Injuries have destroyed the Yankees pitching staff.
So far this season the Yankees have lost Michael Pineda and Mariano Rivera for the year, David Robertson for a month, Andy Pettitte for at least two months and CC Sabathia for two weeks. Almost any team that loses three-fifths of its starting rotation, along with its closer and set-up guy, would go into free fall.
Somehow the Yankees have withstood all of this and are in first place in the American League East.
Many reports have surfaced around the Yankees looking to add a starter. Fox Sports' Jon Paul Morosi reported New York's interest in Wandy Rodriguez, while Ken Rosenthal reported the Yankees aren't necessarily interested in Zack Greinke. In addition, Buster Olney tweeted that the Yankees will not pursue Cole Hamels. Even with the loss of Sabathia and Pettitte, the Yankees don't need another starting pitcher.
They need to get a catcher.
Russel Martin is having a horrid season—one that gets worse by the month. Martin's robust .176 batting average is making the trade of Jesus Montero even more painful. And his defense hasn't saved him this year, as he has been, at best, average behind the plate. Martin is making 7.5 million this year and is obviously not the answer as the long-term catcher.
Even with the Yankees loaded down on the farm with catching prospects, it's time the team goes out and gets Carlos Ruiz.
Ruiz is having a career year. Batting .350 with 13 HR and 46 RBI, Ruiz is in the second year of a three-year contract he signed back in 2010. Making only $3.7 million over the next two years, Ruiz is priced right. And the length of his contract is such that you can hand over the catching duties to one of the Yankees' top prospects, Austin Romine or Gary Sanchez.
Who should the Yankees trade away for Ruiz?
The Phillies have underperformed this year. The defending NL East champs are 10 games under .500.
Injuries have wrecked the Phillies chances of repeating. No Roy Halladay. One win for Cliff Lee. And a struggling offense—all these things have dropped the Phillies into the NL East basement.
General manager Ruben Amaro will have to make tough decisions with many key players who either are going to be free agents this year or next. Cole Hamels, Shane Victorino and Placido Palanco are free agents at the end of the year. Hunter Pence and Carlos Ruiz are free agents after the 2013 season.
A trade of Martin, Romine and third base prospect Dante Bischette Jr. for Ruiz would be hard to pass up.
I would even pay for Martin's salary the rest of the way to get the deal done. Romine will give the Phillies their catcher of the future. Bischette will be their future third baseman. If you offer Sanchez instead of Romine in a prospective deal, I would then include a lesser prospect to acquire Ruiz.
Carlos Ruiz can be the piece that gets the Yankees over the top. His addition and the return of Brett Gardner makes the New York lineup the best in the American League.
Let me know what you think.