5 Bold Predictions for New York Yankees' Trade Deadline Moves
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sport
Marred by injuries, general manager Brian Cashman has gone to great lengths in an effort to field a winning team. While he’s done all he can, most of the team’s transactions have come from the waiver wire and promoting within the organization. Suffice it to say, there haven’t been many big names Yankee fans are familiar with.
When the injured players on the roster are activated from the disabled list, they promptly get re-injured. It happened to Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, and most recently, Derek Jeter.
The market in this year’s non-waiver trade deadline is weak. Cashman called it “an offensive offense market,” per Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News.
Still, Cashman is actively fielding—and making—phone calls. He’s well-known for his ability to strike a deal for aging stars a little past their prime (e.g. Bobby Abreu, Kerry Wood, Lance Berkman, Ichiro).
For the Yankees to go on a hot streak in August—the hottest month of the year—a deal for a bat needs to take place.
Brian McCann Is Acquired in the Final Hour
In a desperate attempt to find an upgrade at catcher, Cashman inquires and successfully acquires Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann.
McCann, the seven-time All-Star, will be a free agent at season’s end and with the emergence of hard-hitting Evan Gattis, Atlanta seemingly has found its catcher of the future.
The Yankees haven’t had much offensive production from their catchers, as Chris Stewart is slugging just .305. McCann, meanwhile, is slugging a whopping .540.
McCann, whose power numbers are up after undergoing shoulder surgery last offseason, is tailor made for Yankee Stadium. A power-hitting, offensive catcher is the perfect complement to the defensive-minded Stewart.
The trade would include Chamberlain and third baseman David Adams.
It would help both teams attempting to make a push for the playoffs.
The Yankees Get Their Third Baseman
Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports
The likes of Luis Cruz, David Adams, Alberto Gonzalez and Jayson Nix have been marching out to third base for the Yankees this season, leaving the hot corner as the most important position that needs an upgrade.
Even with the return of Alex Rodriguez on the horizon, he won’t be able to play the field every night and will often be the designated hitter.
With the influx of infielders the St. Louis Cardinals have, Cashman should make a move for David Freese. The Cardinals are currently in first place, and some may wonder why they would trade away their starting third baseman. Well, that is All-Star Matt Carpenter's natural position and you could argue Freese is standing in the way.
Carpenter would shift back to third while the highly-touted second base prospect, 20-year-old Kolten Wong gets the call-up.
It may take a few prospects, even major-league ready pitchers, to get Freese. A package of Shawn Kelley, David Phelps and Melky Mesa should be enough.
It’s been an up-and-down year for Freese, hitting .275 with five homers and 32 RBI. His average was .163 after April and .209 on May 16, but it’s been steadily increasing since.
The former World Series MVP is still just 30 years old and coming off a 20-homer season.
Freese is arbitration-eligible and won’t become a free agent until 2015. With a thin market and a dire need of an upgrade, Freese is the way to go.
Phil Hughes Remains in New York
Brian Cashman will work the phones constantly in an effort to unload Phil Hughes. While there are many teams in need of rotational help, Hughes is in the bottom-tier of available starting pitchers.
It’s not that Hughes is a bad pitcher. While he has a 4.57 ERA and a 4-9 record, he’s been effective away from Yankee Stadium where he’s posted a 3.38 ERA with a 3-2 record.
What is hurting Hughes is the fact that he is a fly ball pitcher in a ballpark where a pop-up lands in the seats. At home, he’s given up 12 home runs and has lost seven of his eight decisions with a 5.63 ERA.
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported the Yankees aren’t finding the right kind of return in possible trade scenarios.
The Yankees aren’t in the market for a young prospect they have to develop. That’s not the Yankee style. It's always win-now, which is why their system is as thin as it is.
While it seems Hughes is being profiled for his woes in a hitter-friendly ballpark, at this time, it would be best to stick with the 27-year-old until they receive a viable return.
Trade for Chase Utley to Play First Base
The Philadelphia Phillies are staying alive in the NL East, a division that no team has taken control of. However, sitting six-and-a-half games out of the NL wild card at 49-50, the Phillies can quickly turn into sellers.
Chase Utley, the long-time second baseman and fan-favorite has an expiring contract, becoming a free agent at season's end.
If Cashman wants to give Lyle Overbay some relief at first base, Utley is capable and will bring a powerful left-handed bat. This season he is hitting .279 with 13 home runs and 36 RBI.
As Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports, the Phillies must start thinking about rebuilding. Charlie Manuel is likely in his last season as manager and the core, like the Yankees, is getting older.
New York is dangling JR Murphy on the trade block. With Carlos Ruiz a free-agent-to-be, a deal with Murphy, reliever Preston Claiborne and minor league shortstop Walter Ibarra could pry Utley away from Philadelphia.
Jim Salisbury of Comcast SportsNet in Philadelphia said if general manager Ruben Amaro makes a move, “keep an eye on the Yankees.”
With Utley’s short swing, he will thrive with the short porch. For Cashman, acquiring Utley for a position change is a bold move, but one that must be considered.
Matt Garza and Alfonso Soriano Become Yankees
In typical Cashman fashion, the Yankees swoop in with an offer for the Cubs best pitcher. Needing power from the right side of the plate, Alfonso Soriano will also be in the deal.
The way CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte have been pitching, it has become clear the rotation must be improved if the Yankees wish to remain in the playoff hunt. They currently have a run differential of minus-two.
But will the Yankees have to clear house in order for this to happen? Not necessarily. A package revolving around Brett Gardner could be enough to entice the Cubs.
Gardner is under team control until 2015 and has been a productive player for the Yankees. Though he should steal upwards of 40 bases a season, Gardner has swiped just 16 bags this year.
He has, however, tied his career-high with seven home runs while hitting a solid .280.
A speedy center fielder, Gardner has more experience than Julio Borbon and Junior Lake. After being moved between left and center field throughout his career, he could live up to his full potential with a steady role in center.
The Yankees can afford to trade Gardner with Ichiro and Granderson in the outfield.
In addition to Gardner, some prospects will need to be included. Parting ways with Dellin Betances, Chris Bootcheck, Chase Whitley and Ramon Flores will give Chicago the pitching they covet, as well as a promising young outfielder for the future.
The potential trade with the Rangers involved three prospects. Here, Chicago dumps the salaries of Garza and Soriano in exchange for four prospects and a leadoff hitter.