4 Players the Yankees Could Trade Before the July 31 Deadline
With the Major League season in full swing, teams are beginning to see where they stand amongst the rest of the competition.
Teams who are not satisfied with their current rosters will look to wheel and deal in an attempt to either improve their team or shed some dollars and start over next year. Most of these moves will come in the form of a trade, and most of those trades will come before the July 31 non-waiver deadline.
The New York Yankees, who have dealt with injuries all year, currently have several holes on the team that need to be upgraded, meaning they will likely be players in this year's trade market as they attempt to make a run at the playoffs and a World Series Championship. The question however is not who they will go after.
Instead, it is who they will make available.
Adam Warren RP
Seemingly out of nowhere, Warren has gone from a middle of the pack starting pitching prospect to a shutdown reliever at the major league level for the Yanks.
In 29 innings pitched over the course of 23 appearances Warren has an ERA of just 1.55 this season. In addition, he has struck out 29 batters and has only surrendered one home run.
As important as Warren has been to the Yankees bullpen, he could be a valuable and sought after trade chip. Despite his dominance, there is another New York reliever outshining Warren, thus making him expendable.
Dellin Betances has arrived, and he is a pure strikeout machine, sitting down 49 batters in 28.1 innings. Those batters are also hitting well below the Mendoza Line at .153. Betances' 1.59 ERA leads the team. It is him, not Warren, who has become the go to reliever late in ball games.
It is very likely the Yankees will have to part with one of these pitchers in a deal for an impact player, and Warren would be the preferred choice for New York. From other team's perspectives, they would be getting a guy who has proven himself in the late innings this year. Warren could provide teams with some versatility too, as there is always the option to turn him back into a starter.
John Ryan Murphy C
Originally one of several losers of the backup catcher battle in spring training, Murphy has done a fine job replacing Francisco Cervelli in his absence (Cervelli is on the 60-day DL).
In 15 games Murphy has shown he is a consistent contact hitter, batting .378 with one home run and 6 RBI. He has been solid behind the plate as well, as he has yet to make an error in his 31 game career.
With every game that goes by, Murphy is looking more and more like he is capable of being an everyday big league catcher, something that will certainly draw teams in as the deadline gets closer. The Yankees have a surplus of catching depth at the moment, meaning they do not need Murphy. Brian McCann is going to be the starter for the foreseeable future. Cervelli has been a quality backup in the past. Austin Romine, Peter O'Brien and top prospect Gary Sanchez are all waiting in the minors as well.
If teams strikeout in prying Sanchez from the Bombers, expect Murphy to be a nice consolation prize for teams in need of a catcher.
Ichiro Suzuki 0F
A team looking for an outfielder this summer may just turn to the Yankees and Suzuki.
Serving predominantly as a the team's fourth outfielder this season, the Japanese star has taken on quite a diminished role compared to what he has done in the past. Still, he has made good use of the time he has gotten, hitting .351 in 74 at-bats this year.
Suzuki's real value comes in the field. Whether it be as a starter or late inning replacement, he has demonstrated that he still possesses the speed and range to cover a lot of ground in the outfield. That same speed makes him an asset on the base paths as well. While he may not be capable of swiping 40 bags in a season anymore, the 40-year-old is still a threat to run.
If teams are interested, and they will be, Suzuki is a piece the Yankees should make available. With Zoilo Almonte and a slew of outfield prospects, finding a new fourth outfielder will not very hard for New York.
Gary Sanchez C
There is no bigger trade chip in the Yankees' organization than Sanchez.
Heading into the 2014 season, Sanchez, 21, was rated the 35th best prospect by Baseball America. The catcher is currently ranked as New York's top prospect.
Signed by the Yankees as an international free agent in 2009 out of the Dominican Republic, Sanchez has now been in the team's system for five years.
Sanchez is currently at the Double-A level with the Trenton Thunder. There he is batting .244 with nine doubles, five homers and 27 RBI in 41 games. Sanchez has been revered for his power, as he has hit at least 15 home runs in each of his three full minor league seasons. His defense is iffy, but he has improved behind the plate. He is still a year or two away from being major league ready, so he has time to develop.
Sanchez will have to move if the Yankees are trying to swing a deal for any big time player... say Jeff Samardzija of the Cubs? The Bombers simply have no one else to offer. The farm system is depleted and dry, so if New York wants to land an impact player, Sanchez's future will not be in pinstripes.
All stats were obtained via Baseball-Reference and are accurate as of the end of play on May 25, 2014.
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