Is Justin Morneau or Michael Young the Better Trade Fix for the Yankees?
The Bronx Bombers are in desperate need of another corner infielder after Mark Teixeira underwent wrist surgery and will miss the rest of the year, and Kevin Youkilis and Alex Rodriguez are still on the DL.
Playing Lyle Overbay at first and Davis Adams at third is simply unacceptable for a team with a $203 million payroll and one that is looking to win the World Series, hence the desire for Morneau and Young.
However, the Yankees may not be able to acquire both players before the July 31st trade deadline and may have to settle for one or the other.
If this is the case, which player should the team acquire?
The Case for Morneau
The Yanks have clear interest in acquiring Morneau from the Twins.
That's right, the guy who Andy Pettitte struck out to become the team's all-time strikeout leader could be his teammate just a few short weeks later.
Morneau is batting .284 this season, which is 44 points higher than current first baseman Lyle Overbay.
It's rare to be able to acquire a four-time All-Star, two-time Silver Slugger and former MVP at the deadline, but the Yankees have that opportunity.
The Case for Young
Michael Young is a very versatile infielder who is batting .290 this season for the Phils. He has shown good defense at the hot corner and has been a solid right-handed bat.
As I mentioned previously if I were @Yankees I'd trade w/phillies for Righty 1B/3B Michael Young. Cost = $/expiring contract +minor prospect— Michael Pinto (@mikepinto306) July 1, 2013
The Yankees desperately need righties in a lineup whose only right-handed hitters are Vernon Wells, Jayson Nix, David Adams and Chris Stewart. The team doesn't have a talented righty in the lineup to scare left-handed pitchers right now.
Young is a seven-time All-Star himself and a former Gold Glove winner, although he hasn't won an MVP like Morneau.
However, he has better numbers this year, and he even has more home runs than the power-hitting Morneau.
The Case Against Morneau
The Twins' first baseman isn't hitting for power the way he used to. At 32 years old he has only hit four home runs in 75 games, compared to 34 in 157 games during his 2006 MVP campaign.
What's worse than his power numbers is the fact that he bats from the left side of the plate and doesn't address the team's need for a right-handed bat.
Morneau is owed $14 million over the 2013 season, according to Baseball Reference, and the Yanks would certainly have to pay a big portion of that in order to trade for him.
While Morneau wouldn't cost much in the way of prospects, his salary is hefty, and New York might not want to pay that much for a guy who only has four home runs and bats on the wrong side of the plate.
The Case Against Young
While Young appears to be the cheaper of the two options, he is far from perfect.
The 36-year-old veteran would almost certainly be a one-year rental at third base when the team might not even need him for the rest of the season.
Alex Rodriguez made his rehab debut on Tuesday night with the Charleston Riverdogs, and should be back in the Bronx by the end of the month, barring any setbacks.
A-Rod is a right-handed third baseman himself, and having him and Young platooning at third is out of the question. If he comes back and does well he could render Young useless.
While the Yanks can't go wrong trading for either corner infielder, the best option is clearly Young.
New York simply can't have David Adams play third for the rest of the season, and Young would easily replace him.
Morneau's recent power outage makes him a much less desirable player than the consistent Young, and he wouldn't help the team work more right-handed bats into the lineup.
Another factor on the mind of Brian Cashman as he makes offers for both players is going to be which position is in a worse position.
While A-Rod could be back soon, there's always a chance that he won't play this year, leaving Adams as the only option. Overbay is the only option at first right now, but he is clearly the better player between himself and Adams.
Finally, the defensive versatility that Young provides is what sets him apart.
Young has played third for much of his career, but he can also play first base or even shortstop for the team because of his superior defensive skill set.
Even if A-Rod comes back and does well, Young could move over to first and replace Overbay, also adding in yet another right-handed bat.
Young is clearly the better of the two options, and Cashman needs to make him a priority.
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