Rumors swirled around the Yankees for the last couple of weeks, wondering if GM Brian Cashman would finally give in and trade away his prized minor league prospects, but as the non-waiver trade deadline came and passed, Cashman resisted the temptation of making a trade. And that may very well have been the best move for the Yanks.
Ubaldo Jimenez seemed to be at the forefront of most of the rumors involving the Yankees, at times seeming like the Yanks were close to getting him, but the cost was just too much.
The Rockies wanted the top two pitching prospects in the organization, Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances, in addition to Ivan Nova and top catching prospect Jesus Montero for their ace, Jimenez. A king’s ransom for a pitcher who has not been the same dominating presence on the mound as he was just one season ago, going 19-8 with 2.88 ERA.
This season, Jimenez is 6-9 with a 4.96 ERA to go along with a WHIP of 1.374 thus far, and keep in mind that those numbers were accumulated going up against underwhelming NL offenses. His velocity is also down this year, which might have played a factor in his worse numbers.
So up front, he looks like a fairly mediocre pitcher, but he is just 27 years old and even though his velocity is down from his career year in 2010 when he could top out at 98 or 99, his fastball is still almost 10 mph faster than Freddy Garcia’s. Plus his contract is very team-friendly, being under team control for the next two seasons and at a very low cost.
Should the Yankees have traded for Jimenez?
And for the Cleveland Indians, that had to be a key point in why they gave up their top two pitching prospects for him. A bold move for the Indians, who are apparently in it to win it this season. Best of luck with Ubaldo.
The Yanks were also involved with Hiroki Kuroda, Heath Bell and very late on Sunday they turned their attention to Wandy Rodriguez. But alas, no deal was struck for any player and the Yankees made no trades.
Certainly a gutsy call by GM Brian Cashman, who’s contract expires at the end of this season, and it’s a call I agree with him on.
Cashman is going to roll the dice and cross his fingers that "Steady" Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon can continue their renaissance seasons for New York, and hope that A.J. Burnett figures out how to pitch one of these days.
Most importantly, he holds on to the crown jewels of the Yankees farm system, all of whom look to play a big role in the Yankees long-term future plans.
In the meantime, he and Joe Girardi do have a nice problem to solve and that is what to do with Ivan Nova and Phil Hughes. Nova has had the better season and is in better position to help the Yankees right now than Hughes, however, Hughes was an 18-game winner last season and if he can regain that form the rotation would look a lot more formidable.
Still, it’s a nice problem to have right now and one more reason why not to trade for another starting pitcher.
All that really matters is that the Yankees stand at 64-42, 6.5 games up on the Angels for the AL Wild Card, just two games back of Boston in the AL East, with Rafael Soriano back and A-Rod on the way.
In my opinion, the future is looking bright in the Bronx. They got nothing at the deadline, but “sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand.”