Whether or not a trade happens between two teams can come down to many nebulous factors, from the relationship between the two GMs, how clubs value players, and the level of motivation a team has to move someone. But one important element that can be looked at objectively is how the teams match up. This is a series where I’m going to look at how the Yankees match up with the other team for their prospective trade targets.
What do the Braves need?
They’re looking for position players, namely a SS to replace Alex Gonzalez immediately and a CF to replace Michael Bourn when he hits FA next year. They could also use a 3B to take over for Chipper Jones when his contract expires after 2012, or possibly sooner given Larry’s inability to stay healthy in recent years.
Who do the Braves have in their farm system?
Mostly pitchers, which is what gives them the luxury to move Jurrjens in the first place. Their best SS prospect is Matt Lipka, who’s a long way away as a 19 year old in the Sally League where he struggled with the bat (.247/.305/.304) in his first year of full season ball. In AA Mycal Jones struggled to make the shift from SS to CF last year, taking his woes to the plate (.196/.357/.283 in 138 ABs) with him after the move was made last June.
Yankee trade chips that match:
Eduardo Nunez (SS), Brandon Laird (3B), Brett Gardner (CF), Ramiro Pena (SS), Zoilo Almonte (CF), Melky Mesa (CF)
The Braves may really want to move him since they have a ton of pitching on the way, from Beachy to Minor to Vizcaino to Teheran. Jurrjens will get a big arb bump this year, has trouble staying healthy, and moving him would open up payroll space to make other moves this offseason or during the season next year. The Braves have always operated on a tight budget going all the way back to their glory days on the 1990’s, and while they saved 5M trading Derek Lowe they picked up the rest of the 10 Mil owed to him. The Yanks may be wary of bringing in another Braves pitcher since their recent history with them (Jaret Wright, Javier Vazquez) hasn’t been good.