For a second year in a row, the Yankees payroll has topped $200 million. Right now, the Yankees have about 59 percent chance of making the playoffs according to Baseball Prospectus' Postseason Odds. That means there is a greater than 40 percent chance that the Yankees will become a $200 million failure two years in a row.
And we are talking about not even making the playoffs. Forget the fact that even if the Yankees do make the playoffs, they are likely not going to be favored to get out of the American League Division Series, let alone win a World Series (Yankees can't beat the Angels).
Despite the $60 million a year of new free agents the Yankees brought in, this team's window is rapidly diminishing. Alex Rodrigiez, Johnny Damon, Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, AJ Burnett, and Mariano Rivera are all on the wrong side of 30. Four of the nine starters in the Yankees line up are over 35 with Rodriguez at 33 and rocking a surgically repaired hit.
Despite having Robinson Cano, Phil Hughes, and Joba Chamberlain, the core of this team is not getting younger and with Mark Teixeira signed until the end of time, the Yankees don't have the luxury of moving and aging infielder or outfielder to first base. The Yankees have to be asking themselves how more runs do they have in them?
Right now the Yankees pitching is surprising shallow. Chamberlain has shown that he is not the ace starter he was hoped to be. He simply doesn't the wind to pitch through a lineup multiple times. He is giving up an on base percentahe of .387 and .394 his second and third time around the order respectively.
With all the walks, Chamberlain is 96th out of 96 pitchers with 16 games started in innings pitch and games started. Pettitte is starting to look a Golden Girls rerun. While Burnett (miraculously healthy) and CC Sabathia have pitched well, they haven't been lights out. Certainly not enough to think the Yankees can match up and dominate against any other 1-2 in AL playoff race. They are going to have a hard time beating Boston, Los Angeles, or Detroit in a playoff series with their rotation as is.
Thats said, if I am Brian Cashman, I can see one way to turn into World Series favorites instead fighting for my life in the AL East. That is to trade Roy Halladay. However in order to get Halladay within my division, I am going to have to feel the prospect burn.
So what do I trade? Well my offer is Chamberlain, Jesus Montero, Austin Jackson, Mark Melancon, and Ramiro Pena.
I can already see people screaming "NO TOO MUCH" I worry thats not enough. Halladay is the best pitcher in baseball. The man is a Cy Young contender in the AL East. He would practically unhittable in the NL. This is THE legitmate number one in the AL. Halladay immediately takes the Yankees chances of being World Series champions and quadruples them.
But Montero, Chamberlain, and Jackson are the stars of the future, aren't they? Well yes and no. Chamberlain is considerably overrated right now. He simply does not have the mentality or the stamina of a major league starter. Hughes, despite not being the PR darling Joba is (Yankees crack PR staff backed the wrong horse and they are going to regret this one), is a much better pitcher. Joba does throw a great fastball however doing hillbilly jig after each strikeout he throws despite being a Dita Von Tease side of a spanking really shows the lack of maturity the guy has. He spends more time on the mound shaking off catchers than he does on the treadmill. Best to sell high now before the DUI All Star Doc Gooden's his way out the game.
Austin "Action" Jackson is a decent CF prospect. His numbers look great but he strikes out at an alarming rate. The kind of rate that is unsustainable. Anything over 25 percent is red flag in Triple-A, Jackason strikout percentage is 25.3 percent. Jackson is young and that number will go down with some patience but New York is not a patient town, and if he begins to struggle he may not get the at bats he needs to improve. His stock is not going to get any higher than it is now.
Montero is the real deal. Jesus is the second coming. He has incredible power for his age and unlike Jackson his strikeout rate is low. Extremely low for a hitter his age showing that kind of power in Double-A. Montero is going to be a beast. Right now I would only rank Heyward ahead of him as the top prospect in all of basbeall. The problem is Montero is not a major league catcher. He is going to be a first base man or a DH. Thats going to be a huge problem with the Yankees with Teixeira at first until I am eligible to run for president and DH jammed full of other hitters getting too old to play the field. Montero has no place on the Yankees.
You hope Montero is enough to get the Blue Jays intrigued. it hurts to give him up but there is really no place for him. Why not trade him before you are forced to waste him and give yourself the odds on advantage to win the World Series. If I were Cashman, the last thing I want is to see another AL East team playing in the World Series for the third year in a row. The time is now, pull the trigger.
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