Ubaldo Jimenez has been among the top tier players on the trading block in the last couple of weeks, and as the days remaining to the trade deadline get fewer and fewer, and the Rockies' asking price for their ace evades a markdown of any sort, I feel very confident in saying that the Yankees will not have Ubaldo Jimenez on the roster on August 1.
These are the same Yankees who are considered the front runners for the hurler by many highly acclaimed sports writers across the nation.
Oddly enough, many of these same writers have noted that Yankees GM Brian Cashman has noted that top prospects Dellin Betances, Manny Banuelos, Austin Romine, and Jesus Montero are going nowhere.
Even more oddly enough, the Rockies have requested three of the four untouchables in return for Jimenez, and have also publicly noted, according to ESPN's Jayson Stark, that they would need "three sure-thing young players, including one pitcher who goes into their rotation immediately". The starter to be immediately put into their rotation would likely be Ivan Nova.
Seeing this indicates that although the Yankees may be the number one contenders for Jimenez at this time, there is an obvious wall that both teams will eventually run into. Hopefully the Yankees don't value Jimenez so highly that they be inclined to break through this wall, conceding to the Rockies' outrageous demands for their overrated starter.
This all being said, I firmly believe that Cashman is a wise GM and, if nothing else, understands the value that his top prospects offer to the welfare of the Yankees' lineup, or to future trade possibilities that wouldn't be as lopsided.
Here are five acquisitions Cashman could make to the Bombers instead.
Although Kuroda has stated that he doesn't particularly want to leave the West coast, and he has a full no trade clause to veto any trade offer that he sees, the Dodgers believe, according to Danny Knobler of CBSsports, that Kuroda could be persuaded to waive his no trade clause.
What is the best tool for persuasion I wonder?
Enter Brian Cashman.
Knobler maintains that an incentive of $1-2M to waive the no trade clause could be in order, and with $6M of his $12M contract being owed to him after the deadline, the price of Kuroda steadily rises.
However, the Yankees print money, and with a 3.19 ERA, 6.9 K/9, 2.3 BB/9, 0.99 HR/9, and 43.2% groundball rate in 127 innings its a small price to pay.
Especially when you consider Jimenez stats in 2011. A 4.20 ERA, 8.6K/9, 3.5 BB/9, .70 HR/9 line is far too similar to Kuroda's, with significantly higher walks per nine innings, and ERA, to yield New York's most coveted prospects.
Assuming Kuroda is like most other human beings, and can be squired by money incentives, I expect that New York could make an offer to LA (one that would likely require none of their top prospects) and Kuroda could be in pinstripes before August 1.
The Yankees have been subtly searching for a lefty reliever in hopes to land a cheap hurler who can take some of the pressure off of Boone Logan, as well as provide a strong solution for left handed hitters.
According to the New York Post, Chicago had scouts at the Yankees' game last night, which makes the acquisition of the 33 year old reliever a bit more realistic.
Grabow has allowed only 15 hits, 1 HR, 8 RBI, a .238 BA, and .314 OBP to left handed hitters in 2011, making him a very attractive, cheap left handed relief option for the Yankees.
New York will be certainly making a move for a lefty relief pitcher or two, and Grabow is one of the best available options and would cost very little to acquire.
Gio Gonzalez has looked like an ace this year in Oakland's rotation, posting a 9-7 record, with a 2.67 ERA, and 124 K's in 124 innings of work.
He is among one of the up and coming top tier starting pitchers in the league, and although Oakland hasn't opened up talks for their ace yet, there is still a great deal of hope that the Yankees would be able to sway Billy Beane into favour of trading him.
Gonzalez is at the end of his contract, which pays him $420,000 this year.
If Beane wants to keep him, its going to cost him a great deal more that that, and he can expect Gonzalez would be looking for at least 3-4 years in a new contract, giving him anywhere from $8-12M per year.
The father of the Moneyball strategy isn't characteristically a man who would offer a contract of this nature, and an offer including one of New York's coveted starters in Manny Banuelos, or Dellin Betances is a reasonable trade that would benefit both organizations.
The Yankees wouldn't have to part ways with the kind of prospects that Colorado is looking for, but could send one away and get a young, lights out starter to follow up CC Sabathia in the rotation.
Look for talks of this trade to surface any time between now and Sunday.
Tyler Clippard is an ex Yankee, and as New York looks to bolster their bullpen up a little bit for the final stretch, the righty with a 1.73 ERA, and 72 K's through 57.1 innings could share innings with Rafael Soriano upon his return, and provide security in the late relief innings while Soriano eases his way back into the bullpen, or even be shifted to a middle relief position to setup for Soriano, who could enter games in the 7th or 8th innings.
Clippard's 57.1 innings is the most of any pitcher in the Yankees' bullpen, and his 1.73 ERA is within 20 points of David Roberton - New York's most effective relief pitcher - with almost 20 more innings of work.
The Nationals have made it public that Clippard is on the block according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, and with the recent struggles the Yankees' bullpen have been having you can bet New York will have their eyes on Washington's setup man.
The Yankees haven't opened discussions with the Chicago club yet, but in their search for an adequate starting pitcher and with a deal for Ubaldo Jimenez seeming more and more unrealistic, you can be certain Danks will be on New York's radar.
Danks is a point under a 4.00 ERA, posting 3.99 in 101 innings with 71 K's and only three wins, but Danks has posted three straight seasons prior to 2011 with a sub 4.00 ERA and is coming off of a 15-win season.
With the way that the Yankees' bats have been performing in 2011, Danks will have a lot of support and would look to greatly increase his win percentage.
Although Gio Gonzalez would be a better option for New York, Oakland has yet to open talks about him, and he would come at a much higher price than Danks, who could be a suitable starter in the third spot in the rotation for the Yankees for a cheaper price.
Expect the Sox and Yankees to open discussions on Danks in the next couple days, and if the price is right for Brian Cashman, don't be surprised to see a deal for the young starter be completed.