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As the MLB trade deadline passes the New York Yankees come out as neither a winner or loser. Why? Well, it's because the Yankees, who are usually wheeling-and-dealing at the deadline, didn't make any moves. The last time that happened was1999.
On Saturday, The Yankees were in hot pursuit of starting pitchers Ubaldo Jimenez and Hiroki Kuroda, but the Colorado Rockies wanted too much and Kuroda wanted to stay in Los Angeles. (Jimenez ended up going to the Cleveland Indians.) On Sunday, there were many reports that New York was interested in San Diego Padres closer Heath Bell, but he never moved, and then were trying to work something out with Houston Astros for left-handed starter Wandy Rodriguez, who also didn't change teams.
Meanwhile, the Boston Red Sox made a late deadline trade for starting pitcher Erik Bedard. And, possible first-round playoff opponent the Texas Rangers made moves for relief pitchers Mike Adams and Koji Uehara to shore up maybe the best bullpen in baseball. Luckily for the Yankees, the Tampa Bay Rays didn't move outfielder B.J. Upton and the Toronto Blue Jays did nothing major Sunday -- they did snag outfield Colby Rasmus from the St. Louis Cardinals earlier in the week, but that move isn't scaring anybody.
Obviously, Yankees' general manger Brian Cashman likes his team. And, he should. Right now, the Yankees are probably the fourth-best team in baseball -- Red Sox, Rangers, Philadelphia Phillies are in the top three after the deadline -- and still can beat anybody in a five- or seven-game series. Yes, the Yankees starting rotation is a bit thin -- currently, it looks like C.C. Sabthia, Freddie Garcia, Bartolo Colon, A.J. Burnett, Phil Huges/Ivan Nova -- but, it's still pretty good. Those guys can win you playoff games. And, New York's starting lineup is as good as any in baseball.
So, don't panic Yankee fans because your franchise kept all of their top-notch prospects and will be fine. Do they have enough talent to win a World Series? Time will tell.
With the New York Yankees missing out on two starting pitchers -- Ubaldo Jimenez and Hiroki Kuroda -- and a top-notch closer (setup man) Heath Bell, who has yet to be traded but probably wont be headed to New York, the next-best option is the Houston Astros' left-handed starter Wandy Rodriguez.
|2011 - Wandy Rodriguez||7-7||19||19||0||0||0||0||122.0||120||49||47||15||38||106||3.47||1.30|
Now, Rodriguez is a nice viable option for the Yankees if the price is, again, right. Currently, the Astros are looking to trade every valuable player on their roster -- they've already shipped former franchise outfielder, Hunter Pence, to the Philadelphia Phillies and leadoff hitter, base-stealing extraordinary, Michael Bourn, to the Atlanta Braves. So, Rodriguez is available if somebody gives the Astros the right prospects and will pay the remainder of his contract.
According to the Houston Chronicle's Richard Justice, Houston is shopping hard for suitors for Rodriguez, but it seems the Astros might need to absorb more of the lefty's $40-million contract then they want. If the Yankees and Astros can maybe, some how, meet halfway then this would be a very good pickup for New York. Of course, it all depends on who the Yankees will need to give up to get him.
As the day progress, check back to SB Nation New York for all your Yankee trade rumors news. For more reaction and insight on Yankees Trade Rumors visit SB Nation's Pinstripe Alley.
With all the rumors flying around, it looks like San Diego Padres relief pitcher Mike Adams was traded to the Texas Rangers, not top-notch closer Heath Bell. It seems as if Bell is still on the market, but it doesn’t look like the New York Yankees are in the running.
For more reaction and insight on Yankees Trade Rumors visit SB Nation’s Pinstripe Alley.
Fox Sport's Ken Rosenthal just tweeted minutes ago that San Diego Padres closer Heath Bell is headed to the Texas Rangers, not the New York Yankees. Earlier Sunday morning, SI.com's Jon Heyman tweeted that the Yankees were still in the running for the top-notch closer. However, ESPN's Buster Onley did tweet later Sunday that Bell moving to New York was unlikely to happen. I guess, Onley was a bit more accurate.
But, here we go. Again, the Yankees are not able to land another arm for their starting rotation or bullpen, which means with less than two hours remaining before the trade deadline New York has not traded for anyone that can help their very thin and inconsistent pitching staff.
Now, I think the Yankees did the right move on not picking up Bell. I'm sure that whatever the Padres were asking for was way more than what GM Brian Cashman wanted to give. However, another problem arises from the Bell trade to the Rangers. Texas, which traded for solid-relief pitcher Koji Uehara Saturday, has (on paper) maybe the best bullpen in the American League. Come playoff time, where the Rangers and Yankees could face in the first round, it may not be a good match up for New York. But, that's a long way down the road.
For more reaction and insight on Yankees Trade Rumors visit SB Nation's Pinstripe Alley.
On Saturday, the New York Yankees missed out on starting pitchers Ubaldo Jimenez and Hiroki Kuroda. The failed acquisitions made a lot of fans scratch their head and wonder where their team was going to find pitching help. Well, come Sunday morning it looks like the Yankees have switched their focus to the bullpen.
According to SI.com's Jon Heyman, New York is one of the teams interested in inquiring San Diego Padres closer Heath Bell. Now, this would be on interesting move if New York decide to make it. In the last three years, Bell has been one of the top closers in Major League Baseball and if the Yankees want to shorten games for their average starting pitchers this would be the best move.
However, one has to ask: If they Yankees wouldn't send some of their top prospects to Colorado, then why send them to San Diego for a pitcher who tosses just one inning per game? Many of us understand that if you're starting pitching is average then you try to shorten the game as much as possible -- and Robertson in the seventh and Soriano/Bell in the eighth inning, is as sure as Mariano Rivera in the ninth. But, it's hard to imagine that unless the deal is right, then these talks for Bell are just that.
As the day progress, check back to SB Nation New York for all your Yankee trade rumors news.
The New York Yankees headed into this weekend hoping to make a deal for right-handed pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez or Hiroki Kuroda to fill a void in the pitching rotation. However, it doesn't look like the Bronx Bombers are going to get either guy.
According to multiple sources, Jimenez is headed to the Cleveland Indians after negotiations with the Yankees broke down four days ago. The NY Post's Joel Sherman is reporting that the Rockies wanted a high-end prospect and good pitcher that they could place in the rotation right now. Unfortunately, the Yankees were not will to deal that much talent for an inconsistent starter.
"Yankees took all Rockies wanted off (the) table," Sherman wrote via Twitter. "Banuelos, Betances, Montero, Nova -- and offered Hughes and others."
In another tweet, Sherman shared this information:
Meanwhile, SI.com's Jon Heyman is reporting that Kuroda is not going to waive his no-trade clause and stay a Los Angeles Dodger.
So, the question is what do they Yankees do now since there is not another good starting pitcher to trade for? I think Brian Cashman did the right move on not giving up a lot of young prospects for either pitcher, who each are above average pitchers. But, with a thin starting rotation, which features an old Bartolo Colon, an inexperienced Ivan Nova, an inconsistent A.J. Burnett and a struggling Phill Hughes, it will be interesting to see how the season pans out. So far, the rotation has worked out. I would not panic if I were a Yankees fan.
In search of a starting pitcher before Sunday night’s MLB Trade Deadline, the New York Yankees appear hot on the trail of the top two starting pitchers who could be available — Hiroki Kuroda of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Ubaldo Jimenez of the Colorado Rockies.
The Yankees have reportedly been talking to the Dodgers and Rockies about both pitchers for a while now. Time, however, is growing short.
Kuroda, 36, has a no-trade clause, but in its Kuroda rumors roundup for today, MLB Trade Rumors indicates that the Yankees are on the list of teams Kuroda, 36, would waive the no-trade clause for.
There are conflicting reports as to how much the Dodgers and Yankees have spoken about Kuroda, 36. The Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers appear to be among the bidders for the right-hander, who probably would not cost as much in terms of prospects as the 27-year-old Jimenez.
When it comes to Jimenez, the Rockies had been insisting on a hefty package of three of the four top Yankee prospects — pitchers Ivan Nova, Dellin Betances and Manny Bauelos, and catcher Jesus Montero.
Per MLBTR’s Jimenez rumors roundup for today, that price appears to have dropped somewhat.
You have to think, however, that if the Yankees are serious about making a run at a 28th World Series title in 2011 one of these guys is going to be in pinstripes. Perhaps as soon as tonight.
The New York Yankees have stayed quiet on the trade front at this point, but with the MLB Trading Deadline fast approaching, you’d have to think the Bombers will be active. General Manager Brian Cashman usually doesn’t sit still, and even if he has publicly labeled the current Yankees as “championship caliber”, the Yankees could use help in the starting rotation.
The main name that has been bandied about is Ubaldo Jimenez of the Colorado Rockies, but recent reports suggest that the talks between the Yankees and Rockies have not gone well. The Rockies, and rightfully so by the way, are asking for a king’s ransom for their best pitcher, and the Yankees would likely have to include catching prospect Jesus Montero as well as pitchers Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos before Colorado would even consider. It’s a steep price, and for a guy who has not been all that spectacular since the 2010 All-Star break, the Yanks might be better served hanging on to their young guns.
Another name, and a more likely one for the Yankees is Houston’s Wandy Rodriguez. He is garnering a lot of interest, as he has kept his ERA in the mid threes for the past few years on a bad team and in a hitter-friendly park. He would probably slide toward the back end of the Yankees’ rotation, where, to be honest, they’ve been pretty solid all year with Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon and Ivan Nova.
Finally, the Dodgers’ Hiroki Kuroda is also apparently available, and the Yankees are in the mix and interested. Kuroda has a no-trade clause and would have to accept any trade, but it’s hard to believe he wouldn’t leave the disastrous situation with the Dodgers for the Yankees. On all three of these accounts, the Yankees have competition from the Red Sox.
“I’m going to be hard-pressed to find anything better than getting Bartolo Colon and Phil Hughes off the disabled list,” the Yankees GM said at a Hope Week charity event on Staten Island. “I can’t imagine I’m going to run into anything but you’ve still got to go through the motions.”
Umm … yeah, sure Brian. We have heard this song and dance from you before and we know enough not to pay attention to it. Cashman has to know that the Yankees need another front-of-the-rotation starter to have a chance to make serious noise in Octobert.
Cashman rarely makes it sound like he needs to make a deal — he knows as soon as he sounds needy the price goes up. Still, the Yankees have constantly been linked to starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda (Dodgers) and Ubaldo Jimenez (Rockies).
Speaking of the trade deadline, Chad Jennings wonders if the Yankees have already missed the boat by not getting any of the players who have already been traded.
It is Thursday morning, and the latest batch or trade rumors surround Kuroda. The Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers, Indians, and Tigers all are apparently bidding for the 36-year-old right-hander, 6-13 with a 3.11 ERA.
Kuroda would cost less in terms of prospects than the 27-year-old Jimenez, but given past history the Yankees should be leery of counting on a pitcher who has never been in the American League.
MLBTR also points out that the Yankees and Red Sox will be among teams scouting Seattle left-hander Erik Bedard. The 32-year-old Bedard is a talented, but fragile pitcher who has been on the disabled list for more than a month. Bedard has not pitched 100 innings in a season since 2007, when he went 13-5 with a 3.16 ERA for Baltimore.
The Colorado Rockies are apparently shooting for the moon when it comes to their asking price for 27-year-old right-handed starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez, who might be the best starting pitcher to switch teams at the looming MLB Trade Deadline.
MLB Trade Rumors summarized today’s batch of Jimenez rumors and the belief still appears to be that the Yankees have the “best chance” of acquiring the talented right-hander if the Rockies do decide to pull the trigger.
Colorado, though, appears to want an astronomical return from the Yankees. One report referenced by MLBTR said the Rockies want three of four top of the line Yankee farmhands — Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, Jesus Montero, and Ivan Nova.
That is the kind of price the Yankees might pay for a young superstar pitcher like Seattle’s Felix Hernandez, but not one you would think they would pay for a pitcher who is 6-9 with a 4.20 ERA and has had one truly dominant season (2010 when he was 19-8, 2.88) in a six-year major-league career.
The Yankees undeniably need a top-of-the-rotation starter if they are going to go deep into the postseason. At that price, though, Jimenez is probably not the right guy.
Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez, the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner, pitches in the Bronx this afternoon against the New York Yankees. If GM Brian Cashman wants to see his team in the World Series this fall, he needs to do everything he can to pry King Felix away from Seattle by the MLB trade deadline and make his next start in Yankee pinstripes.
Since Andy Pettitte retired and Cliff Lee took Philadelphia's money instead of Hal Steinbrenner's. Cashman has searched under every rock for pitching. He has gotten more than he ever could have expected from veteran castoffs Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia. He got a couple of decent starts from career minor-leaguer Brian Gordon.
The GM has reportedly worked the phones like crazy and the Yankees have been connected to possible trades for Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez, the Dodgers Kiroki Kuroda, Oakland's Gio Gonzalez, Tampa Bay's James Shields and just about any available pitcher with a healthy arm.
None of those pitchers, however, can be what King Felix would be for the Yankees. A bona fide star pitcher who would give the Yankees a second ace to go with the unbelievably dominant CC Sabathia, and put them in a position to seriously challenge for their 28th World Series title.
After all, isn't doing everything possible to try and win the World Series the mandate for the Yankees? Cashman reportedly said recently that the Yankees "have enough to make the playoffs." If he, and Hal Steinbrenner, become willing to settle for that, though, The Boss would roll over in his grave.
Making the playoffs and accumulating piles of cash is not what the Yankees about, although the piles of cash are certainly a cornerstone of the business model. Winning championships is what this franchise is about. Hernandez is the one player out there who, in my mind, can give the Yankees a chance to do that. Both this year, and for many seasons to come.
In a recent column, Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York agreed with me:
Hernandez, just 25, is the type of guy the Yankees dream about. They need a starter to team with CC Sabathia to get them through October. ...
The Mariners, for their part, have given no indications that they would be willing to trade Hernandez. He's 25 and a star; why would they?
Hernandez could be worth the "Herschel Walker"-type trade the Rockies want in exchange for Ubaldo Jimenez. If the Yankees could offer one of their Double-A Killer-B's (Dellin Betances or Manuel Banuelos), Jesus Montero and any two other minor league starters not named Ivan Nova and tempt Seattle, they should do it.
Of course they should. So what if it costs them Montero? The crown jewel of the farm system reportedly has a great bat, but can he catch? Even if he can, the Yankees have a relatively young All-Star catcher in Russell Martin nd a farm system flush with players who might be more complete catching prospects.
So what if it costs them Banuelos, Betances or both? Prospects, more often than not, don't amount to all that much. Realistically, what are the chances either of those guys is anywhere close to as good as Hernandez, one of the games five best pitchers, at any time during the next decade?
So what if it costs them Ivan Nova, or even Phil Hughes? As much as Yankee fans love home grown guys, neither one of them looks like anything more than a middle of the rotation starter.
The reality is the Yankees are not built for the future. They are built for now. Sabathia is pitching as well as he ever has, but he does not have enough help in the rotation to pitch the Yankees through the playoffs. Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Mariano Rivera are not getting younger. The window for them is nearly closed, and the Yankees need to go for broke while they can with those guys at their core.
Maybe there is no way the Yankees can convince the Mariners to trade King Felix. They need, however, to go to the wall trying.
It has been a few days since we have heard the New York Yankees and Colorado Rockies right-hander Ubaldo Jiminez connected in trade rumors. With the non-waiver trade deadline just a few days away, however, the Jimenez-to-the-Yankees talk is picking up again.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported that executives around the big leagues think the Rockies would like to find find a deal for Jimenez. CBS Sports reports that the Yankees have the best shot at Jimenez. ESPN's Jayson Stark says Colorado wants "three sure-thing young players, including one pitcher who goes into their rotation immediately." NBC Sports also said it would "take a serious package of prospects to pull off a trade."
Jimenez went 19-8 a season ago with a 2.88 ERA. He has struggled at times this season, pitching to a 6-9 record with a 4.20 ERA.
With Phil Hughes struggling and A.J. Burnett showing his typical inconsistency the Yankees have been looking for a No. 2 starter behind CC Sabathia. Despite his struggles this season, Jimenez could be the most talented starter available at the deadline.
From ESPN New York:
The Yankees showed interest in Kuroda this offseason. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman never could offer Kuroda a contract because he was waiting on Cliff Lee to make his decision. By the time Lee signed with the Philadelphia Phillies, Kuroda was off the market. Kuroda, 36, leads the National League in losses, but his record is deceptive. He is 6-12. His ERA is 3.19.
In his last six starts, Kuroda is 1-4 with a 2.89 ERA. … The Yankees have faith that his stuff could work in the American League East.
The Yankees have competition for Kuroda from Detroit, Boston, Cleveland and Milwaukee. Kuroda also has a no-trade clause, though reports have indicated that he would likely waive it.
For me, the question is does Kuroda really upgrade the Yankee rotation from what they already have behind ace CC Sabathia? I am really not sure of the answer, but this might be the best the Yankees can do without seriously pillaging their farm system.
As the MLB Trade Deadline approaches let's catch up on the buzz surrounding the New York Yankees. Their signing of veteran outfielder/DH Marcus Thames a few days ago might be an indication they are looking for right-handed hitting.
Personally, I still like versatile Minnesota veteran Michael Cuddyer as a Yankee target, but I have not seen his name connected to New York at all. That doesn't mean it can't happen, but it does mean it isn't on the front burner right now.
Here is some of what is being talked about.
The Yankees are apparently "not leaning towards dealing for a starter." Unless, of course, that starter happens to be a top-flight guy like Tampa Bay's James Shields. The Yankees apparently had the chutzpah to ask their AL East rivals if the right-hander was available, and were rebuffed. Can't blame them for trying, though.
The Yankees have reportedly kicked the tires on Kansas City closer Joakim Soria, something that was also discussed a year ago. The Royals want a steep return for Soria, though. Buster Olney also reported that the Yankees are "unlikely" to swing a deal for San Diego reliever Mike Adams, again because the price is too high.
One week to go before the deadline. Something will happen, and knowing GM Brian Cashman is will be something unexpected.
The Yankees are always buyers at the MLB Trade Deadline, and one of the areas they were thought to need help in this year was the bullpen. They have some attractive prospects that could be included in trades, but according to Jon Heyman, they won't use any of them in a trade for a reliever.
Now this does not rule out that the Yankees will acquire a reliever. If they can get their hands on one without giving up on of their big prospects I'm sure that is something they would consider. But if the price is too high, the team seems content to just walk away.
At this time last year, it would have been ludicrous to even consider that the Colorado Rockies would be open to moving Ubaldo Jimenez, who was in the middle of a breakout season. But a year later Jimenez hasn't looked quite as good as he did, and it seems like the Rockies are at least open to the possibility of moving him. The Yankees appear to be one of the teams targeting him, and as we've seen in this stream, might have a shot. SI's John Heyman has some insight as to how the package might be constructed.
Montero is the top prospect in the Yankee's organization, so that means that he would have to go to Colorado with a player that is already a difference maker at the major league level. No word on who that player is, but if the Rockies are asking for a major league ready player and Montero, that might be a little bit too high of a price tag for the Yankees. But if they think this is their year to compete, maybe they make a run.
Maybe the New York Yankees do have a shot at Colorado Rockies right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez. The Denver Post reported recently that the Rockies were not shopping the talented 27-year-old former All-Star, who won 19 games a season ago. Friday afternoon, however, the New York Post reported that the Yankees "have a better than average chance" of acquiring Jimenez, probably the best starting pitcher who might be available at the trade deadline.
This is how the trade deadline goes. Stories change by the hour, and depending on what reports you are reading.
According to the Post, the Rockies may soon decide that they will be sellers at the deadline, and would like to acquire top-shelf prospects. More from the Post:
According to a person familiar with the Rockies’ mindset, they believe Jimenez has pouted this year because Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez received contract extensions and he didn’t.
"They are annoyed at him,’’ the source said of Jimenez, who is 5-8 with a 4.08 ERA but pitching better lately after starting the season 0-5.
In Jimenez’s past six starts he is 4-1 with a 3.05 ERA. That’s quite an improvement from the beginning of the season when he went 0-5 with a 5.86 ERA and didn’t post his first victory until June 1.
The Yankees have to be concerned about veteran Bartolo Colon, who did not get out of the first inning Monday, as well as what they can get from Phil Hughes. The chance to acquire a 27-year-old front-line starting pitcher might be enough to convince general manager Brian Cashman to part with some of the organization's top-flight talent.
As the trade market shakes out over the next couple of weeks, will the New York Yankees be in the market for a front-line starting pitcher? They might like to be, but that market is very, very thin. And, it appears to have gotten even thinner as the Colorado Rockies are saying right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez is not being shopped.
The Denver Post says Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd has "no mandate to move money" and that he is not looking to trade his 27-year-old ace. From the Post:
The starting pitching market is thin and underwhelming. If he's made available, he could land a haul with 28 to 29 teams interested, namely the Yankees.
And that's where the logic veers off course.
There's little the Rockies could acquire that would justify trading the right-hander — unless someone wants to give them a front-of-the rotation starter, a top major-league- ready arm and a slugging outfielder.
The Rockies have never had a proven ace. Jimenez, when healthy, is that. Has he been a disappointment this season? Clearly. But he owns a 2.52 ERA over his last eight starts and has been among baseball's best pitchers on the road this season.
Might the Yankees be looking for a starting pitcher? Well, Phil Hughes has been injured and underwhelming and veterans Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon better than expected. Colon, though, set off alarm bells by not surviving the first inning Thursday night -- a reminder that the Yankees did haul the hefty righty off the scrap heap this winter.
Could the Yankees entice the Rockies to move Jiminez, who went 19-8 a year ago with a 2.88 ERA? Maybe, but best guess is the price probably starts with Jesus Montero, crown jewel of the farm system, and includes Hughes and/or a couple of other top Yankee pitching prospects. In other words, the price would be awfully steep.
Jiminez is under contract to Colorado for two more years and is owed a reasonable $17.5 million if the team exercises options for 2013 and 2014.
The Yankees dangled Montero last season in an effort to get Cliff Lee from the Seattle Mariners. If they want Jiminez they would likely to do it again. Even offering Montero, though, might not be enough to pry Jiminez from Colorado.
Alex Rodriguez is out for four to six weeks after undergoing knee surgery on Monday. Designated hitter Jorge Posada is hitting .122 as a right-handed batter, and barely plays against lefty pitchers anymore. Outfielder/DH Andruw Jones is hitting just .195 with four home runs.
The New York Yankees could use a right-handed hitter, whether it be a guy who can play the left side of the infield or a corner outfielder. Let's look at five potential targets.
Michael Cuddyer, Twins: If Minnesota (41-48, 6.5 games behind Detroit in the AL Central) ultimately decides to be a seller, Cuddyer is at the top of my list for guys the Yankees should target for some offensive help. He 32-year-old is in the final year of a four-year, $33.5-million contract. He can play right field, third base, first base and second base and offers a quality bat as well as the versatility. He is currently hitting .298 with 14 homers, 43 RBI and a .369 on-base percentage. Cuddyer offers the Yankees a quality bat, protection for Rodriguez if they need it and, possibly, protection in the event they decided not to retain Nick Swisher, who can be a free agent at the end of the season.
Jeff Keppinger, Astros: A versatile veteran utility type with a decent bat, Keppinger always seems to be available at the trade deadline. He has played all the infield positions except catcher and both corner outfield spots during his career. He is on an inexpensive one-year, $2.3-million contract. If the 30-62 Astros want to stock up on prospects, Keppinger could be had.
Hunter Pence, Astros: The Houston right-fielder has hit 25 home runs in each of the past three seasons. This season he is mashing away with a .323 average, 11 homers and 60 RBI. He is only 28, but he is arbitration eligible after his one-year, $6.9-million contract expires after this season. If the Astros are looking to save money while they rebuild Pence could bring in a nice haul of prospects.
Reed Johnson, Cubs: The 34-year-old Johnson has a line of .328/4/22/.370 so far this season. The Cubs are languishing in fifth place in the NL Central, and pretty much everyone has been rumored to be on the trade block at one time or another. Johnson is a .283 career hitter and a better defensive outfielder at this point than Andruw Jones. He would be a decent low-cost option.
Melky Cabrera: The Yankees know all about the switch-hitting Cabrera, who came up through their system and wore pinstripes from 2005 through 2009. Cabrera can play all three outfield positions, offers a decent bat and probably above average defense. You have to believe he would love a return to the Bronx. Cabrera is hitting a career-best .293 this season with 11 homers and 51 RBI. Cabrera is on a one-year, $1.25-million deal, but is arbitration eligible in 2012 and would likely be due a significant salary bump the last-place Royals might not be willing to pay.
I have just one question. Why would the Yankees be interested in either of these guys?
Soriano, of course, is a former Yankee who fans remember as an exciting young second baseman who could hit 30+ home runs per year, average near .300 and steal 30-40 bases per year. He is not that player any longer. He is a .250 hitter (.261 right now) with decent power (mid 20s in homers the past three seasons and 14 this year. He is also a 35-year-old player with bad knees who can't run any longer (one stolen base this season), who is a poor outfielder and is owed about $65 million on what remains from an eight-year, $136-million deal that runs through 2014.
Sure, the Cubs would love to unload Soriano on the Yankees. And, sure, the Yankees could use a righty bat as an upgrade from Andruw Jones. But not at that price.
As for Ramirez, last time I checked the Yankees had a power-hitting third baseman named Alex Rodriguez. Ramirez, the report said, has an option year left on his contract that comes with a $16 million price tag. Again, with Jones hitting just .210 and Jorge Posada a futile .133 from the right side the Yankees could use a right-handed bat.
I guess Ramirez (.298/14/49) could play third and Rodriguez could be the designated hitter against lefties. Again, though, I don't see why they would pay that kind of cost for a guy who would be a part-time player.
The New York Yankees are tied to New York Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez whenever K-Rod trade speculation is written about. That, seemingly, is because the Yankees can afford him, they have had some bullpen injuries and Mets-Yankees trade possibilities are fun to write about. The Yankees, though, don't really seem to have expressed any serious interest in Rodriguez.
More likely, reports -- including this one by Ken Davidoff of Newsday -- have indicated that the Yankees are focused on adding a left-hander to their bullpen.
We have already discussed many of the possible lefty relievers who could be available. Randy Choate of Florida, John Grabow of the Chicago Cubs and Brian Fuentes of Oakland. Maybe Baltimore will make Mike Gonzalez available by the deadline.
We will have to wait and see. If the Yankees hold to this, though, they won't be making any major deals at the deadline.
We have already talked about the possibility of New York Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez coming to the Bronx this summer to set up for Mariano Rivera. Let's look at some other relief pitchers the New York Yankees could target as the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline approaches.
Kerry Wood -- The veteran reliever was terrific for the Yankees last season, posting a 0.69 ERA in 24 regular-season games after being acquired from Cleveland at the trade deadline. The 34-year-old Wood chose to go home to Chicago as a free agent in the off season, but several reports have indicated that the Cubs, who are limping through another miserable season, would be open to trading Wood. He is pitching well, with a 2.25 ERA, and it might be worth a shot to see if he can reprise last season's success in New York.
Jonathan Broxton -- The Dodgers closer has a 5.68 ERA in just 14 appearances and has mixxed six weeks with a bruised elbow, but he is intriguing. Remember, Wood had a 6.30 ERA with Cleveland a season ago when GM Brian Cashman acquired him. Broxton had a down 2010, pitching to a 4.04 ERA. The Dodgers are mess, and the 27-year-old Broxton is in the final year of his contract and might come cheap.
Brian Fuentes -- After losin the opportunity to close games the 35-year-old veteran fueded with manager Bob Geren, who was eventually fired. He is not having a good season, pitching to a 4.76 ERA and lefties are hitting .295 against him. For his career, however, lefties hit just .217 off the side-winding lefty. Signed to a two-year deal for $10.5 million that runs through 2012, and with the A's going nowhere GM Billy Beane might be willing to move him.
John Grabow -- The 34-year-old veteran lefty is nothing special, but he has done one thing very well this season. He has gotten left-handed hitters out, as they are hitting just .170 against him. That is a skill the Yankee bullpen could definitely use. Grabow, a member of the Chicago Cubs, can be a free agent at the end of the season.
Randy Choate -- The 35-year-old former Yankee has become the classic definition of a lefty specialist. In 35 appearances for Florida, he has pitched just 14.1 innings. Left-handed batters are hitting just .125 against him this season. The Marlins are last in the NL East and going nowhere, so really what use do they have for a 35-year-old lefty specialist? The shame of this one from the Yankee perspective is they could have signed Choate cheaply as a free agent in the offseason. Instead, they spent $8 million on the sore-shouldered Pedro Feliciano, who seems unlikely to pitch this season.
Matt Capps -- Seems like the Minnesota closer's name comes up every year in deadline trade rumors, and this year is no exception. The Twins are terrible, and while Capps is signed to a reasonable $7.5 million contract thru next season there is no harm in kicking the tires and seeing if Minnesota would move the 27-year-old Capps.
Our man Jimmy Hascup wrote earlier today about the reports that New York Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez would be willing to set up for a contending team for the final couple of months of 2011. Meaning, K-Rod said in so many words ‘yes, I would go set up for Mariano Rivera.’
We know that Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has emphatically said he has no interest in the biggest fish the Mets might be dangling during the next few weeks — shortstop Jose Reyes. He has, however, admitted he is looking for bullpen help for a relief corps decimated by injuries to Rafael Soriano, Joba Chamberlain, Pedro Feliciano and Damaso Marte.
Is ‘K-Rod’ the answer? Let’s forget about the $37-million dollar contract and the $17.5-million vesting option if he finishes 55 games this season. Those are reasons the Mets will be looking to move him before July 31, but they won’t be factors in whether the Yankees acquire him or not.
The Mets would be extremely reluctant to move Reyes to the Yankees, but you would have to doubt that same hesitation would apply to Rodriguez. The Mets pretty much have to move him, he isn’t really a very likable guy — in fact I know Yankee fans aren’t fond of the guy, either.
Rodriguez would be a huge gamble for the Yankees. Yes, he has 20 saves and he will probaby have the biggest name and best resume of all the pitchers available in the trade market this summer. And I have to agree with River Avenue Blues that the Yankees should think hard about this.
Thing is, the former closer as setup guy has not always worked for the Yankees. See Soriano so far this year. What about nightmares like Kyle Farnsworth, Octavio Dotel and LaTroy Hawkins? A closer moving to setup man does not always work.
K-Rod does not throw with the velocity he used to possess, or the sharp breaking ball. He relies heavily now on his changeup and on deception. So far this season he is pitching to the second-highest ERA of his career (3.25), is giving up more than a hit per inning for the first time in his 10-year career (37 hits, 36 innings) and is pitching to the highest WHIP (1.417). So, those numbers might be a bit alarming.
Yes, the Yankees need some help for David Robertson in getting the ball to Mariano Rivera. And yes, K-Rod might end up being the best available option. For the Yankees, though, this is anything but a no-brainer.
See, I told you on Wednesday that the New York Yankees would not be trading for Jose Reyes. Now, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has emphatically gone even further, pretty much saying Reyes won’t be a Yankee. Period.
“That’s just not going to happen,” Cashman told the New York Daily News. ""We have an everyday shortstop in Derek Jeter," said Cashman, who was at the Waldorf-Astoria for the CYO Club of Champions Tribute to receive the Sportsman of the Year award. “And I think we have an everyday shortstop that would be playing for a lot of clubs in Eduardo Nuñez. The Yankees don’t have a need now or in the future for a shortstop.”
The Yankees, obviously, like what they have in the 24-year-old Nunez. While filling in for Jeter Nunez has shown a quick, lively bat with some power — even though he is hitting only .241. The question about Nunez is his defense — in 24 games at shortstop he already has seven errors, and only an .891 fielding percentage.
Talking heads around on New York radio stations and writers for New York newspapers and websites have been beating the drum lately for the New York Yankees to ring up Sandy Alderson and convince the New York Mets general manager to trade them star shortstop Jose Reyes.
Never mind the fact the Yankees already have Derek Jeter. He is a soon-to-be 37-year-old fading former superstar nearing the end of his days at shortstop (yes, I know many would say he is long past them). Reyes, on the other hand, is a 29-year-old star in his prime who is having the best season of his nine-year career, batting .336 with an .888 OPS and 26 stolen bases.
It sounds good, in theory. Replace the greatest shortstop in Yankee history with the guy currently being called the best shortstop in New York. This is a trade that is highly unlikely to happen, however. Let me give you five reasons why.
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