At some point during this season, the Yankees are going to look to upgrade the back end of their rotation. One or two of Hughes, Nova, Colon, Garcia, Millwood, or the minor league crew may evolve into an acceptable option behind C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett, but the Yankees will surely at least explore the trade market for better options. Yesterday, MLB Trade Rumors pointed out two potential options from the Houston Astros:
- Wandy Rodriguez, SP: Up to $38.3MM owed through 2014. Since Wandy is paid only $7MM this year, he’d fit into most contenders’ 2011 budgets. His ’13 club option becomes a player option with a trade, the salary of which is reflected in the $38.3MM figure. If the 32-year-old is in the midst of a disappointing but not terrible season, the Astros could have a way of getting out of the contract. If he’s pitching well, the Astros could get solid players in return.
- Brett Myers, SP: $16.3MM owed through 2012; could become $23.3MM through 2013 if option vests. Like Rodriguez, Myers is earning only $7MM this year. At the least he’s an innings eater, and the Astros could extract a decent bounty from a desperate team at the trade deadline. GM Ed Wade holds a couple of excellent trade chips in Rodriguez and Myers, though it remains to be seen if they’ll become available.
Neither are picture-perfect options, but both would probably be an upgrade to the Yankees rotation this season. Wandy is under contract for longer with a higher salary, while Brett Myers is a shorter commitment, and is pitching pretty well at this moment and was one of the better starters in the NL last season. If you were the Yankees, what would you give up for them?
Echoing MLB Trade Rumors, my chosen price for Wandy depends on his performance. If he rebounds from his 7.31 ERA start and looks like his recent self (110-115 ERA+ range), I would pay a much higher price for him than as a salary dump. The Yankees could send two decent, but not blue-chip, prospects toward the Astros – say Adam Warren and Brandon Laird, plus someone like Scottie Allen. I wouldn’t even think about trading any of our catchers, Killer B’s, Hector Noesi, or Slade Heathcott for Wandy. He’s on the wrong side of 30, has some sizable paychecks coming, and struggles to pitch long outings in the National League. I’m not sure if he’s a great fit for an AL East team in anything more than a salary dump.
Brett Myers is a lot more intriguing. He’s on a shorter, cheaper contract, and has more recent success. Save for his odd conversion to a closer a few years ago and an injury in 2009, he’s mostly been an effective pitcher in the National League, with occasional (2010, 2005) elite seasons. He’s home run prone, which won’t help in Yankee Stadium, but besides that fundamentally strong. I think the Astros would find a lot of demand out there for him. I would be willing to give up one of Romine, Noesi, Betances or Brackman for Myers, plus someone like Laird, David Adams, or Corban Joseph and some farther down players.
If the Astros are willing to get creative, I think the Yankees could work out a deal involving Hunter Pence and Brett Gardner. If its May, and Gardner is still struggling a little, the Yankees could offer Gardner + Betances or Brackman + someone else for Pence and one of Myers or Wandy. Gardner would provide them a cheaper option than Pence, but with plenty of upside.
MLB Trade Rumors also mentions Jeff Keppinger, whom I think would look great in Eduardo Nunez’s spot.
But that’s me. What would you all offer the Astros for Wandy Rodriguez or Brett Myers?
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