Predicting the plans that Yankees general manager Brian Cashman may have for the MLB trade deadline can be very difficult. No one ever truly knows what he will do next, and he surprised us all numerous times during the offseason and spring training.
Cashman tends to hold his thoughts and ideas in, and then spring them on us in a way in which we could not have imagined.
Over the winter, the Yankees appeared to remain silent, giving the impression that no major moves would occur. All signs early in the winter indicated that Cashman seemed to be happy with the roster at the time.
Rumors began to circulate, and Cashman made some blockbuster moves that took everyone by surprise. Some moves may have seemed like a good plan at the time, but so far have not panned out the way that he seemed to believe they would.
The Michael Pineda move that gave up top prospect Jesus Montero has been less than impressive.
No one knows what Cashman will do, but here are some possibilities for the trade deadline.
Jair Jurrjens was a topic of interest for the Yankees over the winter, according to John Harper of the Daily News.
Some may say that the Yankees have enough pitching, and bringing Jurrjens on would be overkill.
Pitching is solid for New York, but they can never have enough depth. Injuries happen, and sometimes pitchers experience slumps.
Jurrjens would solidify the strength of the pitching staff.
To acquire him would mean trading someone like Nick Swisher. Losing Swisher would be tough, but likely a good move in the end.
Jurrjens is young at 26 years old, and won't be on the free-agent market until 2014. That would give the Yankees some time to benefit from him.
Acquiring Matt Garza would be an intimidating process, in my opinion.
Obviously, he is tremendously talented and would be successful no matter where he pitches.
In his first two games in 2012, he has a win-loss record of 1-0 with 14 strikeouts and a 1.23 ERA in 14.2 innings pitched.
It would be difficult to believe that he would not be successful in New York. Garza has demonstrated phenomenal control and proficiency on the mound in high-stress situations.
The Yankees expect to make the postseason each year, and Garza would be highly effective in contributing to that goal.
What would concern me about Cashman trying to acquire him would be the price.
Cashman has already given up his top prospect for Michael Pineda. The Cubs would likely demand much more from Cashman to give up Garza.
As much as I would like to see Garza in pinstripes, I don't know if losing more top prospects would be worth it in the long run.
Another trade possibility that would concern me would be if Cashman traded for Adam Jones.
Jones has another year of arbitration, and will be a free agent after the 2013 season.
He has 14 hits, two doubles, four home runs and five RBI with a .341 batting average so far in 2012.
Trading Swisher is an option, but it presents another situation in which Cashman may have to give up some top prospects to acquire Jones.
The Yankees' minor league system has some great talent in development, and I would hate to see Cashman give that up for one player.
Jones would probably do well in New York, but I think that Cashman should pass on him and keep his prospects in development.
Reading through this, it may seem as though I'm picking on Swisher, but I don't meant to. I like Swisher, and I'd hate to see him go.
The problem is that going through the available Yankees, he is the best option for a trade.
Trading Swisher for Cole Hamels is another possibility that Cashman may consider. Hamels is strong and solid with experience pitching in high-stress games with huge fan and media attention.
A trade like this would be mutually beneficial for New York and Philadelphia. Swisher would fill a needed role for the Phillies, and the Yankees could use another powerful left-handed starter like Hamels.
My only concern is the same that I've mentioned before. Trading away prospects may prove to be successful in the short-term, but that gives up long-term benefits as they work through the minor leagues and develop.
Ultimately, as I mentioned earlier, no one really knows what Cashman is up to. He can be difficult to read, and he knows how to throw off the media.
My gut tells me that he knows exactly what he's going to do, and he knows which players he wants to target to trade and acquire.
In the end, all that we can do is sit back and wait to hear the news.
Some decisions prove to be productive and effective, while others prove to be disasters. Let's hope that he makes the correct decisions and all of the right moves.