2015 Trade Deadline Open Thread: Friday

Kimbrel. (Presswire)
Kimbrel. (Presswire)

Today’s the day. Specifically, 4pm ET is the time. Teams have until 4pm ET today to make non-waiver trades, which means there figures to be a flurry of activity in the next few hours even though big names like Johnny Cueto, David Price, and Troy Tulowitzki have already been moved. The Yankees made a relatively minor trade yesterday, sending Ramon Flores and Jose Ramirez to the Mariners for Dustin Ackley.

On Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday this week we learned the Yankees are in the market for pitching help, both starters and relievers, but they’re not willing to give up their top prospects. They’ve been connected to all sorts of pitchers the last few days but those pitchers keep getting traded elsewhere. Hopefully they reel one or two in today, preferably a starter. They really need rotation help. We’ll keep tabs on all of the day’s Yankees-related rumors right here, as usual.

  • 4:37pm ET: The Yankees were not only willing to include Jorge Mateo in a Craig Kimbrel trade, they also offered to take back Jedd Gyorko and his disaster contract. They never got an answer from the Padres, apparently. [Heyman]
  • 3:53pm ET: The Yankees are expected to stand pat at the deadline. Weak, if true. [Nightengale]
  • 3:28pm ET: The Yankees told the Padres they were willing to trade Jorge Mateo for Craig Kimbrel, but San Diego hasn’t responded. The assumption is Kimbrel is going elsewhere. [Rosenthal, Sherman]
  • 3:22pm ET: Once again, the Yankees and Padres have “no traction” for a Craig Kimbrel trade. They have had “no talks” recently. [Rosenthal, Sherman]
  • 3:02pm ET: Should the Craig Kimbrel deal not happen, the Yankees won’t work out a smaller trade involving Joaquin Benoit and Ian Kennedy. [Sherman]
  • 2:05pm ET: In addition to Jorge Mateo, the Padres would also want a pitcher back from the Yankees for Craig Kimbrel. [Sweeny Murti]
  • 1:56pm ET: The Yankees believe the Padres are working on a bigger trade involving Craig Kimbrel. Apparently San Diego will not trade Kimbrel to New York unless Jorge Mateo is in the deal. [Sherman]
  • 12:33pm ET: Apparently talks with the Padres for Craig Kimbrel broke down yesterday and have not been revived. They haven’t talked today. That’s why the Yankees are looking at guys like Carter Capps. [Rosenthal, Olney]
  • 12:21pm ET: The Yankees are the team in the “hottest” pursuit of Craig Kimbrel. It sure seems like the plan is to add another elite reliever. [Rosenthal]
  • 11:00am ET: The Marlins have coveted Greg Bird and would probably ask for him in a potential Carter Capps trade. I can’t see that happening given the Yankees’ reluctance to trade their close to MLB top prospects. [Joe Frisaro]
  • 10:56am ET: Although the Yankees did indeed check in, a trade for Aroldis Chapman is “not likely” to happen. Womp womp. That would have been fun. [Heyman]
  • 10:36am ET: The Yankees don’t like the idea of trading Jorge Mateo for a reliever, even one as good as Craig Kimbrel. If they do trade Mateo, they’re more likely to do so for a starting pitcher or everyday position player. [Sherman]
  • 10:12am ET: The Yankees continue to look for rotation help but feel “doubtful.” They believe Severino, Adam Warren, and Bryan Mitchell could hold down the fort in the second half if necessary. [Sherman]
  • 9:53am ET: The Yankees would consider trading Jorge Mateo but not top prospects closer to MLB like Aaron Judge and Luis Severino. That makes sense, I guess. Also, if they are willing to trade Mateo, they could seek more in return from the Padres than just Craig Kimbrel. It would also open doors to other deals. [Sherman]
  • 9:51am ET: The Yankees are talking to the Marlins about setup man Carter Capps, the guy with the jumpy delivery. That would be fun to watch, if nothing else. [Stark, Heyman]
  • 9:44am ET: The Yankees are one of five teams “aggressively” pursuing Aroldis Chapman, who would take over as closer. This all sounds like posturing — the price is too high for Kimbrel so we’ll say we’re in on Chapman, the Yankees aren’t offering enough for Kimbrel so we’ll get the Astros involved, etc. [Bob Nightengale]
  • 9:31am ET: The Yankees and Padres worked overnight on a Craig Kimbrel trade that would send a “good” prospect to San Diego with New York taking on all of the $28M or so left on Kimbrel’s contract. The Padres are looking for a young shortstop and have sought Jorge Mateo, who is supposedly off limits. Other clubs, specifically the Astros, are talking to the Padres about Kimbrel as well. [Rosenthal, Stark, Heyman, Buster Olney]
  • 9:30am ET: The Yankees remain interested in both Craig Kimbrel and Aroldis Chapman, but the prices are high. They want to add an impact pitcher however they can, and adding a reliever would allow them to more easily put Adam Warren in the rotation. [Joel Sherman, Ken Rosenthal, Jayson Stark]
  • The Yankees are one of several teams in pursuit of Yovani Gallardo, who they faced last night. Gallardo didn’t pitch too well last night but he’s had a strong season overall. The Cubs, Blue Jays, Dodgers, and Giants are also in on Gallardo, though San Francisco may be out of the picture after acquiring Mike Leake late last night. [Jon Heyman]

Reminder: Your trade proposal sucks.

Sabathia roughed up again, bullpen lets game slip away in 7-6 walk-off loss to Rangers

That was an annoying loss. Annoying because the Yankees had plenty of chances offensively, annoying because they got yet another weak starting pitching performance, annoying because the usually reliable bullpen let a lead slip away. The Rangers took the series finale from New York with a 7-6 win Thursday.

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

A Quick Lead
Three pitches into the game, the Yankees had the lead. Jacoby Ellsbury dropped a bloop into left field that Ryan Rua misplayed, allowing it to get by him and Ellsbury to advance all the way to third base. It was ruled a double and an error on Rua. Brett Gardner hit a sacrifice fly to center and boom, a quick 1-0 lead. You can’t start a road game much better than that.

The Yankees didn’t stop there though. Baseball’s best first inning offense added two more runs, including one on a Mark Teixeira solo homer to dead center. Two singles (Brian McCann and Chase Headley) sandwiched around a walk (Carlos Beltran) created the third run after the homer. So the inning had a little of everything. A run fueled by an error, another on a homer, and another by stringing together a few singles. The three first inning runs pushed New York’s league leading total to 89, 17 more than any other team.

Sunk Cost
The 3-0 lead was gone five batters into the bottom of the first inning. Two infield singles and a three-run home run by Josh Hamilton did the trick. CC Sabathia almost got out of the jam. Almost. He got Prince Fielder to fly out harmlessly to center and lucked out when Adrian Beltre smashed a line drive right at Headley, and he was able to jump ahead in the count with a first pitch strike to Hamilton. Two balls and a hanging slider followed. Three-run homer. Lead gone.

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Sabathia allowed two more home runs in the game though only one was really his fault. Shin-Soo Choo clobbered a 2-0 nothingball for a leadoff home run in the second inning — Sabathia had allowed one homer and three extra-base hits total to left-handed batters this season coming into this game, then allowed two homers to lefties in the span of three batters — and Rua hit an inside-the-park home run in the fourth inning. I’m not sure there is anything more facepalmy in baseball than giving up an inside-the-parker.

The inside-the-park homer was on Ellsbury more than anyone. Rua hit a solid line drive single to center, Ellsbury came in and tried to make a sliding catch, but whiffed and let the ball get by him. It rolled all the way to the wall. Beltran did the exact opposite of hustle after the ball, but I don’t think it mattered anyway. Ellsbury got to the ball, fired in to the infield, and Rua beat the throw home. So dumb. Ellsbury’s got to keep that ball in front of him.

Sabathia finished the night with five runs allowed in five innings — Joe Girardi sent him back out for the sixth, then yanked him after a first pitch single, so what’s the point of even sending him out against a bunch of righties if that’s his leash? — and half of the 16 right-handed batters he faced reached base. That’s nothing new though. Righties have crushed him all year. This was the 12th time in 20 starts this year Sabathia has allowed four or more runs.

Broken record time: Sabathia should not start in five days, but you and I both know he will. He is now up to a 5.54 ERA on the season — fifth worst among 92 qualified starters — and is one of the worst pitchers in baseball. He has a 5.08 ERA in his last 374 innings dating back to 2012. The Yankees continue to preach the “World Series or bust” mantra yet run Sabathia out there every fifth day. He is actively hurting the team and should not be in the rotation. The sooner the brain trust accepts Sabathia is a sunk cost and a detriment to club, the sooner their postseason odds improve. This is untenable.

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

The Late Innings
The late innings of the game were a total mess. Rua’s inside-the-parker tied the game 5-5 and Teixeira untied it with a seventh inning solo homer, his second of the game. The Rangers then managed to tie the game with New York’s best reliever on the mound and win with their second best reliever on the mound. The Yankees are built to protect those one-run leads in the late innings and it didn’t happen.

Wildness helped the Rangers tie the game. Justin Wilson walked the leadoff man in the seventh — Texas had the leadoff man on base in seven of nine innings — and he moved to second on a wild pitch. After a single to put runners on the corners, Dellin Betances coaxed a ground ball to second that Stephen Drew threw wildly over Didi Gregorius‘ head at second. He wasn’t going to get a double play, so the run was going to score to tie the game anyway, but Drew didn’t even get one out. That extended the inning and Dellin’s pitch count.

Following a clean eighth — Betances struck out two and Nick Goody struck out one in his MLB debut (Girardi lifted Dellin because of his pitch count) — Goody was sent back out to start the ninth, then yanked after allowing the first man to reach base. Why? Why why why? Why send him out there if the leash is one base-runner? It’s easily my least favorite Girardi move. Andrew Miller hadn’t pitched in five days and Bryan Mitchell was just called up for long relief. They weren’t short on arms.

Anyway, Miller replaced Goody, faced four batters, allowed three rockets, and walked the other batter. Ellsbury made a great catch to run down one of those rockets at the wall in center and the other rocket hit the runner at first. Lucky. The strike zone was a little tight in the ninth inning (via Brooks Baseball) …

Andrew Miller strike zone

… but when you give up balls hit that hard, the strike zone isn’t an excuse. The Rangers won when Hamilton ripped a walk-off single to right, scoring the runner from second. Hamilton drove in four of the Rangers’ six runs because the Yankees’ lefties couldn’t get him out. Miller was fooling no one — again, three rockets and a walk — and he has now allowed six runs in 8.2 innings since coming off the DL. He was not sharp at all on Thursday.

Leftovers
Sabathia was sent to the hospital with “symptoms of dehydration” following the game, the Yankees announced. They said it did not affect him during his start, only after he left the game. Sabathia will not fly with the team tonight and will travel on his own tomorrow. “Symptoms of dehydration” is a 60-day DL injury, right?

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Gardner had arguably his worst at-bat of the season with the bases loaded in the eighth. He took two fastballs on the outer half for called strikes then swung through an elevated fastball for strike three to end the inning. It was brutal. Gardner went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and the sac fly.

The Yankees also had runners on first and second with no outs in the top of the ninth, but Teixeira (strikeout), McCann (fly out to the warning track), and Beltran (pop-up) made outs to kill the threat. McCann hit a two-run home run in the third inning. Forgot to mention that. The Yankees had eleven hits and four walks but went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

Thanks to Drew’s errant throw in the seventh, Gregorius took an Elvis Andrus fist to the biscuits. He jumped to try to catch the throw and Andrus had his hand up while sliding in. I think Elvis was just jealous Didi was the superior shortstop all series. Also, Ellsbury picked up his annual outfield assist, throwing Andrus out at second trying to tag up on a fly ball. Replays showed he might have been safe, but the Texas didn’t challenge.

And finally, Goody was the 13th player to make his MLB debut for the Yankees this season. It’s not even August! He struck out the first batter he faced to end the eighth and walked the second leading off the ninth. Goody was charged with the loss. Also, he’s is the first player to wear No. 74 in Yankees history. How about that?

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
Here are the box score, video highlights, updated standings, and postseason odds. Also make sure you check out our Announcer Standings and Bullpen Workload pages. Now here’s the LPA graph:


Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
The series in Texas is finally over and the Yankees are heading north to Chicago, where they will rendezvous with new teammate Dustin Ackley for a three-game series against the White Sox. Nathan Eovaldi and rookie Carlos Rodon will be the pitching matchup. But, before the game … the trade deadline! That’ll be fun, I’m sure. This team sure needs some pitching help.

DotF: Sanchez homers, leads Scranton to a win with big day at the plate

Got some roster moves to pass along:

  • RHP Andrew Bailey was bumped up to Triple-A Scranton, according to Sweeny Murti. He has a a 0.51 ERA (2.66 FIP) with 22 strikeouts and seven walks in 17.2 innings at various levels of the minors in his latest attempt to rehab from shoulder surgery. If Bailey becomes an option at some point, great! Can’t expect him to contribute anything though.
  • RHP Joel De La Cruz was sent down to Double-A Trenton to clear a spot for Bailey, the team announced. Also, LHP Eric Wooten and LHP Chaz Hebert were temporarily bumped from High-A Tampa to Triple-A Scranton, the club announced. They’re replacing RHP Bryan Mitchell and RHP Nick Goody, who were called up to the big leagues today.

Triple-A Scranton (3-2 win over Lehigh Valley)

  • LF Slade Heathcott: 0-4, 1 BB, 1 K — moved up and played a full nine innings for the first time as part of his rehab
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 1-5, 1 R, 3 K, 1 E (fielding)
  • 1B Greg Bird: 2-4
  • CF Aaron Judge: 0-2, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 SB
  • C Gary Sanchez: 2-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 E (throwing) — so is he still in the organization at this time tomorrow?
  • DH Austin Romine: 0-4, 2 K
  • RF Tyler Austin: 2-4, 1 K, 1 SB
  • SS Gregorio Petit: 0-4, 2 K, 1 E (throwing) — apparently he has accepted his outright assignment rather than elect free agency
  • LHP Chaz Hebert: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 6/3 GB/FB — 45 of 68 pitches were strikes (66%) … very nice spot start for the kid who’d never pitched above High-A before tonight
  • RHP Nick Rumbelow: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 4/0 GB/FB — 26 of 38 pitches were strikes (68%)
  • LHP James Pazos: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GB/FB — 17 of 30 pitches were strikes (57%)
  • RHP Johnny Barbato: 1 IP, zeroes, 1 K, 1/0 GB/FB — all six pitches were strikes

[Read more…]

Game 101: So Long, Texas

"Yo, I heard they picked up this Ackley guy who used to be a second baseman." (Presswire)
“Yo, I heard they picked up this Ackley guy who used to be a second baseman.” (Presswire)

Some series go by quickly, some go by slowly, and for some reason this four-game set with the Rangers feels like it has been going on for two weeks. Maybe it’s just me. That crazy game two nights ago, the 21-5 game, took forever. Maybe that’s what it is. I feel like the Yankees are been in Texas for a month.

Anyway, the Yankees and Rangers finally wrap up this four-game series tonight and the Yankees have a streak on the line. They’ve won each of their last six series — the last series loss was in Anaheim last month — and tonight they have a chance to stretch it to seven. Winning a four-game series is tough, but they can do it tonight. Here is the Rangers’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Brett Gardner
  3. DH Alex Rodriguez
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. C Brian McCann
  6. RF Carlos Beltran
  7. 3B Chase Headley
  8. SS Didi Gregorius
  9. 2B Stephen Drew
    LHP CC Sabathia

Last day in the heat. Temperatures have again been over 100 degrees all day in Arlington and they’ll be in the 90s when the game begins. First pitch is scheduled for 8:05pm ET and you can watch on YES. Enjoy the game.

Injury Updates: In case you missed it earlier, Michael Pineda was placed on the 15-day DL with a Grade I flexor muscle strain in his forearm. It’s the same thing Andrew Miller had earlier this year. Pineda told reporters the MRI showed only inflammation and he’s not worried. He will be shut down 7-10 days before he can resume throwing … Ivan Nova (arm fatigue) threw a bullpen session today and is on track to make his next start.

Roster Moves: Pineda was placed on the DL and Caleb Cotham was optioned to Triple-A Scranton, the Yankees announced. Nick Goody and Bryan Mitchell were both called up in corresponding moves. Pineda’s DL stint allows them to bring Goody back before his ten-day window expires … Also, in case you missed it, the Yankees acquired Dustin Ackley in a three-player trade today. He won’t be in uniform tonight though. Joe Girardi said he’ll be a utility guy, not the starting second baseman.

Rotation Update: Nathan Eovaldi will start tomorrow and Nova will start Sunday, but Saturday’s starter is TBA, the Yankees say. I have to think Mitchell is an option. Esmil Rogers is scheduled to start that day for Triple-A Scranton, if you’re curious.

TiqIQ: Looking To Further Solidify Division Lead, Yankees Embark On August Full Of Intriguing Promotional Days At Yankee Stadium

What was once a really tight, jumbled-up division race has suddenly become almost a laugher as the calendar gets ready to flip to August. The team that has emerged from the rubble, the New York Yankees, has been the only club in the AL East to play consistent baseball, and after a hot month, they’ve managed to seemingly pull away from the rest of the pack, comfortably residing at the top for division supremacy.

As a result, August is shaping up to be an exciting month for Yankee fans, but not just because the Bronx Bombers appear playoff-bound for the first time in three years. In addition to impending success on the way to October, the Yankees have a plethora of awesome promotional giveaway days at Yankee Stadium throughout the month, including a variety of giveaways during the upcoming three-game set with the arch nemesis Boston Red Sox.

While fans might believe they can score better ticket deals for these games from the secondary market, that’s not the case with this series and other games throughout August, as Yankees.com actually boasts most of the superior ticket offers that you’ll find. For instance, in game one of this series, the Yankees feature tickets in section 107, row 14 for $110, which easily tops the price of section 107, row 14 tickets on the secondary market, where those same seats are being sold for $168. Furthermore, section 128, row 22 is $155, yet on the secondary market, those seats are going for a whopping $234! This trend is prevalent all throughout the series, like in the middle affair against the Red Sox on August 5, where tickets in section 417, row 11 cost just $32 on the Yankees website, besting the secondary market once again, which has those same seats for $50. Meanwhile, in the finale on August 6, section 406, row 5 seats on Yankees.com can be had for $22, as opposed to the $34 price-tag they’re going for from other sellers.

It doesn’t stop there, of course, as the Yankees sport a few other notable promotional days at the stadium in the latter portion of August that fans will definitely want to take part in. The two most significant will actually be occurring on back-to-back days on the same weekend, when the Yankees host the Cleveland Indians for a weekend series. On Saturday, August 22, it will be Jorge Posada Day at The Stadium, in which there will be a ceremony honoring one of the best catchers in franchise history, with his number being retired. In addition, a special Jorge Posada Collector Card will be distributed to fans. Former longtime Yankees starting pitcher Andy Pettitte will also receive the same treatment the following day on Sunday, August 23, when the Yanks retire Pettitte’s number as well with a ceremony in his honor, while also giving out Andy Pettitte Collector Cards, too. Undoubtedly, this will be one of the most special weekends for the franchise all year.

Towards the end of August, the Yankees will be giving away arguably the most anticipated item on the promotional calendar this month, that being a Jacoby Ellsbury bobblehead on Monday, August 24, when New York starts a series with a fellow AL contender, the Houston Astros. In a way, this could also serve as a potential playoff preview, if the two clubs meet one another at some point in October.

Regardless of the outcome of any one particular game, August is shaping up to be a great month to be at Yankee Stadium.

Yankees acquire Dustin Ackley from Mariners from Ramon Flores and Jose Ramirez

Beard's gotta go, Dustin. (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty)
Beard’s gotta go, Dustin. (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty)

While we wait for pitching, the Yankees have made a move to possibly improve the bench. The club has acquired utility man Dustin Ackley from the Mariners for outfielder Ramon Flores and right-hander Jose Ramirez, both teams announced. Ackley is currently in Minnesota, so he won’t join the Yankees in time for tonight’s game. He’ll probably meet them in Chicago tomorrow.

Ackley, 27, was the second overall pick in the 2009 draft, taken right after Stephen Strasburg. He was teammates with Adam Warren at UNC. The Yankees have reportedly been after Ackley for quite a while now — they talked to the Mariners about him last year, but backed away when Seattle wanted Bryan Mitchell. Earlier today we heard the two sides were discussing Ackley, Flores, and Ben Gamel.

So far this season Ackley is hitting .215/.270/.366 (77 wRC+) in 207 plate appearances as a part-time player. He showed a lot of promise by hitting .273/.348/.417 (117 wRC+) during his 90-game MLB debut back in 2011, but owns a .236/.297/.356 (85 wRC+) batting line in over 1,800 plate appearances since. Ackley has played first and second bases and well as left field in the big leagues.

The immediate question is how does Ackley fit on the roster and how will he be used? He is out of minor league options, so someone is coming off the 25-man roster, and the Yankees could either slot him into the Garrett Jones role or make him the everyday second baseman. My guess? They’ll try to turn him into their version of Brock Holt, the supersub who can play anywhere. This blurb from Ken Rosenthal back in June sticks out to me:

One problem with a six-man rotation is that it all but forces a team to carry 13 pitchers. Alas, it’s difficult to construct a roster that way without a multi-position threat such as Ben Zobrist or Brock Holt on the bench.

Such players, of course, are rare, which is why Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he recently told the head of the team’s minor-league department, “We’ve got to create one.”

We’ll see how it goes. For what it’s worth, the team’s press release identified Ackley as an outfielder only, not as a second baseman or first baseman or infielder or anything like that. Just an outfielder. It seems likely Ackley will replace Jones on the roster, but who knows.

I ranked Flores and Ramirez as the 18th and 30th best prospect in the system last week, respectively. The Yankees have more upper level outfielders and relievers than they know what to do with, so it’s no surprise they used that surplus in a trade. They still have Gamel, Slade Heathcott, Mason Williams, Aaron Judge, and Jake Cave in the outfield and a small army of righty relievers in Triple-A.

Flores, 23, made his MLB debut earlier this year and stood out more for his glove than his bat in 12 games. He is hitting .286/.377/.417 (113 wRC+) with seven homers in 73 Triple-A games this year. Flores has a classic left-handed platoon outfielder’s profile, a Seth Smith type, and he’ll have a much greater opportunity for playing time in Seattle. I would not at all be surprised to see him carve out a long career as a useful role player.

The 25-year-old Ramirez has been up and down a few times the last two years, allowing eleven runs on 17 hits and eleven walks in 13 big league innings. Yikes! He’s struck out a dozen. Ramirez has a 2.90 ERA (2.70 FIP) with 26.7 K% and 11.0 BB% in 49.2 Triple-A innings this year. He has superb stuff — at his best, Ramirez sits mid-90s and gets swings and miss with both his changeup and slider — but his command is spotty and his injury history is ugly.

Ackley will earn $2.6M this season and remain under team control as an arbitration-eligible player in both 2016 and 2017. I figured he would be a non-tender candidate after the season, but I’m guessing the Yankees didn’t just trade Flores and Ramirez so they could non-tender Ackley in November. Flores and Ramirez both have all six years of team control remaining.

It remains to be seen how the Yankees will use Ackley going forward. This is a move designed to upgrade the margins of the roster, nothing else. They’re taking a shot on talent — Baseball America ranked Ackley as the 11th and 12th best prospect in all of baseball in 2010 and 2011, respectively — and hoping Ackley will thrive outside of cavernous Safeco Field and in lefty friendly Yankee Stadium.

Trade Deadline Mailbag: Reyes, Puig, Guerrero, Gordon, Cashner, Carrasco

The trade deadline is just about 24 hours away now. We’ve got a lot in the hopper for tomorrow between deadline stuff and Yankeemetrics and series previews and whatnot, so the options were post the mailbag a day early or not at all this week. I went with the former. Here’s a trade deadline focused six-question mailbag.

Weird. (Presswire)
Weird. (Presswire)

Dan asks: What do you think about the Yanks getting Jose Reyes to play 2nd? Yes, he’s having a down year, but he’d be a large upgrade over Stephen Drew. 2nd requires less range that SS, so his defense could rebound (after the early hiccups with him learning a new position). It’s a lot of money, but he’s only signed for 2 more years — his contract comes off the books the same time as A-Rod‘s and CC Sabathia‘s.

I fully expect the Rockies to flip Reyes at some point, either at the trade deadline or in the offseason. Keeping him doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Reyes is hitting .285/.325/.385 (95 wRC+) this year after hitting .287/.328/.398 (105 wRC+) last year, and his speed is nowhere near what it once was. He’s stolen 17 bases this year and has zero triples. That’s not surprising though — Reyes is 32 and he’s had a ton of leg injuries over the years. The speed wasn’t going to stay forever. There are two years and $48M left on his contract after the season, so he’s very expensive, especially for a guy who is probably hitting eighth or ninth in the Yankees’ lineup. Reyes has experience playing second base — the Mets moved him to second in deference to Kaz Matsui back in the day, if you can believe that — but he hasn’t played there since 2004. A move back might not be so smooth. I think this is one to avoid. Peak Reyes was the most exciting player in MLB, but right now you’re buying nothing but downside.

Brian asks: Any interest in Yasiel Puig and what would be needed to get it done?

Yes! Bring me Puig. The guy is 24, he’s hitting .254/.326/.433 (114 wRC+) during his “down” year, and is owed just $24.6M through 2018. We’re all hoping Aaron Judge one day turns into Puig. That said, there are legitimate makeup and clubhouse concerns with Puig (read this), and the Yankees usually stay away from those players. The Dodgers were reportedly listening to offers for Puig, though I’m not sure that means much. Every team listens to offers for every player. Jon Heyman says the Dodgers told Puig they aren’t trading him, for what it’s worth. Based purely on his talent, production, and contract, Puig is an “empty the system” guy. Multiple top prospects would have have to be involved. He’s a star whose value transcends on-field production — Puig puts butts in the seats and sells merchandise. You can’t take your eyes off the guy.

Zac asks: Is Alex Guerrero a realistic trade target for the Yankees? He offers the similar IF/OF versatility to Ben Zobrist and has shown some power, and doesn’t have a position in LA.

Guerrero is a realistic target in the sense that he is available, but he’s not very good at all. He smashed a bunch of homers in April and has been a total zero since, hitting .206/.232/.368 (65 wRC+) since the calendar flipped to May. Guerrero has played third base and left field this year but is really a DH because he’s an awful defender. He’s versatile in that he can stand at different positions, but he’s a liability in the field. There are two years and $10M left on Guerrero’s contract after the season and he can actually opt-out of the deal if traded, but would he top that on the open market? I doubt it. Unless you believe in the bat long-term, I don’t see much appeal here at all. How does Guerrero help the Yankees? “He’s not Brendan Ryan or Stephen Drew” isn’t a good answer.

Carrasco. (Presswire)
Carrasco. (Presswire)

Dustin asks: Indians are apparently willing to part with Carlos Carrasco. I know the Yankees are suppose to be targeting rentals, but isn’t he someone they should be in on. What would it take to get him?

Yes, they should be in on Carrasco if he is indeed available. (From the sound of it, the Indians floated his name to gauge his value, but would need to be blown away to move him.) The 28-year-old has a 3.17 ERA (2.47 FIP) with incredible strikeout (28.3%), walk (5.0%), and ground ball (49.6%) rates in 187.1 innings since moving into the rotation last year, and he’s signed dirt cheap ($19M from 2016-18 with options for 2019 and 2020). The track record is on the short side, yeah, but Carrasco has been dominant since moving into the rotation and he’s incredibly affordable. It would take a massive haul to get him. I’m thinking at least two top prospects plus two or three other pieces, some of which have to be MLB ready. If I’m the Indians, I want Judge and Luis Severino in the package. If the Yankees say no, big deal, I’ll hang on to my prime-age cost-controlled low-level ace.

Albert: Would you trade Rob Refsnyder and Gary Sanchez for a guy like Dee Gordon?

In a vacuum, yes, that trade seems fair to me. (Which, of course, means it favors the Yankees and the Marlins wouldn’t do it.) Gordon just came back from his dislocated thumb and he’s hitting .307/.338/.392 (106 wRC+) in over 1,000 plate appearances since the start of last year. He’s good now. He runs a high BABIP (.367 since 2014) because he puts the ball in play (16.4 K%) and is fast as hell. Gordon has also developed into an above-average defensive second baseman after making the transition from shortstop. He’s under team control as an arbitration-eligible player through 2018 — his arbitration salaries will be on the high side because stolen bases pay — and is solidly a 3-4 WAR player at this point of his career. Gordon would be a wonderful pickup even if he only bats ninth and serves as a “second” leadoff man. I don’t think the Marlins will make him available though. He’s a building block going forward.

Chris asks: Do you think Andrew Cashner is a fit? If so, what do you think it would take to get him if the Padres are in true sell mode?

I do think he’s a fit in the sense Cashner is a pitcher and the Yankees could really use one. I don’t think he’s a difference-maker like David Price or Cole Hamels — few are, of course — but he’s a quality arm who’d boost the rotation. Cashner has some Edwin Jackson in him, meaning he has tremendous stuff but not the results to match, and everyone seems to think they can be the team to unlock his potential. Nathan Eovaldi fits in that group as well, though Cashner is three years older and has a much scarier injury history. As I wrote in our Scouting The Market post, two organizational top ten prospects — guys more in the 6-10 range than the 1-5 range — seems like the potential asking price for Cashner based on similar trades.