MLB Trade Speculation: Possible Waiver Targets for the New York Yankees

Joe AcampadoCorrespondent IAugust 13, 2012

MLB Trade Speculation: Possible Waiver Targets for the New York Yankees

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    August is the month for waiver trades where teams try to make some last-minute additions to bolster their team for the playoffs. The New York Yankees are one of those teams, and they really need to make some additions.

    They're still waiting on Andy Pettitte and Alex Rodriguez to return. Michael Pineda, Brett Gardner and Mariano Rivera are out for the season. CC Sabathia just joined them again by returning to the DL for 15 days.

    The Yankees will likely look to internal solutions for their problems, but that won't mean they won't be linked to some of the names out there. They could use some pitching and some help at the catcher position as well as the infield.

    It's very tough to gauge waiver rumors since most players that are waived get yanked when someone places a claim. It's even tougher this season since not many teams have waived any notable players, especially pitchers

    Now's a good a time as any for the Yankees to make some upgrades before the playoff starts. While this is just speculation, it'd be nice to see the Yankees turn some of it into reality.

Josh Johnson

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    Might as well start with the name people are going to talk about the most.

    There hasn't been anything new on the Josh Johnson front, I'll admit, but he's a player that's full of speculation. Before the July 31 deadline, Johnson was a name that the Miami Marlins supposedly put on the trade block (via CBS Miami).

    Due to the amount of money Johnson's making, and the Marlins pretty much out of playoff contention, Johnson is once again the subject of talk and trade speculation. The Marlins haven't placed him on waivers, but that doesn't mean they won't.

    Should the Marlins place him on waivers, you can be sure that the New York Yankees will be one of the teams to be link to Johnson. The Yankees need pitching. That's no secret. CC Sabathia was just placed on the DL for the second time this season joining Andy Pettitte.

    There's no telling how a 40-year-old will come back from the DL. Outside of those two, the Yankees have Hiroki Kuroda, Phil Hughes, Ivan Nova, and Freddy Garcia, none of whom are carrying the Yankees to the playoffs by themselves.

    I've said it in my previous articles, but here it is again: The Yankees need a legitimate No. 2 pitcher if they want to go far in the playoffs. Right now, they're getting barely getting by with all these injuries. The playoffs isn't as forgiving as the regular season.

    Josh Johnson could help the Yankees out tremendously should he get placed on waivers. 

Kelly Shoppach

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    Kelly Shoppach is a player who was actually placed on waivers and one that the Yankees could have some interest in despite him coming from the Boston Red Sox.

    The catching position is another spot the Yankees could improve. Russell Martin has 12 homers, but is hitting .196 in August. A batting average that low is acceptable in April, but not August.

    Martin's been solid defensively, but is a offensive liability. Kelly Shoppach isn't the second coming of Mike Piazza or Jorge Posada, but his .250 average and five homers isn't too bad.

    Now there aren't many options out there for the Yankees should they decide to upgrade at the catcher position. Right now, they're supporting Russell Martin all the way. There aren't any indications that the Yankees are going to replace Martin as of now.

    The Red Sox don't make a habit of trading players to the Yankees. They don't have room for Shoppach however, so they'll be looking to unload him. While it may be a crime in the eyes of their fans, a trade between these two teams make sense.

Justin Morneau

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    Justin Morneau isn't a realistic possibility to join the Yankees anytime soon. That doesn't mean people aren't going to link the two and speculate about the possibilities such as I'm doing here.

    Once upon a time, Justin Morneau was an MVP and a Home Run Derby champion. Concussions have reduced him significantly, but he's still a threat with the bat. He's batting .277 with 16 homers and 57 RBI.  

    He's best fitted for a DH role. With Alex Rodriguez out for some time, Morneau could slide right in giving that lineup some much-needed power. And while he can't play first base everyday at anymore, he can still fill in for Mark Teixeira when Teixeira gets a day off.

    Because of Morneau's past credentials and his name, Morneau is going to be linked to the Yankees. Joe Girardi prefers to have his DH spot a rotation of guys that needs break. That leaves Morneau without a spot in the lineup when Alex Rodriguez comes back since he'll be the one spending the majority of time in the DH role.

    The amount of money involved with Morneau and the Minnesota Twins' current state makes waiving Morneau a possibility. If Morneau does get waived, then expect the Yankees not to pursue him that much.

Carlos Lee

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    Carlos Lee falls into the same category as Justin Morneau. The New York Yankees wanted Lee before the July 31 trade deadline, but he didn't waive his no-trade clause.

    Now, Lee has stated his desire to remain with the Miami Marlins; however, it wouldn't make much sense for the Marlins to keep him. It would be in the Marlins' best interest to try and get something in return for him.

    It's been some time since Lee was the offensive threat he was, as is most of the Yankees roster. Lee still shows some flashes of that power he once had. If he joins the Yankees, he would be able to play at first, the outfield and DH.

    His versatility would be a big plus and something the Yankees could really use. He'd also be a powerful, right-handed bat that can come off the bench as a pinch hitter. The Yankees were interested in him before because of that, but ended up getting Casey McGehee.

    Lee can still help balance out the lineup while playing a variety of positions for the Yankees. The Marlins are looking to retool and shed some unwanted contracts. This trade makes sense, but only if Lee waives his no-trade clause.

Roy Oswalt

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    Roy Oswalt's been having a tough year so far for the Texas Rangers. Now that they acquired Ryan Dempster, Oswalt seems to be the odd-man out, especially with the way he's been pitching.  

    A 6.53 ERA and WHIP of 1.65 pretty much guarantees a ticket out of town. While he still hasn't been waived by the Rangers, it wouldn't surprise me if they did.

    The Yankees sorely need pitching, as I mentioned in the Josh Johnson slide. While Oswalt is no longer what he used to be, he can still provide valuable innings as a starter and potentially reclaim some of his former power.

    At his current state, Oswalt wouldn't be much of an improvement over what the Yankees already have. The potential is there, however, for Oswalt to return to form and be part of a deep Yankee rotation.

    While CC Sabathia's injury and current stint on the DL is minor, there's no telling if it'll develop into something serious later on down the road. Sabathia's been pitching a lot of innings and throwing a lot of pitches. Being a workhorse isn't necessarily a plus all the time.

    Oswalt could help out fill in for Sabathia and Andy Pettitte while the Yankees wait for them to return from the DL. For the right price, Oswalt could be a bargain and eventually a savior for the Yankees. Oswalt at his best, pitching behind a healthy Sabathia and a healthy Pettitte, would allow the Yankees to be serious contenders for the World Series.