th infielder. I Agree w/you, though, that Almonte, Garcia, and Pirela have value, & could be useful in a deal(s) or somewhere on this club in the future.

  • Mandy Stankiewicz

    Roberts is doing an average job at 2B, and we have potential depth there if he goes down. But since 2B is being discussed above, our old offseason friend Nick Franklin is hitting about .300 in AAA for the Mariners…and he’s without a position, since he’s blocked by some expensive knucklehead.

  • zach

    Greene got his first win and Betances got his first save last night so who has the game’s final ball?

    • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso

      Ichiro is holding it hostage.

    • Old Man Time

      Nick Swisher stole it.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        To spite Cuso, of course.

  • Ca-Dave

    Yanks should be sellers until they get younger; otherwise, we’re stuck with boring teams similar to the early 90s. After fifty years Of being a big fan, I am rooting against this team I just want to see management changes.

    • Colombo

      If you are rooting against this team, you are not a big fan.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      If that’s how you feel then maybe, after fifty years, it’s not just the players that need to get younger.

    • Old Man Time

      You are not a fan. Please go somewhere else.

    • Ca-Dave

      I suppose you guys are right.

  • Preston

    I’d like to target Gregorius. But he’s not a true offensive upgrade at 2b or 3b and he’s not playing SS. He seems like more of an off-season target, but I’d definitely swap John Ryan Murphy for him.

    • Kosmo

      I would too. I think Murphy for Gregorius is a very even deal for both teams.

  • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso

    It seems you’ve done several articles of analysis of the D-Backs as a potential trade partner. I remember one for the Padres too, I think.

    Can you maybe do one for the Rockies, or Rangers maybe?