The New York Yankees have a luxury that most other teams in baseball do not have: the ability to absorb as much of a contract as needed in order to make the best trade possible.
With many high-priced targets available on the market this year, the Yankees may be able to pry a player or two away from a team for less than market value.
Although these players may not be necessary to make the playoffs, acquiring them could likely push the Yankees over the top as World Series favorites.
The likelihood of acquiring these players is quite low, but it can’t hurt to dream on it.
Carlos Beltran’s name has surfaced in connection with as many as seven or eight teams (Phillies, Braves, Giants, Rangers, Red Sox, Pirates, Indians and Cardinals), but the Yankees are rarely mentioned as a suitor.
Contrary to many beliefs, the Yankees and Mets have made trades before, and it is possible for them to do so again.
The Yankees don’t necessarily have a need for Beltran in their outfield, but they could certainly use an upgrade at designated hitter, where the aging Jorge Posada is severely underperforming.
Beltran has expressed reluctance to become a full-time DH, but the Yankees could easily get him in the outfield four or five days a week since they like to use the DH spot to give players half-days off and occasionally sit Brett Gardner against tough lefties.
It is arguable whether a starting pitcher or a late-inning reliever is the Yankees’ top need heading into the trade deadline.
What is not arguable is that Heath Bell is the best available relief pitcher on the market.
With the Yankees having sustained multiple injuries to the back end of their bullpen, Bell would be a great fit.
David Robertson has really stepped up in the wake of injuries to Pedro Feliciano, Joba Chamberlain and the soon-to-be-returning Rafael Soriano, but adding Bell would essentially make any contest against the Yankees a six-inning affair, much like the days of Lloyd-Stanton-Nelson-Rivera.
Joakim Soria is not having the best season this year, so one would think the Kansas City Royals might finally lower their asking price in exchange for the former All-Star closer.
However, Soria is still likely to be as hard to acquire as ever.
The Yankees have been connected to Soria rumors for years and could obviously use him to solidify the back end of their bullpen.
He is also young enough that he could be viewed as a potential heir to Mariano Rivera, if Rivera ever slows down and retires.
Though Ubaldo Jimenez doesn’t have much of a track record to speak of, he has proven that when he is on his game, he is capable of being the best starting pitcher in all of baseball.
The Colorado Rockies’ current asking price for Jimenez is astronomical, and the Yankees should not give in to their demands.
Surrendering their top three prospects – Jesus Montero, Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances – along with Ivan Nova (and possibly more) is simply too much to pay for Jimenez.
If, however, those demands were to come down, then the Yankees should get interested quickly. Pairing Jimenez with C.C. Sabathia at the top of the rotation would give the Yankees a leg up in any playoff series.
The Yankees will always be connected with whoever the best player on the market is, and though the Mariners are insisting they will not trade him, Felix Hernandez is that player.
Last year’s American League Cy Young award winner is one of the best starting pitchers in baseball, period.
This is the type of pitcher that you give up the farm for, and you’d think that if the Mariners came calling, the Yankees would pretty much fall over themselves to get this guy.
However, there might be some bad blood between the organizations due to the Cliff Lee fiasco last season, where the Yankees thought they had a trade for a top flight starter only to find out later that the Mariners had shopped their deal around looking for a better offer.
In C.C. Sabathia and Hernandez, the Yankees would have two of the top 10 starters in all of baseball and would be a force to be reckoned with for years on end.