The MLB trade deadline is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET on July 31, and a plethora of trades could go down before all is said and done. One such team that appears to be in "buy" mode is the New York Yankees.
General manager Brian Cashman already made a splash by acquiring outfielder Alfonso Soriano (even if it wasn't his call), and more moves appear to be on the way. The team is interested in several different players and also has a few players of its own up for grabs. Such a combination generally translates into some roster shuffling.
The Soriano trade has already paid dividends, but the willingness to trade talent for rental players is what will pay dividends in the long run for Cashman and the Yankees. There's no doubting the fact that the Bombers need to get younger. To go for it all in 2013, though, they'll need to acquire talent—whatever the age.
The trade deadline should be interesting—then again, when isn't it? Cashman has plenty of options to explore over the next day or so, and the right moves will help propel the Yankees into the postseason.
Aaron Gleeman of NBCSports.com reports that "no one wants Phil Hughes," and Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com tweets that, as of July 28, the Yankees had not received a single call regarding the right-hander.
While this news isn't exactly shocking, it should discourage the Yankees brass. Hughes is probably the best major league talent the Yankees have to offer, and now that nobody seems to want him, the Yankees may have to dip into their prospect pool to acquire new players.
Teams aren't exactly lining up for Hughes because of his bloated ERA and propensity to serve up the long ball. The right-hander has a 4.58 ERA on the season, mostly because of the fact he's allowed 20 home runs in 112 innings pitched.
Hughes is an impending free agent owed just the remainder of the $7.15 million he was slated to make this season, so any team acquiring him wouldn't be on the hook for that much money. The problem is, his inconsistencies this season don't exactly bode well for teams in pennant races seeking pitchers.
If the Yankees are determined to deal Hughes, then they may have to settle for low-level minor leaguers. Otherwise, he'll be a Yankee on August 1.
Joba Chamberlain may have pitched his final game in pinstripes with Wednesday's deadline fast approaching.
Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com reports that Chamberlain is the most likely Yankee to be moved, and that a baseball official told him that "he may not even fetch pennies on the dollar." This would suggest two things. For one, it seems like the Yankees just want to rid themselves of the disappointing right-hander. Secondly, it doesn't look like teams are lining up to acquire him.
Chamberlain has struggled mightily in 2013. He has a 4.97 ERA in 25.1 innings out of the bullpen and has been one of the least utilized pitchers by manager Joe Girardi this season. The lack of confidence he has in Chamberlain shines through every time he passes him over in the bullpen.
His struggles come as no surprise given the high volume of baserunners he allows. His WHIP of 1.697 is by far the highest in his career. The 30 hits and 13 walks he has issued to date make him one of the most unreliable relievers in baseball.
If the Yankees are lucky, a team will offer them a low-level prospect and they'll be rid of him forever.
The availability of Philadelphia Phillies corner infielder Michael Young has been a hot topic over the course of the past few weeks.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post first reported (July 26) that Young could never be available, but Buster Olney of ESPN.com tweeted (July 28) that the Phillies have reached out to teams regarding the availability of several players—one of which was Young.
If we go by the most recent report, then the Yankees could still have a shot at acquiring a third baseman who can actually hit. The Yankees have had several players fail to replace Alex Rodriguez this season. The list starts with Kevin Youkilis and ends with the trio of Luis Cruz, Chris Nelson and David Adams. Adams has potential but failed to live up to it during his time with the big club.
Young is an impending free agent, and the Phillies could be in "sell" mode. General manager Ruben Amaro isn't really used to having such a mindset, but selling off the veterans to bring in young talent would be the right course of action for the Phils.
Per George A. King III of the New York Post, the Boston Red Sox could be the Yankees' stiffest competition to acquire Young's services, but the Phillies and Yankees have gotten together for trades in recent memory (remember Bobby Abreu?). That should bode well for the Yankees.
Again, Ruben Amaro should consider trading each of his veteran players on expiring contracts if he wants to rebuild his farm system and hope for a resurgence by the team within the next few seasons. Catcher Carlos Ruiz is one such veteran, and the Yankees would benefit from bringing him aboard.
Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com thinks that the Phillies and Yankees match up well at the trade deadline, and Ruiz could be a player who gets discussed. Salisbury reports that a baseball executive told him that the Yankees had already "kicked around" Ruiz's name.
The Yankees have gone with a combination of Chris Stewart and Austin Romine behind the plate for a majority of the season. While Stewart hasn't performed terribly, it's obvious that he's best suited for a reserve role. It's also obvious that Romine isn't ready to be a major league catcher.
Ruiz could be exactly what the team needs. Not only does he handle the pitching staff well, but he's no slouch at the plate, either. "Chooch" hit .325/.394/.540 last season with 16 home runs and 68 RBI.
There may not be a more practical option behind the plate for the Yankees at the trade deadline.
As of July 10, the Yankees had not called the Seattle Mariners regarding the availability of Kendrys Morales and Raul Ibanez, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. While that's nearly three weeks ago, no new information has surfaced regarding the two players and the Yankees.
The acquisition of Alfonso Soriano likely makes Ibanez a poor fit for the Yankees, but Morales would be a great addition to a lineup that is slowly (and I mean slowly) putting some pieces back together. Morales is an impending free agent, and a team like the Mariners could choose to stock the farm rather than just lose him outright in free agency.
Morales represents an obvious upgrade to Lyle Overbay, even though Overbay has been an unexpected performer in the absence of Mark Teixeira. Morales has 16 home runs, 58 RBI and a line of .278/.337/.465. He'd be a great addition at either fifth or sixth in the lineup.
No progress has been made since the report by Heyman surfaced on July 10, but don't be surprised if the two teams make a deal by the deadline. The Yankees have a need, and the Mariners have a potential solution. This is the type of deal that could gain legs quickly if the two teams talk.
Joel Sherman reported on July 27 that the Yankees had called the San Francisco Giants regarding the availability of Hunter Pence—one of the best impact bats that could be moved by the deadline. The Yankees were told Pence was not available, but this was the same report where Sherman said that Michael Young also wasn't available.
If that teaches us anything, it's that the course of a few days can change the entire outlook of a team. The Phillies went from keeping Young to wanting to deal him, and the last-place Giants could certainly do the same.
Acquiring Pence would create an interesting dilemma for manager Joe Girardi, as he'd then have an even more crowded outfield. Alfonso Soriano, Ichiro Suzuki, Brett Gardner, Vernon Wells and (eventually) Curtis Granderson would all need playing time. Zoilo Almonte would obviously be sent down to Triple-A.
Wells could be outright released (or possibly traded for a minimal return) to make room, but then an outfield of Granderson, Pence and Soriano still leaves Gardner and Ichiro on the outside looking in.
Such a move doesn't seem likely, but it still could happen if the Yankees get creative.