MLB Trade Rumors: How the New York Yankees Can Acquire Carlos Gonzalez
We are a little over a month away from the baseball trading deadline and we've all talked about what the Yankees might do.
Most of the ideas surround pitching.
It's time to think outside the box a little here and make a bold suggestion.
The other day, I was reading a column by the New York Post's Joel Sherman, and he mentioned two names that could shake up the trade deadline next month. One was Cliff Lee of the Philadelphia Phillies, and I am pretty sure that ship has sailed on the Yankees interest in Lee.
The Colorado Rockies are not looking like a playoff contender anytime soon, and they are looking like they will be sellers next month.
Both Gonzalez and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki occupy a big chunk of the Rockies payroll, and you have to wonder if a struggling Colorado team can continue paying both of them.
Sherman suggested that the Yankees have the prospects to make a deal with Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd and land Gonzalez.
I am here to make a bold trade suggestion and proposal for the Yankees to make with the Rockies for Carlos Gonzalez.
Rockies Get: Mason Williams
If the Yankees are going to make a trade for a top young outfielder, they are going to have to give one up in return.
And that would likely mean Mason Williams.
Williams, the Yankees top outfield prospect, is playing for Class A Charleston. He's only 20 years old and has the makings of a good leadoff hitter with his great speed and his ability to both steal bases and hit for a high average.
He's all of 150 pounds, so his power hasn't quite yet developed, but who knows if he ever will be a power hitter in the leadoff spot.
I think Dan O'Dowd will ask for Williams as a starting point in a deal for Gonzalez.
Rockies Get: Phil Hughes
Everyone criticized me for including Phil Hughes in my proposal to acquire Matt Garza.
I took the criticism and accepted it, because at the time, Hughes was pitching very well.
His latest start against the Atlanta Braves was not exactly Hughes' best work, yet he still has high value as a young starting pitcher.
What better time to trade Hughes for Gonzales than while the right-hander's value is high.
I always have felt that Hughes would benefit from moving to the National League, where the pressure would be off him to perform; he will be facing weaker lineups on a more consistent basis.
Plus, I have said that if the Yankees do try to trade for another starter like Garza, their rotation would be a little crowded with six starters.
Sending Hughes off to Colorado would help with that problem.
Rockies Get: Adam Warren
Many Yankee fans know who Adam Warren is.
He's been a steady starting pitcher in the minor leagues, but because of the pitching depth the Yankees have, Warren may never get a chance to get called up.
Put him on any other team, and Warren might already be pitching in the back end of someone's rotation, like Colorado's.
Pitching in Coors Field might not be the most appealing option, but for any young player in the minor leagues, pitching somewhere in the majors is very attractive.
Being included in such a deal might give Warren a chance to get to the majors very soon.
Rockies Get: David Adams
David Adams was nearly part of the deal that would have sent Jesus Montero to the Mariners for Cliff Lee back in July of 2010. But because of Adams' ankle problems, Seattle didn't want him in the deal.
Adams was then a top prospect on the fast track to the majors, but the ankle injury in 2010 set him back.
Despite the injury setback, Adams can still hit for a high average and get on base—two things that make him an attractive option as part of a trade.
He's spent most of his time in Class AA Trenton, but as a second basemen, there's likely no chance that Adams makes the Yankees roster at that position—not with Robinson Cano due a contract extension very soon.
With the Rockies, Adams might have a chance to play second base, maybe even as soon as 2013.
I had to pick between J.R Murphy and Austin Romine as the final player to include in this deal; I decided to pick Murphy over Romine.
That's because Murphy might not have a chance to be a starter with the Yankees at catcher and third base, his normal positions. Gary Sanchez is the future starting catcher for the Yankees and Austin Romine is the eventual backup catcher.
And after Alex Rodriguez either retires or transitions to the designated hitter spot, Dante Bichette Jr. is seen as the next third basemen for the Yankees.
That kind of leaves Murphy without a definite spot if he ever gets called up.
In Colorado, he might be able to start at third or play catcher.
Yankees Get: Carlos Gonzalez
Carlos Gonzalez is a great hitter who can hit for power, average, score runs, drive in runs and steal bases.
He's got good speed, and he's in the middle of a five-year, $80.5 million extension, which he got back in January of 2011. So $16 million per season is a good price for a player of Gonzalez's ability.
His best season was in 2010, in which he hit 34 home runs, with 117 RBI with 26 steals, while hitting .336—an outstanding season.
Last season in Colorado, Gonzalez hit 26 home runs and had 92 RBI while playing in just 127 games.
This season, Gonzalez is off to an All-Star-like season, hitting .332 with 17 home runs and 51 RBI.
Some people have wondered if Gonzalez has benefited from playing at hitter-friendly Coors Field, but Yankee Stadium is an extremely hitters-friendly park, especially for lefty hitters aiming for the short porch in right field.
With Nick Swisher potentially leaving as a free agent in 2012, they could put Gonzalez in right field. Or, if Swisher does come back, they could put Gonzalez in left and make Brett Gardner expendable.
The Yankees have been very hesitant to unload their prospects unless it's for the right deal—just as they were last summer when they didn't pull the trigger on a deal with Colorado for Ubaldo Jimenez.
Not dealing for Jimenez was the right move, but make no mistake about it, Carlos Gonzalez is the type of player for whom you give up top prospects like Mason Williams and mid-level ones like J.R. Murphy, Adam Warren and David Adams.
If Dan O'Dowd is looking to unload salary and get prospects in return (like he did for Jimenez), then he and the Yankees could match up in a deal.
And if I were Brian Cashman, I'd see if O'Dowd were interested in dealing Gonzalez.