Very busy day for Hipster Cash yesterday. He started off by clearing a 40-man spot and kept the trade momentum rolling with an out-of-nowhere swap with the Twins that netted him at least his Chris Young replacement. Here's a full recap of yesterday's activities.
- The first trade was a straight up roster dump. Cash said so himself. The Yanks sent utility man Jose Pirela to the Padres for 20-year-old right-hander Ronald Herrera. The move got them down to 38 on the 40-man roster and gave them a potential sleeper pitching prospect.
- The second trade was the big one. The Yankees acquired outfielder Aaron Hicks from the Twins for backup catcher John Ryan Murphy. This trade, while unexpected, followed a pattern Cash has established recently of dealing from positions of depth to acquire young MLB players with lots of team control remaining. Murphy really came into his own in 2015 as Brian McCann's regular backup, and like Francisco Cervelli before him he will now get the chance to expand into a regular starting role. Hicks steps into Young's righty platoon outfield role for now, but Cash did say the Yankees see him as an everyday player.
- Naturally this ramped up the speculation on Brett Gardner's future with the club. When asked about the possibility of trading Gardner now, Cash said "“I have been hit on Gardy over the years quite often, and he hasn’t gone anywhere. I value Gardy a great deal. … He’s not an easy get.” (via Chad Jennings)
- In other hot stove rumor news, Ken Rosenthal reported the Diamondbacks as one of multiple teams that have asked about Andrew Miller. These 2 teams have hooked up on trades before and Rosenthal pointed out the match in potential trade chips, so this makes sense.
- Via Mark Feinsand, the Yankees might "make a serious run" at lefty free agent pitcher Wei-Yin Chen this offseason to give their rotation some balance. Chen is coming off a solid year and has been a reliable mid-rotation guy since coming to the Majors in 2012. He's also reportedly seeking a 5-6 year deal and will cost any non-Baltimore team that signs him their 1st round draft pick. He's a good pitcher, but I don't see the Yankees going that hard for him at the cost of the pick and that many years.