Should the Yankees Reacquire Martin Prado?

The Yankees need a second baseman.

Starters at the position have hit a team-low .193 this season, with a .619 OPS. Stephen Drew continues to draw starts despite his disappointing play, Jose Pirela’s bat hasn’t quite packed the punch the Yankees had hoped, and the team doesn’t appear ready to give Rob Refsnyder a shot yet.

Several teams have noted interest in 2B Ben Zobrist of the Athletics, so his price may be a bit too high for New York’s liking. A cheaper option may be looking to acquire an old friend.

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Martin Prado might be an option for the Yankees.

The Yankees traded for the 31 year-old at last year’s trade deadline, before shipping him off to the Marlins last December along with David Phelps for Nate Eovaldi.…

Read more

Ben Zobrist Is A Bigger Upgrade Than You Think

Zobrist

Courtesy Scot Tucker/ SFBay

Despite having to suffer through Stephen Drew all year at second base, the feeling I get from most Yankees fans is that they think Ben Zobrist wouldn’t be a real difference making acquisition. Maybe it’s because Zobrist isn’t a flashy player and is a little older, but Yankees fans should know how good this guy is from his days in Tampa Bay. Somehow, he is still so underrated.

Zobrist has played 60 games for the Oakland A’s this season after recovering from a torn left meniscus in his knee. He has posted a .258/.347/.421/.768 slash line with a .334 wOBA and a 117 wRC+. That is only slightly below his career line of .264/.354/.428/.782 with a .343 wOBA and a 118 wRC+.

Zobrist also defends whatever position he is playing extremely well. He’s the kind of player the Yankees love because he’s a switch hitter who takes a ton of walks. Incredibly, he has put together four straight seasons with a WAR over 5.0 and three of those seasons it’s been at least 5.6.…

Read more

Four Reasons Why the Yankees Should Trade for Papelbon, Make Him Closer

The trade deadline is just two weeks away. The Yankees are in a great position to the buyers. That said, I don’t think anyone wants the Yankees to completely sell the farm and mortgage the future yet again. So here’s a trade target they can pick up for little while still improving the team: Jonathan Papelbon.

You know him. The Phillies have him signed to an over-market contract at $13 million with a vesting option that is almost sure to hit for next year. They don’t want him. He doesn’t want to be there. You probably hate him too. I know I did for years. But he’s the perfect low-cost piece for the Yankees to add at the deadline. Here’s why:

He’s still very good

Papelbon has been on a terrible Phillies team for a few years now, so I know I’ve tended to forget how good he is. His headline numbers since signing:

  • 2012: 70 innings, 2.44 ERA, 2.90 FIP, 11.9 K/9, 2.3 BB/9
  • 2013: 61.2 innings, 2.92 ERA, 3.05 FIP, 8.3 K/9, 1.6 BB/9
  • 2014: 66.1 innings, 2.04 ERA, 2.53 FIP, 8.5 K/9, 2.0 BB/9
  • 2015: 33.2 innings, 2.60 ERA, 2.75 FIP, 9.4 K/9, 1.9 BB/9

He’s pretty good!…

Read more

Report: Yankees Among Several Teams “Looking At” Jeff Samardzija And Clay Buchholz

Interesting tidbit of trade rumoring from Nick Cafardo today.  Buried in a larger article of mostly Red Sox-ian topics, Cafardo included the Yankees in a group of teams who are reportedly “looking at” right-handed starters Jeff Samardzija and Clay Buchholz as we inch closer to next month’s trade deadline.

These are new names as far as the Yankees and their potential deadline targets are concerned.  We’ve been hearing a lot more about Cueto, Leake, and Cole Hamels lately.  But both Samardzija and Buchholz would be upgrades over the guys currently occupying the back end of the Yankee rotation.  Samardzija has seemingly taken a step back this year (4.56 ERA, 123 hits, 19.0% K rate in 108.1 IP), but he’s still a workhorse and his velocity hasn’t dropped so presumably he’s healthy.  Buchholz has actually been one of the best starters in the AL and the only full-time starter in the Boston rotation who’s been any good.

Samardzija is a true 2-month rental while Buchholz has a few team options years attached to him, so the asking prices could vary a little.  …

Read more

Quick Hit: How Active Will Yankees Be At Trade Deadline?

It’s almost July, so that means the MLB trading season will be kicking into high gear soon. We have heard a few Yankees rumors already with them scouting Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake extensively, and Joel Sherman speculating they might have interest in Jeff Samardzija.

The Yankees are in contention in both the AL East and wild card races, so they will be involved in many rumors as usual. Despite that, I really do not see them being that active this year. The only place the Yankees can add to their lineup is second base. They’re not going to upgrade at any other starting position, and they are pretty set on the bench as well. Besides Ben Zobrist — who will be in very high demand — what other good second basemen will be available? The Yankees offense has been among the best in baseball anyways, although it would be nice if they could be more consistent on the road.…

Read more

Quick Hit: Why Mike Leake?

With the non-waiver trade deadline just over five weeks away, it is clear that the Yankees rotation needs a bit of help. CC Sabathia ranks among the worst starting pitchers in baseball, and Nate Eovaldi isn’t too far behind (or ahead, depending on your point of view). Michael Pineda has been shelled in two of his last three starts, and four of his last seven. And, in the minds of some, Masahiro Tanaka has been downright awful.

Sure – Adam Warren has looked quite good … but he remains relatively unproven, and may not have much left in the tank (he’s already at 77.0 IP, after tossing 78.2 IP 2014 and 77.0 in 2013). And, yes, Ivan Nova is back … but consistency has never really been his game.

The Yankees recognize this, obviously, and their scouts have been busy. In the last week alone, they’ve scouted Reds starter Mike Leake twice; many believe that he is the team’s chief target.…

Read more

Monday Morning Food For Thought: A Trade Opportunity Across Town

All in all, I’d say it’s been a pretty smooth start to the 2015 season for the Yankees.  All the important players are healthy, A-Rod has been a positive in every way, and the farm system has showed why it’s considered on the upswing.  The Chris Capuano injury is unfortunate, but not a mortal blow.

Things haven’t been going quite so well in Mets camp.  Their ownership continues to embarrass the organization at every turn, they still don’t have a shortstop, they have early injuries barking in their rotation, most notably Zack Wheeler’s elbow problem, and they’ve had even bigger injury problems in their bullpen.  The most recent one there is to lefty reliever Josh Edgin, who will have season-ending elbow surgery this week.  The Mets, who were already real thin at lefty before Edgin’s injury, are now dangerously thin there with 3 weeks to go until Opening Day.

You know who’s not thin in the left-handed relief department?  The Yankees.  …

Read more

Thursday Morning Food For Thought: Would You Trade Brett Gardner To The Cubs?

Let me preface this by saying that there’s nothing out there even hinting that this is a possibility.  The Cubs aren’t trying to acquire Brett Gardner and the Yankees aren’t shopping him.  Rosenthal’s tweet last night reminded me of an email conversation we had on Monday night about this topic though, and I’d like to expand on it in a little hypothetical trade musing if you’d indulge me.

Say the Cubs were interested in Gardner.  That’s a pretty well stocked trade partner in terms of return pieces.  And Gardner’s 4-year/$52 million extensions kicks in this year, so the Cubs would be getting him for the next handful of years at a good price.  That would be worth something pretty significant.  For the sake of this hypothetical, let’s say it’s Addison Russell.  …

Read more

We Don’t Really Need To Talk About Ryan Howard, Do We?

There was a rumbling of trade musings last week after this Jerry Crasnick tweet in which he listed the teams who were not on Ryan Howard‘s no-trade list.  The Yankees were included in that list of teams, so naturally that sparked a run of “what if the Yankees traded for Ryan Howard?” posts around the Yankosphere.  To be honest, I don’t understand why even one post of that nature needed to be written.  Ryan Howard is not coming to the Yankees.  Period.

Mark Teixeira may have been bad last year, but he was still better than Howard.  He had a .711 OPS to Howard’s .690, he hit 1 fewer HR than Howard in 30 fewer games, and he significantly bested Howard in bWAR and fWAR thanks to the fact that he can still actually play first base.  He’s younger than Howard by 4-5 months, he’s owed less money over the same period of time ($46.25 mil for the next 2 years compared to $60), and he’s a better 2-way player than Howard with a better chance to improve his production in 2015 if his wrist is stronger.…

Read more