New York Yankees Trade Rumors: Tracking Hot Updates, News and Reaction

Rick Weiner@RickWeinerNYFeatured ColumnistJuly 15, 2015

New York Yankees Trade Rumors: Tracking Hot Updates, News and Reaction

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    Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

    The New York Yankees will begin the season's second half atop the American League East, but the division is still very much up for grabs as less than seven games separates first place from last place.

    For the first time in a long time, the Yankees have the kind of high-upside prospects that other teams covet, which, along with the club's deep pockets, puts them in a position to go out and acquire whatever they need.

    But the club isn't about to part ways with the likes of outfielder Aaron Judge or starter Luis Severino, and as they exhibited over the winter, adding aging stars (over the age of 30) that are due substantial money over a number of years simply isn't something that they're interested in doing.

    So while they'll constantly be linked to every name that comes across the rumor mill, some players simply aren't as realistic a trade target as others. 

    Obvious areas of need include second base and the starting rotation, which could certainly use another established arm if, for nothing else, to provide some insurance against injury.

    Whatever the Yankees ultimately decide to do, you can be sure that it's going to be a busy few weeks leading up to the trade deadline in the Bronx.

    Keep it here for the most up-to-the-minute rumblings about the Yankees, along with analysis and everything else that comes with it. While the post date will always show as July 15, simply click to the next slide to see the latest from the rumor mill as the Yankees look to add reinforcements for the stretch run.

Done Deals

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    John Froschauer/Associated Press

    July 30: Acquired OF Dustin Ackley from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for OF Ramon Flores and RHP Jose Ramirez (Analysis)

July 30: Acquired OF/2B Dustin Ackley

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    Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

    Landing Dustin Ackley wasn't exactly the kind of deadline deal that Yankees fans envisioned the club making, but it's a start at least.

    The second overall pick in the 2009 draft, Ackley has struggled to hit major league pitching. A career .243 hitter over parts of five seasons, he's posted a fairly miserable .215/.270/.366 slash line in 2015. His best full season came last year, when he hit 14 HR with 65 RBI and .692 OPS.

    But a change of scenery just might be what it takes for the 27-year-old to begin reaching his potential. His left-handed swing would appear to be a perfect fit at Yankee Stadium, and he's got good numbers in the Bronx, hitting .296 with five extra-base hits (two home runs) and a .878 OPS over 54 career at-bats.

    The club is going to keep him as an outfielder for now, according to The Wall Street Journal's Daniel Barbirisi—which, as he notes, is probably bad news for Garrett Jones—but Ackley began his career as a second baseman and could be an option there in the not-so-distant future.

    Due the balance of his $2.6 million salary this year, Ackley is heading into this first arbitration-eligible offseason and is under team control through the 2018 season.

Are Yankees Going After Craig Kimbrel?

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    Lenny Ignelzi/Associated Press

    Update: Friday, July 31 at 12:32 p.m. ET

    Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal has followed his previous tweet by saying talks between the Yankees and Padres broke down on Thursday and have not started back up again.

     

    Update: Friday, July 31 at 12:26 p.m. ET

    The Yankees are the "hottest team" on Kimbrel right now, per Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal.

     

    Wednesday, July 29 at 4:30 p.m. ET

    A Dellin Betances/Craig Kimbrel/Andrew Miller combination at the back-end of the Yankees bullpen is the sort of thing you'd put together in MLB2K: The Show, not in real life, but the Yankees have spoken with the Padres about the four-time All-Star.

    The Yankees are willing and able to pay all of the $28 million left on Kimbrel's deal, but San Diego is still seeking top prospects in return, asking the club for shortstop Jorge Mateo, who has previously been deemed one of the four "untouchables" down on the farm.

    As you'd expect, the Yankees turned San Diego down, according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman.

    Just as the Padres don't have to move Kimbrel, even though they'd like to shed salary, the Yankees don't have to add another dominant reliever, even though they'd like to if the right opportunity came along.

Yankees Interested in Yovani Gallardo

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    Alex Gallardo/Associated Press

    Thursday, July 30 a 2:02 p.m. ET

    The market for Texas' Yovani Gallardo is starting to pick up, with CBS Sports' Jon Heyman listing the Blue Jays, Cubs and Dodgers as the teams with the most interest. Both the Giants and Yankees are keeping tabs on the situation.

    Gallardo, 29, has performed well for Texas, posting a 3.19 ERA and 1.32 WHIP over 121.1 innings of work, but per CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, plans on testing the free agent market after the season.

Could Martin Prado Return to the Bronx?

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    Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

    Tuesday, July 28 at 3:12 p.m. ET

    With Ben Zobrist now in Kansas City, speculation is running wild that the Yankees could look to re-acquire Martin Prado, who they traded to the Miami Marlins over the winter in the deal that bought Nate Eovaldi to the Bronx.

    Plenty of fans (myself included) never thought the Yanks should have traded Prado in the first place, given his versatility and production during his short stay with the club, when he hit .316 with 16 extra-base hits (7 HR), 16 RBI and a .877 OPS over 37 games.

    Miami, which wasn't interested in trading Prado as recently as last week, has not become more open to the possibility, sources tell the New York Post's Joel Sherman, though MLB.com's Joe Frisaro says it would take "something big" to pry him loose.

    Were the Yankees to re-acquire Prado, he'd immediately replace Stephen Drew at second base while providing added insurance for Chase Headley at third base and in left field for Brett Gardner.

Could the Bronx Be San Diego's Dumping Ground?

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    Lenny Ignelzi/Associated Press

    Wednesday, July 22 at 7:10 p.m. ET

    I didn't even include speculation from ESPN's Buster Olney that San Diego's Craig Kimbrel could find his way to the Bronx on the tracker because, well, for that to happen pretty much every other team in baseball would have to pass on him, and that seemed highly unlikely.

    While I still believe Kimbrel to the Bronx isn't going to happen—and Olney says as much in his report—it may not be as far-fetched as it sounds. He's owed at least $24 million through 2017, and while that's not a massive sum, it's too rich for a handful of teams to spend on a reliever. 

    Money, as we know, is no object in the Bronx.

    But when CBS Sports' Jon Heyman suggested that the Yankees, along with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Toronto Blue Jays were the most likely landing spots for James Shields, it got me thinking—could the Yankees really wind up with both Kimbrel and Shields without surrendering a top prospect?

    By taking on Kimbrel's $24 million and the roughly $65 million that Shields is due through 2018, San Diego couldn't possibly expect to get much in the way of prospects in return. As Olney noted, gaining payroll flexibility is a priority for San Diego, and sending those two to the Bronx would certainly accomplish that.

    Again, it's highly unlikely—but it's not totally impossible.

Do Sharks Like to Swim in the Bronx River?

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    Update: Wednesday, July 22 at 6:10 p.m. ET

    While the Yankees are still talking as if they're going to sit this trade deadline out, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman believes New York is one of the most likely destinations for Chicago's Jeff Samardzija, listing the Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers and Toronto Blue Jays as the other potential landing spots.

    He goes on to make note of something that hasn't gotten a lot of attention. but should be kept in the back of every Yankee fan's head for when the offseason arrives:

    "The connection with Yankees executive Jim Hendry, who originally signed him out of Notre Dame, is well-known but may be a bigger factor come free agency."

    The Yankees typically have the advantage in free agency due to their deep pockets anyway, but having a potential inside track on Samardzija could be a huge factor in the team's thinking both at the deadline and in the offseason.

    --End of Update--

     

    Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal believes that Chicago's Jeff Samardzija, "The Shark," would be a "perfect fit" in New York.

    While he may be more of a No. 2 starter than a true ace, few pitchers have done more to raise their value as a trade chip in recent weeks than he has. Over his last six starts, Samardzija has pitched to a 2.40 ERA and 0.97 WHIP, holding the opposition to a .225/.277/.288 slash line in the process.

    I recently suggested that a package of third base prospect Eric Jagielo and pitching prospect Bryan Mitchell could be enough to entice the White Sox into a deal, but given Chicago's seemingly perpetual need for a catcher, a package may have to be built around Gary Sanchez instead.

     

Could It Really Be a Quiet Deadline in New York?

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    Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

    Update: Tuesday, July 21 at 10:15 a.m. ET

    Either the Yankees are doing their best to put as much misinformation out as they possibly can, or the Bronx Bombers really aren't planning on doing much of anything over the next 10 days.

    “I would predict it more likely not doing anything than doing something significant,” GM Brian Cashman told the New York Daily News' Mark Feinsand. “We’re making our phone calls, talking to all clubs involved. We’ve practically analyzed everything.”

    As for the glaring hole at second base, Cashman likens the current market to what he was dealing with in each of the past two winters:

    Offense is down, middle-infielder opportunities are slim-to-none. We’ve gone through this dance already when Robbie Cano signed as a free agent. We signed Brian Roberts because that was what was available. We went through it at shortstop this winter, then again with second base. You do short-term things until something declares itself over a longer period of time.

    Unless a mystery team with a stockpile of available middle infield talent suddenly enters the market, the Yankees seem set to roll with what they've got, as unimpressive as it may be.

    --End of Update--

    Update: Friday, July 17 at 10:03 a.m. ET

    While Brian Cashman didn't rule anything out in a conversation with the New York Post's George A. King III, the Yankees general manager clearly isn't in a rush to make a move.

    “I am comfortable being aggressive and comfortable passing on what other clubs want [from the Yankees]. I like our club. Can we be better? Of course. But with the [players] people are coming after, it’s easier to say no.’

    Ultimately, as I alluded to in an earlier update, what the Yankees do—or don't do—will be up to ownership.

    “I have to find out what Hal Steinbrenner wants to do,’’ Cashman said.

    --End of Update--

     

    Thursday, July 16 at 10:07 a.m. ET

    While everyone expects the Yankees to go out and add at least one high-profile piece for the stretch run, doing so is going to cost the team at least one of it's better prospects.

    But as the New York Post's Joel Sherman warns, those expectations aren't likely to be met based on the club's unofficial three-pronged approach to the trade deadline:

    1) Think about deepening/strengthening the overall roster rather than swinging big for superstars.

    2) Use the Yankees’ financial might to take on contracts that other teams want to get rid of and, in exchange, lower the prospect asking price.

    3) Part with prospects from areas of perceived organizational depth.

    While No. 2 on that list would seem to scream "Cole Hamels, duh!" Philadelphia isn't going to lower its prospect demands no matter how much of his contract the Yankees were willing to pick up. It's why Sherman thinks there's a good chance that the Yankees will make only a small trade or two—if they make anyat all.

    Yes, it's all speculation on Sherman's part and he could be way off base, but it's worth considering as a possibility given the team's long-term plans. And with the Steinbrenner family still running the show, we all understand that anything's possible.

    But there's at least a reasonable chance that Sherman is right—and that the Yankees will essentially sit the next two weeks out.