New York Yankees: 5 Big Name Prospects the Yankees Could Trade For

Phillip BrownSenior Analyst IIFebruary 9, 2012

New York Yankees: 5 Big Name Prospects the Yankees Could Trade For

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    The New York Yankees want to lower their payroll to $189 million by 2014. The best ways to lower payroll is to get younger and get rid of overpaid veterans. Players like A.J. Burnett and Rafael Soriano will be gone by 2014, so there goes a couple overpaid veterans, but what about younger players?

    Every team covets prospects but every team has a reason to trade a young top prospect. Sometimes it is because of a logjam at a certain position or because they want to sell their future in order to win now. Either way the Yankees can take advantage and stockpile young talent for the future.

    Which prospects could the Yankees target in order to get younger?

    Let's find out.

Jurickson Profar, Texas Rangers (SS)

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    Proposed Trade:

    Yankees Get: Jurickson Profar and Mike Olt

    Rangers Get: Dellin Betances, Phil Hughes, David Phelps, Nick Swisher, Eduardo Nunez and Cito Culver

    Why Should the Yankees Make This Trade?

    The left side of the Yankees' infield is 73 years old, so a couple young stars will be needed to replace them soon.

    Not just anybody can replace Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, so the Yankees need to get this right. As of right now Cito Culver and Dante Bichette, Jr. are the long term answers at shortstop and third base, but they are both in the low minors—you never know if they will pan out.

    Bichette, Jr. had a very impressive 2011 season winning MVP honors but Culver, who was the Yankees' 2011 first-round pick, was very disappointing in his first season.

    In order to raise the chances the Yankees will have two stars on the left side of the infield for years to come they must trade for Jurickson Profar and Mike Olt.

    Profar was ranked as the seventh overall prospect in baseball by's Jonathan Mayo. He hit .286/.390/.493 with 12 HR, 65 RBI, 37 doubles and eight triples to go along with 23 stolen bases during his 115-game stint in Single-A in 2011.

    Olt, on the other hand, was ranked as the fourth best third base prospect in baseball. He hit .267/.387/.504 with 14 HR, 42 RBI and 15 doubles during his 69-game stint in High-A Ball in 2011.

    The upside of Mike Olt and Jurickson Profar are hard to ignore, they could replace Rodriguez and Jeter. If Dante Bichette, Jr works out as well Olt could move to first base. That would create an Olt, Cano, Profar and Bichette infield for the future.

    Why Should the Rangers Make This Trade?

    The Texas Rangers already have a logjam in their infield.

    Elvis Andrus was just signed to a three-year $14.4 million extension, Adrian Beltre is one of the best third basemen in the majors and Ian Kinsler is an elite second baseman.

    The Rangers' currently have Mitch Moreland as their first basman. Nick Swisher has played 266 games at first base in his career and has a .994 fielding percentage while at first base. His power bat with a high on-base percentage would be very valuable to the Rangers' lineup.

    In order to replace Profar and Olt the Rangers get first round pick Cito Culver and utility man Eduardo Nunez.

    The Texas Ranger rotation is not very strong. It currently consists of Yu Darvish, Derek Holland, Colby Lewis, Matt Harrison and Neftali Feliz. Dellin Betances, who is ranked as the No. 43 overall prospect in baseball by, would instantly step into the rotation. He would allow Neftali Feliz to move back to the bullpen to close games. Phil Hughes also steps into the bullpen in long relief.

    This move helps the Rangers' rotation, bullpen and lineup.

C.J. Cron, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (1B)

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    Proposed Trade:

    Yankees Get: C.J. Cron and Peter Bourjos

    Angels Get: Phil Hughes, David Phelps and Slade Heathcott

    Why Should the Yankees Make This Trade?

    When Mark Teixeira retires who will be their new first basman? Teixera's contract is up after 2016 and projected C.J. Cron to be in the majors by late 2014.

    Cron, who ranked as the No. 4 first base prospect in baseball, is a big 6'4", 22-year-old right-handed bat that could eventually step into the middle of the Yankees' lineup. In 2011 he hit .308/.371/.629 with 13 HR and 41 RBI in 34 games in 2011, albeit in Rookie Ball.

    Peter Bourjos is a speedy outfielder that could replace Nick Swisher after 2012. Bourjos is a prototypical leadoff hitter with excellent defense. He would allow Curtis Granderson to move to right field, where he could be more effective defensively. He would also let Jeter move down to the bottom of the order as he ages.

    Why Should the Angels Make This Trade?

    The Los Angeles Angels have a huge logjam at first base and DH. Albert Pujols will be at first base for at least the next five or six years before moving to DH. In the mean time Kendrys Morales and Mark Trumbo will compete for the full-time DH spot in Spring Training.

    There simply is no room for C.J. Cron.

    The same goes for Peter Bourjos. The Angels currently have Bobby Abreu, Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells tied up to big contracts and super-prospect Mike Trout will be ready for the majors in 2012. With Trout likely in center field, and Hunter and Wells taking the corner outfield positions Bourjos is the odd-man out.

    In return the Angels will get two very talented pitchers.

    The Angels have a weak bullpen, with only two pitchers, Jordan Walden and Scott Downs, of note. Chamberlain would become the Angels' set-up man for the future. Phelps would then become their fifth starter, entering an already strong rotation.

Miguel Sano, Minnesota Twins (3B)

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    Proposed Trade:

    Yankees Get: Miguel Sano

    Twins Get: Phil Hughes, Dellin Betances, Eduardo Nunez and Austin Romine

    Why Should the Yankees Make This Trade?

    Alex Rodriguez cannot play third base forever, the Yankees will have to find a replacement for him soon.

    Dante Bichette, Jr. has a lot of talent, but Sano is in a whole new league. Sano is the No. 2 third base prospect in baseball according to In 2011 he hit .292/.352/.637 with 20 HR, 59 RBI, 20 doubles and seven triples in his 66-game stint in Rookie Ball.

    Sano is only 18 years old and is projected to be ready for the majors by 2014, which is about the time Alex Rodriguez will be moving to full-time DH.

    While Bichette, Jr. is known for his contact skills, he hit .335 with three home runs in 2011, Sano is known for his power. The chance of both of these young studs to translate well from the low minors to the majors is slim-to-none, thus a good young backup plan is always a nice idea. 

    Why Should the Twins Make This Trade?

    The Minnesota Twins are not a team that can afford to take risks. They need proven players to help rebuild their team.

    Phil Hughes and Dellin Betances give them rotation depth with a lot of upside, Eduardo Nunez gives them a nice infielder with a good bat, Austin Romine can catch while Mauer returns from injury. Mauer may not ever fully recover and may be forced to move to first base, making Romine even more valuable.

    After his injury Mauer may not be able to catch anymore, so Romine steps into the starting role. Hughes, Betances and Nunez would also start for the Twins.

    That means the Twins would be trading one very good prospect for four everyday players, including two potential All-Stars...Sounds like a good trade for them.

Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians (SS)

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    Proposed Trade:

    Yankees Get: Francisco Lindor

    Indians Get: Dellin Betances and Slade Heathcott

    Why Should the Yankees Make This Trade?

    Francisco Lindor would be a perfect fit to replace Derek Jeter at shortstop when he retires. Lindor hits for a very high average, has good power, superb defense and has good speed.

    Losing Dellin Betances will be tough but with the free agent class of 2013, led by Cole Hamels, looming the Yankees can afford to lose him. They also already have great young pitchers, such as Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda and Manny Banuelos ready to step up.

    Slade Heathcott is the Yankees' No. 3 outfield prospect behind Mason Williams and Ravel Santana, due to Heathcott's high-risk status he is not worth much to them.

    Why Should the Indians Make This Trade?

    Unfortunately for Francisco Lindor, he is blocked at shortstop by 26-year-old All-Star Asdrubal Cabrera, at second base by Jason Kipnis and at third base by Lonnie Chisenhall. There is no room for him.

    The Indians will look to trade Lindor to help their team in 2012 and the future.

    Justin Masterson and Ubaldo Jiminez anchor the Indians' current rotation with Josh Tomlin also being a key piece for the future. Dellin Betances would be an incredible addition to their rotation due to his high upside.

    Slade Heathcott is a very talented outfielder that has a chance to be a star, but he also carries significant risk.

Arodys Vizcaino, Atlanta Braves (SP)

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    Proposed Trade:

    Yankees Get: Arodys Vizcaino

    Braves Get: David Phelps, Eduardo Nunez and Slade Heathcott

    Why Should the Yankees Make This Trade?

    Don't you wish the Yankees never sent Arodys Vizcaino and Melky Cabrera to the Braves for Javier Vazquez and Boone Logan? It looks like an awful trade now, but maybe they can get one piece from that trade back.

    The New York Yankees have stockpiled quite a few great young arms, including Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda, Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances and Jose Campos. I always say you cannot have too much young pitching, and trading for Arodys Vizcano would be a great move for the Yankees.

    Vizcaino has climbed the minor league ladder fast, in 2011 he went from High-A Ball to the majors. In 114.1 innings pitched in 2011 he posted a 3.31 ERA and a 9.21 K/9. Vizcaino has a lot of talent and potential at only 21 years old.

    Why Should the Braves Make This Trade?

    Back in mid-Novemeber the Atlanta Braves were reportedly interested in Eduardo Nunez. Everybody assumed the Yankees wanted Jair Jurrjens in return, but what if the Yankees decided to call the Braves back and asked not for their ace but for a high-upside prospect instead?

    The Braves would get their coveted young infielder, along with two other good minor league players, while still keeping their pitching depth. Losing Vizcaino would be tough for most teams but the Braves still have Tommy Hanson, Jair Jurrjens, Mike Minor, Julio Teheran, Randall Delgado and Brandon Beachy, who are all 26 years old or younger.