5 Reasons Alfonso Soriano or Vernon Wells Trade Makes No Sense for the Yankees
The baseball gods have dealt a significant blow to the Evil Empire, one that has left a lineup with more questions than answers another query to ponder.
How to fill the Grandyman's spot?
For the most part, Yankees fans are rolling with the news, not overreacting and doing something rash, like going to hang out on an overpass on the Major Deegan or Cross Bronx Expressways.
But some fans have lost their minds.
Alfonso Soriano? Vernon Wells?
Neither a reunion with Soriano or bringing Wells back into the AL East is a good idea, and more importantly, neither player makes sense for the Yankees.
Both outfielders have deals that run through the end of the 2014 season, the year that Hal Steinbrenner expects the team's payroll to come in below the $189 million luxury-tax threshold.
Soriano is due $38 million while Wells has roughly $49 million heading his way.
Granted, the Yankees have significant payroll coming off of the books after the 2013 season, and both the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim would pick up a significant chunk of the salary remaining on either deal.
But in doing so, the Cubs and Angels are going to expect decent prospects in return.
That's the cost I'm talking about.
Do the Yankees really want to give up even B-level prospects for either player?
I certainly wouldn't, and I can't imagine that Brian Cashman is eager to, either.
The Yankees Need to Get Younger/the Yankees Need to Get More Athletic
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Both statements are criticisms that have been hurled at the team for a few years now, and neither one is an inaccurate or baseless claim.
The Yankees do need to get younger and more athletic.
The ageless Mariano Rivera, probably the best athlete on the team at 43 years old, is the oldest active player in the game.
Adding a 37-year-old Soriano or a 34-year-old Wells helps the Yankees reach neither of those goals.
Give the Semi-Prospects a Chance
Sooner or later, the Yankees are going to have to see what they actually have available to them in the farm system.
While Tyler Austin, Slade Heathcott and Mason Williams Jr. are the best outfield prospects the Yankees have, none of them are major league ready and the Yankees aren't going to rush them.
Not when Zoilo Almonte and Melky Mesa seem ready to contribute.
We looked at the duo yesterday, and while neither one is a "top prospect" or a "sure thing" and both have holes in their games, don't those descriptions accurately fit both Soriano and Wells?
If the choices are between overpaid veterans who have done it before or young guys that cost nothing extra who might be long-term answers at almost no cost, I'll take the latter.
Let Eduardo Play
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The third player we looked at was infielder Eduardo Nunez, no longer a prospect but certainly a youngster with a live bat that needs regular playing time.
For the better part of two years, Yankees fans have called for the team to find a way to get Nunez's bat into the lineup.
Why not stick him in left field?
Granted, he's played a total of four games at the position, but he managed to not make any errors while doing so. That's typically not the case when he's on the infield dirt.
If Nunez can offer even adequate defense, doesn't he make more sense than either of the veteran bats?
Of course he does.
If Curtis Granderson (or anyone on the team for that matter) was going to suffer a significant injury, this was the time for it to happen.
A 10-week recovery puts Granderson back on the field right around the beginning of May.
The Yankees' early-season schedule is not all that challenging, with only 15 of their first 41 games coming against teams who finished 2012 with a record of .500 or better.
ESPN's Buster Olney (subscription required) ranked the Yankees' early-season schedule the third easiest in the American League.
Certainly, the Yankees can navigate those games without adding Soriano or Wells to the mix.
Rick Weiner is a Featured Columnist covering all of MLB.
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