New York Yankees: Rating 10 Years of the Bombers' Trade-Deadline Deals
We have reached that month for Major League Baseball.
It's a time when the rumor mill explodes and is as fast and furious as a New York Minute.
We have reached the month of the non-waiver trading deadline, a time that will feature the Yankees a lot.
Every player that finds their way into the rumor mill for the trading deadline is always somehow tied to the Yankees in one way or another, whether the rumors are true or just nonsense.
Over the last 10 years, the Yankees have been one of the most active teams making deals to make their team better in order to compete for a championship in October.
How have the Yankees done in the past 10 years at the trading deadline?
On a scale of 1-10, let's rate the Yankees on how they have done at the trade deadline over the last decade.
2002: A Dream Weaver Turns into a Nightmare
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At the beginning of July, the Yankees already had a solid rotation with Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Mike Mussina and David Wells, and they wanted to get even stronger.
So on July 5, 2002, the Yankees, Oakland A's and Detroit Tigers pulled off a three-team deal.
The Tigers got Carlos Pena, Franklyn German and Jeremy Bonderman.
The A's got Ted Lilly, Jason Arnold and John-Ford Griffin.
The Yankees got Jeff Weaver.
Weaver had high expectations as a young strikeout pitcher with all of the potential in the world, but he was an absolute bust.
Weaver went 5-3 with a 4.04 ERA during the second half of the 2002 season. But in 2003, he went 7-9 with a 5.99 ERA.
In his very short stint out of the bullpen, Weaver gave up the game-winning home run in Game 4 of the 2003 World Series against Alex Gonzalez. A few months later, Weaver was traded to the Dodgers in exchange for Kevin Brown.
A few days before, the Yankees also made a deal to acquire a starting right fielder, landing Raul Mondesi from the Blue Jays in exchange for Scott Wiggins.
Mondesi never made the impact that was expected out of him, and his attitude in general was really poor. He hit .241 with 11 home runs and 43 RBI.
Overall rating: 3/10
2003: Mr. October 16th
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Heading into the trade deadline of 2003, the Yankees and Red Sox were engaged in a heated division race with the possibility of playing each other in the ALCS.
The first move they made on July 29 was sending out last year's deadline acquisition Raul Mondesi to the Arizona Diamondbacks and got back David Dellucci, Brett Prinz and John Prowl.
Dellucci was used as a part-time outfielder off the Yankees' bench.
On July 31, the Yankees sent starting third basemen Robin Ventura to the Dodgers in exchange for Scott Proctor and Bubba Crosby.
Ventura was a very popular player in the locker room but was at the end of his career, so he was dealt off because of the bigger picture of the roster.
The bigger deal and picture was sending pitching prospect Brandon Claussen to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for Aaron Boone.
Boone hit just .254 with six home runs and 31 RBI in the regular season and .170 in the postseason, but nobody will ever remember that.
All that Yankees fans will ever remember was on October 16, 2003, during the 11th inning of Game 7 of the American League Championship Series between the Yankees and Red Sox, Boone drilled Tim Wakefield's first pitch into the left field seats for a game-winning home run that sent the Yankees to the World Series.
Boone didn't do much after that, but he will forever be a Yankees playoff hero and a part of Yankees-Red Sox history.
Overall rating: 8/10
2004: Buyer Beware
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One year later, the Yankees and Red Sox were again in the middle of a pennant race and were favored to get back to the ALCS in a rematch.
Looking to bolster the rotation, the Yankees and White Sox made a move swapping starters.
Jose Contreras was struggling with the Yankees with an 8-5 record and a 5.64 ERA and never lived up to the hype coming over from Cuba.
So on July 31, 2004, the Yankees sent him to Chicago in exchange for Esteban Loaiza.
Loaiza was 21-9 with the White Sox and finished second in the Cy Young voting a year ago, and it surprised people that Chicago would hand over Loaiza for just Contreras.
In 10 appearances with the Yankees, Loaiza went 1-2 with an 8.50 ERA and was eventually removed from the rotation, stashed in the bullpen and didn't get used in the playoffs.
Despite the trade, the Yankees still ended up winning the division with 101 wins.
However, trading for Loaiza ranks up there as one of the worst trades ever made in Yankees history.
Overall rating: 1/10
2005: The Patchwork Rotation
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By the time the Yankees got to July, they were in second place behind the Red Sox in the division.
A big reason for that was the rotation, which was a mess because Jaret Wright and Carl Pavano—two free agents the Yankees spent money on in the offseason—were both on the DL, as was Kevin Brown.
So the Yankees called up a little-known pitcher by the name of Aaron Small on July 20.
Small came up pretty big for the Yankees during the second half, going 10-0 with a 3.29 ERA.
On July 28, the Yankees sent Ramon Ramirez and Eduardo Sierra to the Rockies in exchange for Shawn Chacon.
Chacon struggled as a starter but had success as a closer in Colorado, but the Yankees saw potential in Chacon and made the deal for him.
Chacon went 7-3 with a 2.85 ERA, pitching very well for the Bombers and pitching well in Game 4 of the ALDS against the Angels.
On July 16, the Yankees picked up Al Leiter, who had been designated for assignment by the Florida Marlins days before.
Leiter was already a well-known pitcher being a former Yankees prospect, a long-time pitcher with the Mets and probably the best player to ever come from the Jersey shore (my current home area.)
In Leiter's very first game against the Red Sox on July 17, Leiter pitched 6.1 innings, allowing one run on three hits, striking out eight and getting the win.
While with the Yankees, Leiter went 4-5 with a 5.49 ERA. Leiter knew he wasn't as effective and was at the end of his career, so he volunteered to go to the bullpen.
The Yankees were able to win the division on the 161st game of the season at Fenway Park against the Red Sox with their patchwork rotation.
Overall rating: 8/10
2006: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
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The Yankees and Red Sox again were neck and neck heading into July at the trade deadline, and the Bombers were looking to pull away from Boston.
Just one year after trading for him, the Yankees sent Shawn Chacon to the Pirates on July 31 in exchange for infielder Craig Wilson.
Wilson was simply a backup first baseman and a defensive replacement for Jason Giambi.
Most of the dealings the Yankees made that summer was with the Phillies.
On July 26, they acquired catcher Sal Fasano in exchange for minor leaguer Hector Made.
Fasano was brought on to be the backup catcher to Jorge Posada and did not play that much.
The much bigger deal the Yankees made with Philly was four days later on July 30, trying to fill two needs with one trade.
Gary Sheffield was on the DL for most of the season, and both Chacon and Aaron Small had struggled, so the Yankees needed a right fielder and another starter. They acquired Bobby Abreu and Corey Lidle in exchange for C.J. Henry, Jesus Sanchez, Matt Smith and Carlos Monasterios.
Abreu turned out to be a great part of the Yankees' lineup, moving into the No. 3 hole and hitting .330 with seven home runs and 42 RBI. Abreu would go on to have two more productive seasons with the Yankees.
Lidle was mediocre at best for the Yankees, going 4-3 with a 5.16 ERA. Lidle was supposed to be a part of the 2007 rotation plans, but on October 1, 2006, Lidle was killed in a plane crash in New York City as his own personal plane crashed into the side of a building.
Overall rating: 8.5/10
2007: Hey, Mr. Wilson....
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The Yankees were relatively quiet at the trade deadline because they felt like they had the pieces for a championship team.
The one trade they made was sending Scott Proctor back to the Dodgers in exchange for infielder Wilson Betemit.
Betemit was supposed to give the Yankees some power and pop off the bench while being a defensive replacement, but he was a major disappointment.
He only hit .226 with four home runs and 24 RBI. He struck out more times than he actually hit the ball; 33 Ks to 19 hits.
After the trade deadline, the Yankees made a big move to their bullpen by calling up Joba Chamberlain from Class AAA Scranton/Wilks-Barre, and it ended up being a great move.
Joba took the city by storm and became a dominant setup man for Mariano Rivera, posting a 2-0 record with a 0.38 ERA.
Overall rating: 2.5/10
2008: October-Less in the Bronx
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During the trade deadline of the 2008 season, the Yankees were in an unfamiliar spot—third place of the A.L. East.
So, to try to move past the Rays and Red Sox, the Yankees tried to make several key moves.
On July 26, the Yankees acquired Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte from the Pirates in exchange for Jeff Karstens, Ross Ohlendorf, Daniel McCutchen and Jose Tabata.
Marte went 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA and ran into injury troubles with the Yankees over the course of four years.
Nady hit .268 with 12 home runs and 40 RBI while playing left field for the Bombers, and he finished out with an impressive season.
The biggest need that summer was at catcher, because Jorge Posada went down with a shoulder injury, which required season-ending surgery.
So on July 30, the Yankees traded Kyle Farnsworth to the Tigers in exchange for Ivan Rodriguez.
At the time of the trade, it was a big move because Pudge was known as one of the best overall catchers in the game who could hit and field his position very well.
On the Yankees, he was a huge disappointment, as he hit .219 with two home runs and three RBI in 33 games.
Ever since 1995, the Yankees had been a playoff team except for one season—this one. The Yankees won 89 games, but finished in third place and didn't make the postseason.
Overall rating: 3/10
2009: A Year Makes a Difference
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The Yankees got momentum and eventually leaped the Red Sox in the division.
When the trade deadline happened, the Yankees were merely looking for depth.
On July 31, the one and only move the Yankees made was acquiring utility infielder/outfielder Jerry Hairstin, Jr. from the Reds in exchange for Casey Weems.
Hairston was a nice addition for the Yankees, playing six different positions in the field.
With a bat, he didn't do a whole lot, hitting just .237 with two home runs and 12 RBI. It was his defense and versatility the Yankees wanted in the lineup and off the bench.
Following the trade deadline on August 7, the Yankees claimed Chad Gaudin off waivers from the Padres.
The Yankees used Gaudin as both a starter and reliever, posted a 2-0 record with a 3.43 ERA and gave the Yankees some quality innings.
After missing the playoffs one year ago, the Yankees ended up winning the 2009 World Series.
Overall rating: 7/10
2010: Houston, We Have a Problem
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The Yankees nearly made the splash of the trading deadline on July 9 by almost landing a trade to get Cliff Lee from the Mariners, but the two sides couldn't work out an agreement, so the Mariners instead trade Lee to the Rangers that same night.
The Yankees decided to switch their focus after their failed attempt to land Lee.
On July 31, they made two separate deals with the Indians.
They acquired outfielder Austin Kearns in exchange for Zach McAlister and then landed Kerry Wood for Andrew Shive and Matt Cusick.
Kearns failed to provide the Yankees with help off the bench, striking out more times than he got hits.
Wood, however, was a tremendous reliever, posting a 2-0 record with a 0.69 ERA as the setup man for Mariano Rivera.
The bigger trade the Yankees made happened earlier in the day with the Houston Astros.
The Yankees thought they had a way to add more pop to the lineup by acquiring first basemen Lance Berkman in exchange for Mark Melancon and Jimmy Paredes.
Berkman was flat-out awful for the Yankees, hitting one home run and nine RBI in 37 games between first base and DH.
Berkman never looked comfortable playing in the Bronx, and eventually bolted after the season and went back to the National League.
Overall rating: 4/10
2011: A Quiet Deadline
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For the first time since 2001, the Yankees didn't make a single move at the deadline last summer.
Their names were tossed around quite a bit, especially around the rumors of trying to trade for Ubaldo Jimenez.
The Rockies asked for too much, and the Yankees wisely passed on Jimenez, letting the Indians take the erratic starter.
On July 31, with a couple of hours left until the deadline, the Yankees thought about making a move to land Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez, but the Yankees and Astros couldn't agree on how much of Rodriguez's contract each team would take on, and the deal was dead.
The Yankees stood pat with what they had, and ended up winning 97 games and won the A.L. East crown.
Overall rating: N/A
2012: What to Expect at the Deadline?
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And here we are, with a whole month of expectations and a wait-and-see approach.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman would prefer not to make a trade this month, but he may have no other choice than to pull the trigger on a deal.
Last week, both CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte landed on the DL with separate injuries. Sabathia is expected back after the All-Star break, but Pettitte fractured his ankle and may not be back until mid-August or early September.
So Cashman may have to make a move for pitching.
We've heard the rumored interest in Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster for the Cubs.
The Yankees have also sent scouts to watch both Zack Greinke and Wandy Rodriguez.
The Yankees enter the month of July in first place of the A.L. East, but can they hang on and hold off the Rays and Orioles with what they have now?
Or will Cashman feel the pressure to make a move to increase his chances of playing in October again?
The countdown now begins, and the hot stove for baseball officially gets cranked up.
Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.