Will the Yankees and Red Sox Be Competing for the Same Trade Targets?
But in 2012, a different scenario presents itself that could change all that.
Let's take a look at why the Yanks and Red Sox won't be competing for the same trade targets this season.
Breaking Down Each Team's Needs: Yankees
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Here's a list of what the Yankees could be looking for at the trade deadline:
The Yanks could be looking for a starter at the deadline, but if they want to bring in anyone significant, it will cost them dearly.
With the likes of Andy Pettitte and Hiroki Kuroda not guaranteed past this season, the Bombers could find themselves with some holes in their starting five in 2013.
The Bombers need to find a better way to score runs other than just pounding home runs every game, so finding some speed at the top or bottom of their order is a realistic priority.
Brett Gardner recently had yet another setback and it looks like he won't be around this season, making it even more necessary the Bombers look for a speedster.
Not to mention, the Yanks have two elder statesman of the game playing in the outfield and could use some youthful legs out there.
New York's bullpen was hurt badly when Mariano Rivera went down to injury, but surprisingly the Yanks' 'pen has responded well and been able to hold it together ever since.
Joba Chamberlain and David Aardsma have a very realistic chance of returning this season, as does Rivera himself. However, none of those three are definite at this point and that could keep general manager Brian Cashman active at the deadline.
Breaking Down Each Team's Needs: Red Sox
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Here's what the Red Sox could be looking for at the trade deadline:
A 4.74 ERA from their starting pitching is all the reason you need to justify why the Red Sox need help in their starting rotation. Throw in the fact that the team's best pitchers, Jon Lester and Josh Beckett, have been dreadful, and you have even more of a reason.
And that's not even including the back-end of their starting five yet.
The Sox have a solid bullpen as it is, but that will be true if and only if Andrew Bailey returns to pitch well during the second half.
Still, depth is an issue and the Sox could use some more arms to shore up their 'pen for a stretch run at the playoffs.
What the Yankees Will Do
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Despite their needs, the Yanks are likely to stay put at the deadline.
Their starting rotation is pretty much set and even though Pettitte is injured, he should be back before the end of the regular season and just in time for the playoffs.
Until then, Freddy Garcia will be more than enough to fill the void, thus making any trades for starting pitching pointless unless it's for a top-notch starter to back up CC Sabathia beyond this season.
In the bullpen, the Yanks have enough arms there as well.
David Aardsma and Joba Chamberlain should both return this season and will give a huge boost of depth to the bullpen. Mariano Rivera could also return this season, shoring up the 'pen even more for the postseason.
Speed, and more specifically outfield help, will be the most realistic place the Bombers make a move. Their outfield is old with Andruw Jones and Raul Ibanez roaming in left field on a nightly basis. It isn't certain if Gardner is done the rest of the way, but if so, the Bombers might make a minor improvement for their defense at the least.
But even so, it can be argued the Yanks have the help in-house in that department as well.
What the Red Sox Will Do
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Starting pitching is the area most likely to be improved by the Sox, but again, even that is uncertain.
The asking price will be high for any starter on the market that can make a significant impact and chances are that price will be high without the guarantee of that pitcher re-signing in Boston for the long term.
But that doesn't change the fact that Bobby Valentine's squad needs some major front-end help in their starting five with Lester and Beckett struggling mightily this season.
Bailey's return for the Red Sox during the second half ensures their 'pen will be much improved for the stretch run as long as he remains healthy and effective. Beyond that, the market isn't offering much and that means there isn't anyone worthy enough to trade good young players for.
Boston will probably be better served sticking with what they already have.
With the returns of Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford, the Sox will enjoy a great boost to their already elite offense moving forward. Those players will add speed, power and defense to Boston's lineup, thus making any trades involving their offense or defense unnecessary.
Why They Won't Be Competing for the Same Trade Targets
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Both teams likely won't be competing for the same players on the trade market this season. If they do, it'll be for minor pieces to be added and certainly nobody major. That takes a ton of luster off any battle the Yanks and Sox will be doing on the trade market.
The Sox are already enjoying the return of a multitude of players and have more on the way. That should be enough to fill the gaps they have on their roster and the only trade they might make will be for a starter and/or reliever, but again, nobody major.
Boston is only one game out of a wild card spot so it's not like changes are dire at this point.
The Yankees, on the other hand, are in a much better position than their rivals.
As of today, the Bombers sit comfortably atop the AL East with a nine-game lead on the Baltimore Orioles. Despite their needs, the Bombers should be more than able to make the postseason without making a single change.
Reinforcements are on the way for the Bombers and as long as they can string together these next few months of the season, New York should be at full strength come September, and certainly October. That makes it illogical to start dealing away young prospects for temporary fixes.
In the end, both teams won't need to make any significant changes and that will keep the competition between the Yankees and Red Sox strictly on the field.