MLB Trade Rumors: Analyzing Each Top Yankees Prospect's Odds of Being Moved

Shaun McPartlinCorrespondent IIIMarch 22, 2011

MLB Trade Rumors: Analyzing Each Top Yankees Prospect's Odds of Being Moved

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    SCOTTSDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 23:  New York Yankees prospect Manuel Banuelos playing for the Phoenix Desert Dogs pitches against the Scottsdale Scorpions during the AZ Fall League game at Scottsdale Stadium on October 23, 2010 in Scottsdale, Arizona.  (Photo b
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    The Yankees farm system has produced some big-time prospects as of late.

    Phil Hughes, Robinson Cano, Joba Chamberlain and Jesus Montero are just a few home-grown talents that have or are ready to make a splash at the big leagues.

    But not all of the blue-chip prospects the Yankees have in their arsenal break into the bigs wearing pinstripes.

    Austin Jackson was part of the Curtis Granderson deal and debuted with the Detroit Tigers.

    Ian Kennedy showed flashes of brilliance during his limited time in the majors with the Yankees, but he was dealt to the Arizona Diamondbacks which was also a part of the Granderson deal. 

    Some players are looked at as untouchable, but others can be moved. If the right deal is put on the table, sometimes it is just too hard to say no, regardless of the potential an unproven player might have.

    It is just a chance that any general manager has to take.

Jesus Montero

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    TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 21:  Jesus Montero #83 of the New York Yankees works out during the second day of full teams workouts at Spring Training on February 21, 2011 at the George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
    Leon Halip/Getty Images

    Whenever a trade has been put on the table, Jesus Montero has been the centerpiece of the deal.

    When the Mariners were looking to part ways with Cliff Lee, Montero was the blue-chip prospect the Yankees would have to send to the West Coast.

    When that deal fell through, Montero stepped his game up and finished 2010 with a .289 BA, 21 HR and 75 RBI.

    He proved to the Yankees that he is ready to make his debut. 

    With Francisco Cervelli going down with an injury this spring, the door opened up for Montero to solidify himself as the Russell Martin's backup catcher.

    Since Martin is also signed through 2011, this is the perfect opportunity for Montero to showcase his skill set we have heard so much about. 

    If Montero has not been moved yet, there is a slim chance that he will be moved now, but I wouldn't put anything past Brian Cashman if the right deal presented itself.

    That being said, the chance of Montero being shipped out of the Bronx is a mere 5 percent. 

Andrew Brackman

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    TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 25:  Andrew Brackman #64 of the New York Yankees poses for a photo during Spring Training Media Photo Day at George M. Steinbrenner Field on February 25, 2010 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    Andrew Brackman made a big splash this spring. He came in and really turned some heads with his size—the guy is 6'11"—and his maturity. 

    Then things took a turn for the worse.

    Brackman strained a groin muscle and took a back seat to the play of teammates Dellin Betances and Manny Baneulos.

    When he was cleared to resume pitching, Brackman showed command of fastball and the ability to throw a decent curveball. Larry Rothschild and Joe Girardi were impressed.

    Brackman was recently optioned to AAA, but this was not before Girardi expressed interest in possibly bringing him up during the course of the year as a bullpen option.

    This move will only benefit him, as he has at times struggled in the minors, going 10-11 with a 3.90 ERA across A and AA-ball. 

    Brackman has shown the ability to compete at the major-league level, but Betances and Banuelos have shown more promise this spring. Due to the performance of the other two Killer B's, Brackman is expendable.

    A deal is not certain, but I wouldn't be shocked at all if he was part of midseason trade if the Yankees struggle.

    The chance of Brackman setting sail is around 35 percent.

Manny Banuelos

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    TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 23:  Manuel Banuelos #92 of the New York Yankees poses for a portrait on Photo Day at George M. Steinbrenner Field on February 23, 2011 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Banuelos has been compared by catcher Russell Martin to Clayton Kershaw, the ace of the Dodger's staff.

    That should not be overlooked. I can't stress that enough.

    The Yankees have something special in this young south-paw. 

    He was finally tagged for two runs against the Rays. This was after a streak of eight scoreless innings against quality big-league lineups.

    A home run was hit by Dan Johnson, who will most likely be the Rays' starting first baseman this season. Banuelos whiffed the B.J. Upton, showing the poise he possesses, which is beyond his years. 

    Manny throws in the mid-90s, has a big-league changeup and is working on a nasty curveball.

    We can put the "untouchable" tag on Banuelos now. He is the future ace of this Yankee staff and there is a zero percent chance that he will wear anything other than pinstripes.

Austin Romine

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    ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 11:  U.S. Futures All-Star Austin Romine #4 of the New York Yankees looks on during the 2010 XM All-Star Futures Game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 11, 2010 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Romine can be lost in the catcher shuffle.

    The Yankees have a strength where other teams have a glaring weakness. They have three catchers who could be the future backstops for any team in the league.

    With names like Jesus Montero and Gary Sanchez, Austin Romine flies under the radar.

    Romine may not be the athlete Sanchez is and have the bat that Montero does, but he is the most solid defensive catcher the Yankees have in the ranks.

    He is no slouch at the plate, though. He hit .268 with 10 HR at AA last season.

    With depth at the catching position, Romine could be packaged in a deal for a major league-ready player. Montero is set to break the bigs this season and the Yankees want to see how Sanchez develops, as he is still raw.

    The chance of Romine being traded is around 45 percent. 

Dellin Betances

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    FORT MYERS, FL - MARCH 14:  Pitcher Dellin Betances #72 of the New York Yankees pitches against the Boston Red Sox during a Grapefruit League Spring Training Game at City of Palms Park on March 14, 2011 in Fort Myers, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Im
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Betances has made the most out of his time with the big boys this spring. He has been erratic at times, but has also been lights-out.

    In his debut, he was able to fan Manny Ramirez and Evan Longoria. When he found himself in trouble, he kept his composure and worked out of the jam.

    In his last appearance before being option to AA, he plunked a batter with his first pitch, walked two and threw two wild pitches. Even though this was not his best performance, Girardi liked that his young right-hander did not cave when he struggled.

    Betances has had his share of arm injuries, which could raise a flag. Could the possibility of having another injury-prone pitcher on the roster lead Cashman to dealing Dellin if a deal were brought to his attention?

    I wouldn't totally throw that idea out the window.

    Betances has all the potential in the world, but he doesn't fall into the "untouchable" category as Banuelos does.

    For that reason, there is a slight chance that Betances could be dealt. Twenty percent seems about right.

Melky Mesa

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    TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 23:  Melky Mesa #77 of the New York Yankees poses for a portrait on Photo Day at George M. Steinbrenner Field on February 23, 2011 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Melky Mesa has been labeled by Baseball America as the best athlete in the Yankee's farm system. From what he has shown this spring, this seems to be a correct judgment.

    He has been able to cover ground and make some pretty spectacular catches.

    Mesa has some pop in his bat. Over the last two seasons in A-ball, he has hit 20 and 19 HR, respectively.

    He needs to develop more patience at the plate, as he has finished with a low OBP—.309 and .338 over the last two seasons.

    The Yankees do not have any glaring holes in their outfield as Gardner, Granderson and Swisher provide a formidable defensive trio.

    Mesa could hear his name called as a September call-up due to his speed on the base-paths and his defensive abilities. 

    As one of the top outfield prospects the Yankees have, Mesa is an integral part of the Yankees future. I don't see too many teams knocking at the door for Mesa, and the possibility of him moving is rather small at 15 percent.

Slade Heathcott

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    Heathcott was drafted by the Yankees out of high school in 2009. He has plus speed and has power to all fields.

    According to Baseball America, his defensive abilities have him ranked the top defensive outfielder the Yankee farm system has to offer.

    Heathcott is still far from reaching the bigs, but like Mesa, he is the future of the Yankee outfield. He is a warrior and will make some noise when he puts on the pinstripes due his willingness to run through walls to make plays. 

    The hype is there for this 20-year-old, and with his competitive nature and drive for perfection, Heathcott will will himself onto a Yankee roster.

    Brett Gardner did it and so can Slade. 

    The Yankees want to see just what Heathcott can become, giving him a 20 percent chance of being dealt.

Brandon Laird

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    TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 23:  Brandon Laird #75 of the New York Yankees poses for a portrait on Photo Day at George M. Steinbrenner Field on February 23, 2011 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Not too much has been expected from Brandon Laird, but he has turned his doubters into believers.

    Being drafted 27th round has put a chip on this young man's shoulder. Can you blame him?

    He has shown enough promise to be given a chance to showcase his abilities this spring, as he was invited to Yankee camp.

    Laird has come up through the Yankee farm system as a third baseman, but has also shown the ability to field the corner outfield positions. This makes him even more promising to the Yankees.

    In 2010, Laird hit .281 with 25 HR across AA and AAA-ball. His bat his put him on the Yankees radar.

    His ability to hit with power and for average and his willingness to move to the outfield could make him a tempting prospect to other big-league clubs.

    The Yankees might take the bait and move him since they have other prospects who have a bit more potential. For that reason, there is a 45 percent chance Laird is moved at some point. 

Gary Sanchez

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    While Montero has received most of the recognition as the Yankee future catcher, Sanchez deserves a look as well.

    The 18-year-old can hit just as well, if not better, than Montero and field at the same level as Romine. He is the best of both worlds and his ceiling is sky-high.

    The Yankees know they have something really special in Sanchez and he can be filed under "untouchable" like Banuelos.

    At some point, the combination of Banuelos and Sanchez will be running circles around big-league hitters.

    Montero might be the man right now, but he is just warming the spot for Sanchez. 

    With potential oozing out of his ears, other teams will be making calls for Sanchez, but don't expect Cashman to send his prized possession packing. He's not going anywhere.