For the first time in what seems like forever, the New York Yankees have pitching depth and the flexibility to trade a starter if needed.
Brian Cashman has stated that he's willing to trade a pitcher for a bat instead of signing a free agent. With good reason too, considering the options left on the free-agent market.
Many Yankee fans would likely prefer A.J. Burnett to be the one who's traded, but Phil Hughes would be easier to move and could get better value.
With Jesus Montero gone (he'll be dearly missed), the Yankees have a bit of a hole at the DH position.
There are internal options the Yankees could use such as Jorge Vasquez. The Yankees could also let Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez split time at DH. Even then, they'll need an option to take over at shortstop or third base.
Knowing the Yankees, however, they won't be satisfied until the field the best possible lineup, which means a trade could be in the works.
Here are 10 hitters the Yankees can consider trading Phil Hughes for.
2011 stats: .159 AVG, 11 HR, 42 RBI, .292 OBP
Just ignore those numbers.
Adam Dunn averages 33.3 HR and 83.8 RBI during his career. He's also left-handed, which means that short porch in right will help out his numbers. Just think about all those homers Dunn can crush into the upper decks in right.
Dunn also tends to get on base with a career average OBP of .374. Everyone knows the Yankees love those high OBP guys.
Being in the Yankee lineup is an advantage in itself because of all the protection the lineup brings. Not to be harsh, but might as well state the facts: The Yankees lineup is better than the White Sox's.
Dunn could end up having a bounce back year if he makes the move to Yankee Stadium. Sure, the contract is one issue to be worried about, but chances are he'll earn his pay this time around.
2011 Stats: .280 AVG, 13 HR, 57 RBI, .361 OBP
Travis Hafner hasn't been the same hitter in recent years. Back in 2006, Hafner had a .308 average and crushed 42 home runs with 117 RBI.
Injuries have plagued him, but there's always the chance for him to bounce back and reclaim his long-lost power. He hasn't played in at least 120 games since 2007, when he played 152.
Hafner's also a lefty, which means there's that added bonus the short porch in right will give.
There are safer options for the Yankees to pursue. Then again, putting Phil Hughes into the rotation isn't that safe of an option either. Hafner's an option the Yankees should at least consider.
2011 Stats: .275 AVG, 18 HR, 94 RBI, .342 OBP
Carlos Lee is far from the hitter he was in years gone by. There's also that bloated contract of his that would scare many teams, the New York Yankees included.
However, Lee can still be a force to be reckoned with.
He's been experiencing a bit of decline over the past couple of seasons. A change of scenery could be all that's needed to get him back on track.
Granted, I don't expect him to hit 30 home runs again. Twenty homers, however, are more in his reach. Also, with the other players in the lineup, 20-plus homers is all that's really needed.
The Yankees don't need a hitter to blast 30-plus homers. They just need a guy who can get on base and have a bit of power as well. They have other players who can carry the team offensively.
2011 Stats: .252 AVG, 5 HR, 45 RBI, .317 OBP
This trade would be along the lines of the Jesus Montero and Michael Pineda swap.
Stephen Drew has fallen since his career year in 2008. Phil Hughes hasn't exactly lived up to his potential. However, both are still relatively young and can still regain that lost potential.
Drew can take over at shortstop and possibly even third base, allowing Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez to DH part time. Both Jeter and A-Rod are getting up there in age. They aren't going to be able to play everyday for much longer.
The Yankees need to start looking for options at shortstop and third base. Eduardo Nunez isn't the answer for them as of now, since his fielding skills might as well be nonexistent.
Drew is an average fielder and not that bad of a hitter. The short porch in right could help improve his power numbers, and the new location could help Drew get back to his 2008 numbers of 21 home runs and .291 average.
2011 Stats: None; the guy was hurt, remember?
With the signing of Albert Pujols, Kendrys Morales seems to be out of a position. Sure, he can be placed in the outfield, but the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim seem pretty stacked there too.
The Angels have been thinking about moving Bobby Abreu if Morales makes a full recovery. However, they might be able to get more from trading Morales.
Before sustaining that injury back in 2010, Morales was a great hitter. In 2009, he hit .306 with 34 HR, 108 RBI and an OBP of .355. He was on track to get close to those numbers again in 2010.
Morales could provide a boost to the New York Yankees lineup. Phil Hughes could help the Angels have the best and deepest rotation in the majors. This trade could work out for both sides if Cashman's willing to get creative again.
2011 Stats: .303 AVG, 23 HR, 87 RBI, .376 OBP
This trade option would be similar to the one involving Stephen Drew. Alex Gordon was once heralded as the Kansas City Royal's third baseman of the future. However, Mike Moustakas is poised to take his spot at third, with Gordon being moved to left.
Gordon had some growing pains when he came up, much like with Phil Hughes. They've both showed flashes of the brilliance they displayed in the minors, but there's no guarantee.
A swap between the two of them would allow them to get a fresh start at a new place and find what made them so successful in the first place.
Gordon can still play third base, allowing Alex Rodriguez to DH and recover from all those surgeries. Bringing Gordon in would also allow the Yankees to escape the sentimental issue of finding Derek Jeter's replacement for one more year.
2011 Stats: .291 AVG, 19 HR, 95 RBI, .361 OBP
Billy Butler never turned out to be the power hitter the Kansas City Royals thought he'd be, but he's still a pretty good hitter anyway.
His high OBP would fit well with the Yankees lineup. Sure, he's not gonna mash 30 homers, but he's a solid doubles guy, which isn't too shabby. In the Yankees lineup, a well-hit double is all that's really needed.
Then again, Butler's only 25, which means his best years are still to come. I don't expect 30 homers from him, but 20 a year is still in reach.
This would be a trade between two guys who still have some potential but haven't quite lived to their own team's potential of them. The swap between Butler and Phil Hughes could give the two of them the change of scenery to realize their potential.
2011 Stats: .260 AVG, 13 HR, 57 RBI, .302 OBP
Martin Prado would give the New York Yankees some flexibility, as he's played multiple positions since he's been up in the majors. The most important of those positions for the Yankees is third base, because that would allow Alex Rodriguez to DH and not get hurt playing the field.
The greatest asset for Prado is the fact that he's not a terrible fielder, which is something the Yankees could use.
Prado is also usually a good contact hitter, with last season hopefully being a fluke. In the two seasons prior to 2011, Prado hit .307 both years.
He also scored 100 runs in 2010, so he's got the ability to jump start an offense and provide runs.
2011 Stats: .245 AVG, 12 HR, 57 RBI, .329 OBP
I would prefer if the New York Yankees avoid Jason's Bay horrid contract. Also, Bay hasn't been performing because of injuries.
Granted, that contract was outrageous in the first place, but Bay is fully capable of hitting 30 home runs and getting 100 RBI.
I don't expect Bay to blast 30 home runs immediately, as he'll be getting back from his injuries. However, 20 homers and roughly 80 RBI isn't out of the question.
Bay is an option the Yankees should only pursue as a last resort-type of deal. They should also pursue him only if the New York Mets take back A.J. Burnett's contract as well.
The Yankees would still have pitching depth if both left, with Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos waiting in the wings.
2011 Stats: .254 AVG, 14 HR, 61 RBI, .345 OBP
Now, this would be a blockbuster trade that would leave fans on both sides scratching their heads a bit. It would also blow up Twitter, Facebook and ESPN and make Buster Olney's head explode.
The New York Yankees need a third baseman to get Alex Rodriguez to stop playing the field and getting hurt.
The New York Mets need a total makeover and to get rid of as many large contracts as possible.
Jose Reyes already left. Reyes and David Wright were the face of the Mets franchise, but the days of Reyes and Wright bringing a championship to Queens have been long gone.
There are some Mets fans who want Wright to stay and others who want a complete overhaul. Trading Wright would signal a new era for Mets fans, which is probably what some of them truly want more than anything.
Wright can still play. He's a good hitter and good fielder, and he wouldn't be a stranger to the New York media. Wright, Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson and CC Sabathia can usher in a new Yankee dynasty.