How much is that Beltran in the window?
With the July 31 trade deadline fast approaching, New York Yankees fans are wondering if the Bronx Bombers will make any big moves, and if they do, just what will it cost.
I've already discussed how I think this year's trade deadline will be quiet, so for the sake of this article I'm going to play Devil's Advocate for a bit and see what will be asked for by the team trying to trade them.
What I believe to be reasonable for the Yankees to give up and my thoughts on what the chance of the Yankees getting the player would be.
Out of all the players that are on the "trade market," I decided to look at 10 of them. So let's get started with the best player available, Carlos Beltran.
Note: This list is not in any kind of order. It's simply just a list of players available.
With the Mets already saying they'd pay for the remaining salary on Beltran's contract, this means they will ask for a lot in return.
I fully expect the Mets to ask for Jesus Montero, Ivan Nova, Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos (you'll see this package several times in the remaining slide) at a minimum.
I wouldn't be surprised if they also ask for a couple more prospects or even a player already on the Yankees MLB roster such as Ramiro Pena or Eduardo Nunez too boot.
Beltran is the best player available on the market and even with the Mets willing to pick up the final $6 million of his contract, he is still a free agent to be, and that's a high price to get him.
The Yankees also have to figure out what they would do with Beltran. Is he the DH? Is he the right fielder? What would that mean for Jorge Posada and/or Nick Swisher?
This is the kind of move George Steinbrenner would have been all over. Thankfully, his sons and Brian Cashman have shown that they will not mortgage the future to win now.
The Yankees should counter with Montero, Nova and Nunez. Montero's time and opportunity with the Yankees is running short. Nova has been pretty good (I believe Betances and Banuelos will be better in the long run) and Nunez is going to be stuck as a platoon player until Derek Jeter retires.
This deal would give the Mets a catching/first base prospect in Montero, a young pitcher in Nova and a player that can play third or short with an above-average bat.
While the Yankees offense has sputtered as of late with Alex Rodriguez on the DL, I do expect the Yankees to go after a big bat (not just pitching as initially thought) but think the Mets will simply demand too much.
I put the chances of the Yankees acquiring Beltran at less than 25 percent.
While Jimenez' contract is fantastic (less than $6 million a year for the next two years with a team option in the second year), his performance this year (at least compared to the first half of last season) along with the health concerns his delivery brings up, make this is a very high price to pay.
The Yankees have pretty much said that Banuelos and Betances are "untouchable" (which, as a Yankees fan, makes me very very happy).
There is no need for the Rockies to trade their young pitcher right now, so they will simply decline any and all trades unless they get exactly what they want.
While starting pitching is a huge need for the Yankees going forward this season, they can (and should) get a No. 2 or 3 starter elsewhere that would cost much less.
They already have an "ace" in CC Sabathia (who, even if he opts out after the season, will simply re-sign with the Yankees for more money), so overpaying for an "ace" that isn't pitching at the "ace" level simply doesn't make sense in the long run.
I put the chances of the Yankees trading for Jimenez at less than 10 percent.
If the Padres do decide to trade Heath Bell, they will ask for a king's ransom in return. I wouldn't be surprised if they ask for all the young pitchers and Jesus Montero.
With Rafael Soriano due to return shortly from the DL and Dave Robertson having a fantastic season, there simply is no need for the New York Yankees to go after Bell.
I put the chances of the Yankees acquiring Bell at zero.
Aramis Ramirez does have a no-trade clause, but, if he waives it and does get traded, his option for 2012 automatically gets picked up.
The Chicago Cubs will probably, like every other team dealing with the Yankees, ask for Montero, Betances and Banuelos at a minimum.
However, because Ramirez' option automatically gets picked up after the trade, he is an expensive player, so the Yankees can offer less for him. I think the Yankees could offer Montero, Brackman and maybe one other mid-level prospect (or a pitcher like Nova or Noesi).
I do think this is the one move the Yankees will make. Having Ramirez to play third and moving Alex Rodriguez to DH (sorry Jorge Posada, but that pretty much means your time in pinstripes is over) would be a fantastic move for the Yankees and would give them the one big bat their offense seems to need since A-Rod went on the DL.
I put the chances of acquiring Ramirez at 50/50.
Hiroki Kuroda has a no-trade clause, and it's believed he doesn't want to play on the East Coast at all.
What this means is one of two things: either the Dodgers will ask the world for him or because most of the teams that want him are on the East Coast they might not receive many offers for him so the price will go down.
While Kuroda is one of the better pitchers available, the Yankees shouldn't give up too much for him. Montero and a pitcher like Brackman should be it.
I would be concerned about him not pitching well because he's so far from home being on the East Coast. With a risk like that, you simply don't want to give up a lot on what would be one of the riskiest moves out there.
I put the chances of acquiring Kuroda at less than five percent (mainly from him not waiving his no-trade clause not because the Dodgers don't like the package the Yankees offer).
The problem with that is the price will keep going up and up. At a minimum it would cost the Yankees, Montero, Betances, Banuelos and Nova.
Pence has the most upside of any hitter available and will be worth the high price someone pays for him. The Yankees shouldn't pay the high price for Pence that the Astros will demand and by picking up Pence it will pretty much guarantee that Nick Swisher's option for next year wouldn't get picked up.
I put the chances at the Yankees acquiring Pence at less than 10 percent. I don't think the Yankees want to get into a bidding war to obtain him.
Jason Kubel is an underrated DH that has recently come of the DL. The injury concern should keep his price down.
However, the Twins love to ask for the world from the Yankees (just look at what they asked for when trying to trade Johan Santana) and I believe they will do so again.
While having Kubel on the Yankees would be great, the price would be too high for a player that wouldn't really have a roster spot on the Yankees.
The DH position is pretty much locked up for the next decade between Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira and others needing to spend time as the DH as they get older.
I put the chances of acquiring Kubel at less than 15 percent.
Wandy Rodriguez is an interesting case. He's what the Yankees truly need: a back-of-the-rotation pitcher that I believe would succeed in the AL East.
However, as is the case with Hunter Pence, the Astros will have several teams going after Rodriguez, so the price will keep going up.
If the Yankees can get him for Jesus Montero and one or two lower-tier prospects, they should pull the trigger. The problem is I simply don't see the Astros accepting that low of a bid.
I put the chances of acquiring Wandy at less than 10 percent.
The Yankees did pick up Ted Lilly last season on waivers, until the Dodgers pulled him back.
Lilly is having a rough year, so the asking price should be relatively low. The Dodgers shouldn't even ask for Montero in this deal. Instead, I believe they will ask for a couple mid-tier prospects such as Andrew Brackman.
If the Dodgers keep the price low, the Yankees should jump all over this deal.
I do believe that Lilly is the one starting pitcher the Yankees get at the deadline.
I put the chances of acquiring Lilly at 95 percent. Welcome back to the Yankees!
Mike Adams is a great reliever for the Padres. However, just like in the case of Heath Bell, the Padres will ask for the world for him.
I believe the Padres will ask for even more than what they would ask for Heath Bell. I believe the package would include Montero, Betances, Banuelos, Nova, Noesi and maybe even a player currently on the roster such as Nunez, and once other teams such as the Phillies get in the mix, the price will keep going up.
While having Adams would give the Yankees the lock-down bullpen they thought they had when they signed Soriano, there's simply no need to give up the future to get a player at an already crowded position for the Yankees.
I put the chances at acquiring Adams at less than five percent.
The players listed here are just the tip of the iceberg for what's available.
Players such as James Shields and B.J. Upton of the Tampa Bay Rays are also available, but I don't believe the Rays will trade them within the division, and if they did, the cost would be sky-high.
What Brian Cashman and the Yankees have to do is remember that as of today, they're within shouting distance of the AL East title and are secure as the Wild Card for now, so they shouldn't break the bank to obtain any player.
They simply need to find a couple role-players and back-of-the-rotation starters to solidify the team.
Don't mortgage the future by giving up future aces in Betances and Banuelos for example. The Yankees can win the World Series with what they have now (it won't be easy though), but they can also win in years to come if they play it smart at the trade deadline.
As always, the final week of the trade deadline is going to be exciting and teams will make or break their season and their coming seasons based on what they do this week.