New York Yankees: 10 Players on the Yankees' Wish List This Holiday Season

Phillip BrownSenior Analyst IIDecember 3, 2011

New York Yankees: 10 Players on the Yankees' Wish List This Holiday Season

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    Winter GM Meetings in Dallas, Texas are coming up this week and so far Brian Cashman and the New York Yankees have been quiet, but they are the Yankees and will probably make at least one move.

    The Yankees' No. 1 need is pitching but they could use a bat due to their horrible ALDS against the Detroit Tigers.

    Let's look at 10 players on the Yankees' wish list this December.

Yu Darvish

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    2011 Stats:
    232.0 IP, 18-6, 1.44 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 276 K, 35 BB

    Yu Darvish is a 25-year-old Japanese pitching phenom. Most people try to compare Darvish to other Japanese pitchers, such as Daisuke Matsuzaka and Kei Igawa, but these comparisons are just not fair because he is a better and more complete pitcher than both of them.

    Average of last five seasons in Japan:

    Darvish: 205 IP, 17-5, 1.71 ERA, 219 Ks

    Matsuzaka: 163 IP, 13-7, 2.62 ERA, 169 Ks

    Igawa: 200 IP, 15-9, 3.13 ERA, 190 Ks

    Darvish pitched the most innings, had the best record, by far the best ERA and the most strikeouts even though he was the youngest of the three. Darvish also has at least seven pitches and tops out on the radar gun at 100 miles per hour.

    One of the best reasons the Yankees should go after Darvish instead somebody like C.J. Wilson is that Darvish's posting fee would not count against the luxury tax.

    The Japanese baseball may be smaller, which allows for higher velocity, but it also has less prominent seams, which creates less movement on off-speed pitches.

    The mound in the majors is also harder and a different height than in Japan. The switch to the majors may be a difficult one, but I think Darvish has a chance to become the first very successful Japanese pitcher in the majors.

Yoennis Cespedes

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     2011 Stats:
    .333/.424/.667, 1.091 OPS, 33 HR, 99 RBI

    The 26-year-old—if you trust his birth certificate—Cuban defector is a sensational player who can make a big impact in the majors. He recently released an amazing 20-minute video showcasing his talents.

    Cespedes is said to be a rare five-tool player, which is a player who excels at hitting for average, power, baserunning speed, throwing ability and fielding.

    If the Yankees can sign Cespedes, and he pans out, he will be the steal of the offseason because he will cost only somewhere between $8 million and $10 million per year over five years.

    The Yankees are reportedly among the teams most interested in him, so that is a good start.

Jorge Soler

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    No Stats Available

    Many people may not know who Jorge Soler is, but the 19-year-old Cuban defector has serious talent.

    Jorge Soler may not be as well-rounded as Yoennis Cespedes, but they are very similar. Both Soler and Cespedes play in the outfield and are legitimate five-tool players.

    Soler will come much cheaper than Cespedes, but because of his age he has the potential to become a much better player in the long run. Her may start his career in the minor leagues but he will be in the majors by 2013.

David Ortiz

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    2011 Stats:
    .309/.398/.554, .953 OPS, 29 HR, 96 RBI, 1 SB

    In an interview with ESPN's Colleen Dominguez, David Ortiz had some interesting words about his upcoming free agency. After the dugout issues came to light Ortiz said how he felt about it: "There's too much drama. I have been thinking about a lot of things. I don't know if I want to be part of this drama for next year."

    When asked directly if he would consider signing with the Yankees he responded, "That's something I gotta think about."

    Perhaps the most telling quote of Ortiz's is:

    "It's great from what I hear," Ortiz said about the Yankees, "It's a good situation to be involved in. Who doesn't want to be involved in a great situation where everything goes the right way?

    "They lost just like we did, they just went to the first round of the playoffs. I ain't heard nobody coming out killing everybody just because they lost."

    It sounds like Ortiz would consider not only leaving Boston but also consider following in Johnny Damon's footsteps and jumping to the other side of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry.

    The Yankees could use a short-term option at DH and Ortiz would fit the bill. If he wants a two-year deal I expect the Yankees to coming knocking but I doubt the Yankees will give him more than two years and a team option.

Prince Fielder

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    2011 Stats:
    .299/.415/.566, .981 OPS, 38 HR, 120 RBI, 1 SB

    Prince Fielder makes a lot of sense for the Yankees. He is one of CC Sabathia's best friends and the Yankees have a hole to fill at DH if they decide to trade Jesus Montero for a front-of-the-rotation pitcher.

    His left-handed swing is tailor-made for Yankee Stadium and he is 28 years old; he could hit 50 HRs for another four or five years. I am certain the Yankees will make him an offer.

    Despite this I seriously doubt the Yankees will make a major push for Fielder. His contract will be too expensive for a team who's No. 1 need is pitching.

Mark Buehrle

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    2011 Stats:
    205.1 IP, 13-9, 3.59 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 109 K, 45 BB 

    Surprisingly, Mark Buehrle is only 32 years old. Nonetheless, he would only be a short-term answer for the Yankees. He is by far the safest player on this list, but his upside is not great either. Buehrle will get you about 16 wins and an ERA around 3.50.

    The Yankees need another left-handed starting pitcher to combat the lefty-heavy Boston Red Sox lineup.

    Buehrle may not be the big-time free agent some Yankee fans want, but he would not command nearly the same number of years or amount of money and would help stabilize the rotation. He would be a great addition to the Yankees rotation, and I would be very happy if the Yankees signed him to a short-term deal.

Tim Lincecum

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    2011 Stats:
    217.0 IP, 13-14, 2.74 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 220 K, 86 BB

    I gave my full view on Tim Lincecum here but I will summarize my thoughts right here.

    Tim Lincecum will be very expensive due to his two Cy Young Awards, age (27 years old), 2.98 career ERA and his 2.43 ERA in 37 innings of postseason work.

    Most people would wonder why the Giants would trade a pitcher like this—and the answer is to free up money to sign a big-time free agent hitter and because Lincecum has not yet signed an extension to stay in San Francisco.

    Lincecum is a great pitcher, but some people question his long-term arm health because it could be jeopardized by his unorthodox delivery. I am not one of those people and I would make the trade stated above for Lincecum.

    With a very strong rotation and a weak offense, Giants GM Brian Sabean would be wise to at least listen to the Yankees regarding his ace.

Gio Gonzalez

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    2011 Stats:
    202.0 IP, 16-12, 3.12 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 197 K, 91 BB

    Gio Gonzalez is a very good 26-year old lefty so he will already cost a lot. Throw in the fact that he is under team control until 2016, had a good 2010 season (200.2 IP, 3.23 ERA) and that he has pitched in the AL and he will be expensive.

    Any trade for Gonzalez will start with Dellin Betances and Phil Hughes.

    Gonzalez is a very good pitcher but is an unknown and had a tough time pitching against the best teams in the AL in 2011. Gonzalez posted a 6.17 ERA vs. Boston, 8.18 ERA vs. NYY and a 4.22 ERA vs. Texas.

Felix Hernandez

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    2011 Stats:
    233.2 IP, 14-14, 3.47 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 222 K, 67 BB

    Felix Hernandez would cost a King's ransom and this is a wish list, not a list of probabilities. I do not think the Mariners would trade Hernandez, but Cashman will pick up the phone and call Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik to inquire about his availability.

    This is a tough one because while Hernandez would be very expensive he is also only 25 years old and before last year posted two straight seasons of a sub-2.50 ERA in the AL against teams with a DH.

    Hernandez also has pitched six straight 200-inning seasons, owns a Cy Young Award and is under team control until after the 2014 season.

    Some people question his mental makeup but personally I don't think there is anything wrong with him.

Mike Moustakas

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    2011 Stats:
    .263/.309/.367, .676 OPS, 5 HR, 30 RBI, 2 SB 

    Mike Moustakas is the Kansas City Royals' top prospect. He spent his first season in the majors in 2011 and while he was not spectacular, he showed flashes of brilliance.

    Moustakas plays third base and would be a great replacement for Alex Rodriguez as he makes the transition to DH in the next two or three years.

    The Royals probably would not trade their prize prospect but again this is a wish list, not probable moves.