New York Yankees: Jason Marquis and 10 Possible Trade Deadline Additions
There are three things we generally know about the Major League Baseball trade deadline:
1) It comes on July 31st.
2) The Yankees are expected to make at least one big move.
3) Manny Ramirez will be rumored to be going somewhere.
Wait, what? Manny retired?! Crap. Well, until another eccentric, off-kilter, possibly unstable player who doubles as an RBI machine comes around and takes Ramirez's open throne, we know two things about the MLB trade deadline.
I'll make it easy on you and limit this list to 10.
Some rumors courtesy of MLBTradeRumors.com.
1. Mark Buehrle, SP, Chicago White Sox
I don't care if Derek Jeter is on the disabled list. I don't care if Nick Swisher decided to take the first two months of the season off. I don't even care if Francisco Cervelli and/or Ramiro Pena receive regular at-bats.
The Yankees need pitching. Badly.
With Freddy Garcia and the now-injured (shocker!) Bartolo Colon anchoring this shaky rotation, the Yankees could use a steady starter to plug in. Granted, it sounds like Phil Hughes is working his way back, but no one really knows what to expect even once he's healthy.
Mark Buehrle would be a fairly ideal fit in the Bronx Bombers rotation. He's consistent (he's won 10 or more games in each of the past 10 seasons) and left-handed, which never hurts. He's also a winner. (Remember when the White Sox won the 2005 World Series? Don't worry, few of us do.) He also has a flare for the dramatic, with one no-hitter and one perfect game on his résumé.
Of course, if the White Sox refuse to part with their ace, there are other southpaws who may be on the trading block, including...
2. Paul Maholm, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates
What would be the real-life equivalent of going from the Pittsburgh Pirates to the New York Yankees? Moving from North Dakota to Maui?
While you ponder that, let me enlighten you with some possibly surprising numbers: 3.29 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and a deceiving 3-8 win-loss record. Paul Maholm has had a solid year, and all the Yankees need is a solid starter.
Granted, the Yankees haven't had much success with the Pirates' sloppy seconds (see: Wilson, Craig; Nady, Xavier; and Marte, Damaso.) But, um, this time it's a starting pitcher!
3. Wandy Rodriguez, SP, Houston Astros
Let's stay on the Southpaw Express and welcome Wandy Rodriguez. He may be the most talented left-handed starter available, though his career .500 record (67-67) would tell you otherwise.
There are a couple of potential snags here, though. One, the Houston Astros view Rodriguez as an ace, while the Yankees would potentially view him as a middle-of-the-rotation starter. Two, Rodriguez is signed through 2013 with a 2014 option.
And three—and this is probably the toughest snafu—I don't think anyone is sure how Alex Rodriguez would respond to a teammate sharing his surname. (You ever wonder why Ivan Rodriguez was only in New York for half a season? Other than the fact that he couldn't really hit or catch particularly well, that is.)
4. Kerry Wood, RP, Chicago Cubs
The Yankees could also use some relief in the bullpen. (Ba-dum-cha.)
The perfect fit, it seems, would be Kerry Wood, who has had a good year back in in the Friendly Confines. He currently sports a 2.25 ERA and has 21 strikeouts in 24 innings.
There's just one little problem: He reportedly left about $8.5 million on the table to sign with the Cubs last offseason instead of with the Yankees. Why he would suddenly want to go back to New York, where he happened to pitch exceptionally well, is beyond me, but it would certainly bolster a bullpen that's ravaged by injuries.
5. Francisco Rodriguez, RP, New York Mets
Now comes that awkward moment when I have to address the lousy joke I made two slides ago, saying that Alex Rodriguez couldn't tolerate the presence of another "Rodriguez" on the roster. Because I'm sure he would be very welcoming indeed, particularly of a pitcher who has owned A-Rod in his career (2-for-17 with 10 strikeouts).
K-Rod would also be a tremendous boost for the Yankees bullpen, and trading for him would simultaneously help out their crosstown rivals, regardless of what the Bombers give up in exchange.
K-Rod has an interesting feature in his contract, a stipulation that dictates that, should Rodriguez finish 55 or more games in 2011, his 2012 option worth $17.5 million would automatically kick in.
The Mets, who still use K-Rod as their closer (obviously), would love to not have to worry about that, especially as they have quite a few other financial problems to deal with.
The Yankees, meanwhile, could use Rodriguez more sparingly, as he would not be asked to close out games as long as Mariano Rivera is healthy. Even if K-Rod did reach the magical number, the Yankees never really consider money much of an object anyway.
6. Carlos Beltran, RF, New York Mets
As long as we brought up that friendly Subway Series rivalry, let's talk about Carlos Beltran.
On its face, this move would seem rather pointless. Beltran is best-suited as a designated hitter in the wake of his well-documented injury history, and the Yankees seem fairly committed to Jorge Posada in that role.
However, if the Yankees did make a move for Beltran, it could potentially bring a newfound balance to the lineup. Posada still doesn't regularly hit against left-handed pitching anyway, and Nick Swisher could feel what would maybe be some necessary sense of competition. Beltran is a switch-hitter, which the Yankees always seem to cherish, and he has enough experience to possibly be able to add something to the veteran atmosphere in the clubhouse.
You know, he could tell stories from that historic 2004 postseason in which he hit eight home runs. If there's one thing the Yankees franchise embraces, it's stories of individual triumph in the playoffs.
7. Jose Reyes, SS, New York Mets
Now, from the This-Won't-Happen-Unless-The-Planets-Are-In-Some-Crazy-Alignment-Or-The-Yankees-Decide-To-Slap-Derek-Jeter-In-The-Face Department, we have Jose Reyes.
Quite the opposite of Beltran, a trade for Reyes would actually make sense for the Yankees. A dynamic leadoff hitter and a solid defensive shortstop, Reyes is a unique ballplayer who is an obvious upgrade, talent-wise, over the Yankees' current shortstop.
But that current shortstop is still Derek Jeter.
Even putting PR aside, a trade for a top-of-the-line replacement while Jeter still has a couple of years left on his contract would be unspeakable. It would be disrespectful, it could disrupt team chemistry...
...and yet it would make sense.
Taking away the names of the players, anyone in the world would take Jose Reyes over Derek Jeter in 2011. (Just so you know, I feel my heart self-combusting right now.) Reyes is younger, faster and, to be frank, better at this stage of their respective careers.
Still (this is the last waffle, I promise), it ultimately cannot be done. Jeter means far too much to this current roster and to this franchise to be treated like that.
8. Ryan Dempster, SP, Chicago Cubs
Three reasons why the Yankees wouldn't be stupid to acquire Ryan Dempster:
1. He's not Carlos Zambrano.
2. They know exactly what they're getting: a pretty consistent, above-average starter who will give up a lot of hits but also strike out his fair share.
3. He knows how to pay his respects to past and present greats.
9. Jason Marquis, SP, Washington Nationals
Another reliable starter, Jason Marquis is having a really nice season for the Nationals. He is now 7-2 with an ERA under four.
More important than that, though, Marquis is either a born winner or a lucky charm. (Or both, I suppose.) Before coming to Washington, Marquis spent the first 10 years of his career on teams that made the playoffs—and that included two seasons with the Cubs!
He's like the Eric Hinske of starting pitchers (Hinske made the playoffs four consecutive years with four different clubs)—and the Yankees won the World Series with Eric Hinske on the team in 2009. Just sayin'.
10. Aaron Harang, SP, San Diego Padres
If you looked up the definition of "rental" in the dictionary, you'd see a picture of 2011 Aaron Harang.
After going a combined 34-44 in his previous four seasons, Harang is off to a remarkable start this year, currently standing at 7-2 with a 3.71 ERA. The Padres are going nowhere fast, and Harang will be a free agent after this season.
Really, what is there to lose? If the Yankees have proven anything over the past decade, it's that seemingly no-name starting pitchers can come up huge when they're needed most.
Ah, Aaron Small and Shawn Chacon—you two made the 2005 season worthwhile, even if the White Sox ended up winning the World Series no one remembers now.
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