(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)
The Winter Meetings started this week, and while I still believe the Yankees are entering them in a position of weakness and don’t have a lot of faith that they are going to pull off a deal, this is their best chance to make a splash and start filling the holes left in their lineup. To come away from these meetings without an answer in right field or behind the plate would make for a very stressful remainder of the offseason and most likely lead to those positions being filled by subpar players. And with the Yankees’ refusal to get really involved in the free agent market, their best bet at getting an impact player in those positions of need will be through a trade. Cash has made some good ones before, and some bad ones, and always seems to use the meetings to line something up. If that’s the route he’s going to take this year, he’s got plenty of potential trade chips at his disposal.
David Phelps– SP
Why He Could Be Traded: Young; showed potential in his rookie year; can start or relieve; full complement of team control years remaining
Ivan Nova– SP
Why He Could Be Traded: Young; improved stuff; unknown how or where he fits into future team plans; plenty of years of team control remaining
Phil Hughes– SP
Why He Could Be Traded: Lower ceiling in New York; could thrive in a National League park; has experience but is still in mid-20s; upcoming free agency after 2013 and unknown if Yankees will want to re-sign him
Boone Logan– RP
Why He Could Be Traded: Lefty relievers are always unpredictable; coming off career high in appearances; Yankees have plenty of LOOGY depth
Adam Warren– SP
Why He Could Be Traded: Young; full complement of team control years remaining; didn’t impress in his Major League debut; might not have a future role on the Yankee roster
Eduardo Nunez– SS
Why He Could Be Traded: Young; plenty of years of team control remaining; toolsy; probably no longer looked at as an everyday replacement for Jeter, but could still generate interest in other teams
Why He Could Be Traded: Yankees unlikely to re-sign him after 2013; lot of teams looking for CF help; plus power; good clubhouse guy; still in his prime; could bring back multiple pieces
Tyler Austin– RF
Why He Could Be Traded: Prospect value skyrocketing after great season; highest-level Yankee hitting prospect; could play multiple positions; trade value probably not getting any higher
Why They Could Be Traded: Value increased after good seasons for both; presence of one makes the other a bit more expendable
Robinson Cano– 2B
Why He Could Be Traded: Free agent after 2013, and will be very expensive to re-sign; may make or break the $189 million payroll goal for 2014; could bring back a haul in prospects and young players
Why He Won’t Be: He’s the best offensive player on a team of declining offensive players, and the Yankees don’t usually let their great homegrowns go.
It wouldn’t be the wisest move in the world to trade from their cache of starting pitching, but without any high-level prospects to deal the Yankees would have to include someone like Phelps or Nova in most trades if they hope to get a player of significance back. It also wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense to move C-Grand or Cano seeing how weak they already are offensively at the moment. But the offseason so far has shown us that the front office is dead serious about the payroll goal, and getting rid of another big chunk of money helps that goal.
There’s a lot of things that could happen and a lot of pieces the Yankees can play with if they want to. Now it’s time to sit back and watch everything unfold.