Trade Deadline Thoughts And Afterthoughts

Well that was a pretty wild trade deadline day, no?  It started early when Jon Lester went to the A’s, and after an uncomfortably quiet morning the Yankees jumped in and made a few late moves to further upgrade their lineup.  They started out looking for starting pitching and some right field pop and they ended up getting another shortstop and a starting-quality utility guy, which doesn’t sound encouraging, but at the end of the day they made themselves better on the field for this season and future seasons and did so without giving up anything of major significance.

I was jotting down notes and ideas on the Yankee moves for most of yesterday afternoon and evening.  I know, I live a prettay exciting life.  I really couldn’t think of a way to weave them together into one coherent post though, so instead I’m going to take the easy way out and just throw them all together in a random thoughts post.  …

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Trade Talk: Hamels, Anderson, Kennedy, Benoit, Masterson, Danks

It feels like things are getting quieter and quieter on the Yankee front as the deadline draws closer.  Here are today’s rumors:

- Via Jon Heyman, the Phillies have been asking for “packages of multiple top prospects” from teams expressing interest in Cole Hamels, including the Yankees.  The feeling is that he’s not going anywhere and no specific prospects have been mentioned by name.

- Lefty Brett Anderson is the newest name on the wire as a potential rotation option for the Yanks, although Ken Rosenthal says Colorado is not interested in trading him and are looking to sign him long-term.

- Ian Kennedy is apparently still on the radar, but Chad Jennings reported earlier today that the talks between the Yanks and Padres were “medium”.  Because MLB trade talks and hot sauce flavors are the same thing, you see.

- While we’re on the Padres, righty reliever Joaquin Benoit‘s name has come up today as a target.  …

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Trade Talk: Byrd, Danks, Ruggiano, Masterson

Another day, another batch of rumors.  The silence on the Yankee front is deafening today.  Maybe that means a deal is getting announced soon.

- Via George King, Marlon Byrd has no problem being traded to the Yankees, who reportedly “have prospects the Phillies like enough to get a deal done.”  Not that it would matter if he did have a problem since he doesn’t have a no-trade clause, but those extra years on his deal are almost assuredly what’s keeping Cash away.

- Via the same King article, the White Sox have a scout following the Trenton Thunder right now and they are still very much interested in the Yanks’ catching depth.  John Danks is the name that continues to come up in connection with the Yankees and my personal stance on him has not changed.  Do. Not. Want.

- Yesterday it was a pitcher, today it’s an outfielder that the Yanks are interested in acquiring from the Cubs in the form of Justin Ruggiano.  …

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Trade Talk: Cervelli, Willingham, Kemp, Arrieta

The deadline is less than 4 days away.  Here are the latest rumors fresh from the mill:

- This one actually goes back to late last week, but it appears as though Francisco Cervelli is still a hot commodity for the Rockies and White Sox.  Joel Sherman mentioned both teams’ interest in Cervelli in a post centered on Troy Tulowitzki last Thursday, although to be fair, he did not specifically state that there was any new interest since ST.  As I said last week, Cervelli could be a useful trade chip for Cash if he’s looking to make another smaller deal for a helpful piece.

- Josh Willingham is the preferred choice for more right-handed thump, according to Jon Heyman.  Marlon Byrd and Alex Rios were also thrown out as targets, but Willingham’s $7 mil salary and no additional years of commitment beyond 2014 make him more attractive to the Yankees.  Willingham is hitting .219/.361/.421 with 10 HR in 230 PA this season.…

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Friday Mid-Morning Food For Thought: Cervelli Becoming A Trade Chip Again?

Cervelli Rain vs TEX

Courtesy of the AP

The trade deadline is less than a week away.  The Yankees have already been active in the weeks leading up to it and based on Cash’s comments earlier this week it sounds like they’re going to continue to be active.  They could use another starter, multiple bats, and I wouldn’t mind at all if they found a way to add another reliable arm to the back end of the bullpen.

The biggest obstacle Cash has to overcome in executing his plan over the next 6+ days is the lack of valuable trade chips he has.  The biggest source of trade assets is the team’s catching depth.  John Ryan Murphy might be the best asset right now, with Gary Sanchez still a close second.  Francisco Cervelli hasn’t been looked at as nearly the type of trade chip that the other 2 are, but could his recent stretch of strong play be working to change that?

Cervelli’s been getting regular reps this week with Mark Teixeira out and he’s performed very well.  …

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Trade Talk: Capuano And Kennedy

It appears Cash hasn’t wasted any time getting back to the more work he said he had to do on Tuesday.  If you missed it yesterday afternoon, the Yankees announced that they had acquired lefty pitcher Chris Capuano from the Rockies for cash considerations.  He was working as a starter for their Triple-A affiliate after spending the first 3 months of the season in the Red Sox bullpen.

Capuano’s time there was a tale of 2 extremes.  He didn’t allow a run in 14.1 April innings while putting up a 15/2 K/BB ratio.  In 4.0 June innings he got pounded for 10 ER on 14 hits and 4 walks and was let go.  His total line for the season as a Major Leaguer is 4.55/4.06/4.15 in 31.2 IP.  His K rate is decent (20.3%), his BB rate is not (10.5%), and he’s actually been hit harder by lefties (.384 wOBA against) than righties (.303).  I’m not sure how the Yankees intend to use him, but his arrival might not be good news for the Davids Huff and Jeffs Francis of the world.…

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Cash Deserves His Props For Recent Moves

Ninja Cash

Ninja GM mode engaged

Brian Cashman has been around long enough to know what kind of pressure there is to win in New York and how high the standards are for the Yankees.  However realistic or unrealistic it may be for those standards to be met, ownership always toes the company line of “our goal is to win a championship” and a lot of fans and media storylines fall in line with that statement.  That’s what happens when you’ve won 27 of them and been the biggest and most successful franchise in Major League Baseball for a hundred years.

Measured against those standards, the 4+ seasons since the last title have been increasingly disappointing.  The Yankees have fallen further from the top of the American League in each season since 2009, culminating in a missed postseason last year and a battle to stay above .500 this year despite spending almost half a billion dollars in free agent reinforcements this past offseason.  …

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Headley acquisition (probably) not a game changer for Yanks

ChaseHeadley

Well, that escalated quickly. Before my return post examining the Yankees’ trade deadline choices could be published, Brian Cashman finalized a deal to send Yangervis Solarte and Rafael DePaula to San Diego for third baseman Chase Headley and cash considerations (seriously). In case you feel like skipping over that post now, here’s the conclusion I came to:

I’m not gonna lie, I really don’t know what the best answer is here. Probably a combination of buying and standing pat, holding out as long as they can to see where they’re going to be in a week, then making a move if they still have a shot. I definitely think they should go for it if possible this year though, if only because the near future doesn’t look much brighter than this season. None of their veterans are getting any younger, and Tanaka may spend 2015 rehabbing from surgery. If they stay within striking distance, their best bet may be to put the chips in this year’s pot and hope the baseball gods want to send The Captain into the sunset in grand fashion.

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Yankees in tough spot at deadline

Save us Cliff Lee...if you can

Save us Cliff Lee…if you can

I have to imagine that this is about the toughest spot a general manager can find himself in. With nine days left until the non-waiver trade deadline passes, his team is kind of a mess. Four of the starting pitchers he opened the season with are on the disabled list, two are already confirmed to be out for the season, and there’s still a pretty good chance Masahiro Tanaka is going to need Tommy John surgery. His offense is 12th in the American League (and last in the A.L. East) in wRC+, and the big free agents he brought in to turn things around after Plan 189 crashed and burned have been disappointments to this point.

And yet, they’re just four games out of first place.

The end result is a murky situation that makes the decision of whether to add pieces for the playoff run or concede that the roster may not be good enough to get that far anyway a very difficult one to make with any certainty, especially given a trade market that doesn’t have many potential impact upgrades available.…

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