Last year at the All-Star break I did a three-part series taking a look at the Yankees’ perceived areas of weakness and how the team might go about fixing each of them. This year I’ve condensed the “Areas of Need” series into two posts, as I’m not sure the team’s needs are as pressing as they were last season. Sure, everyone could use a top-flight starter, another bat or bullpen help, but this year’s squad has performed a good deal better than I think many of us had expected prior to the season, and if there are upgrades to be had, they will most likely only be at the fringes. However, that won’t stop the Yankees from being linked to anyone and everyone.
Need #2: A starter
We’ve already explored the possible trade market for Wandy Rodriguez and Hiroki Kuroda, and while something could happen with one of those hurlers — apparently the Yankees have been watching Wandy pretty closely of late — I haven’t heard anything more definitive regarding who the Yankees would be willing to give up. The Yanks are also apparently somewhat interested in Brett Myers, who has followed last year’s surprisingly strong year with a clunker. Pass.
Another name recently bandied about in these parts is Anibal Sanchez, but I don’t seen any incentive for the Marlins to trade their best starter who’s also in the midst of a career year. I could see Florida moving Sanchez if he were a pending free agent, but being under team control through 2012 would almost certainly make this deal too cost-prohibitive, especially when factoring in the NL-pitcher-moving-to-the-American-League component.
And of course, Francisco Liriano‘s name has come up regularly since this past winter, but the enigmatic lefty’s confusing 2011 campaign doesn’t exactly scream reliable-number-two to me at the moment. I’d be interested in Liriano if the price were right, but somehow I don’t see the Yanks and Twins matching up in a deal.
A quick scan of the upcoming free agent list doesn’t exactly yield many promising rentals among non-contenders except perhaps the trio of Chicago pitchers we’ve also analyzed previously, Edwin Jackson, Mark Buehrle and Philip Humber. For some reason Humber isn’t appearing on Cot’s list of upcoming free agents, but as best I can tell he signed with the ChiSox as a free agent for one year and they don’t appear to have control of him past 2011. Jackson’s the best of that lot, although I can’t say I feel that strongly about obtaining a pitcher who may well be A.J. Burnett 2.0. I wouldn’t mind rolling the dice with Humber — who’s currently sporting four above-average pitches, including the third-most valuable curveball in the AL — even if this does turn out to be nothing but a fluke year for the righty.
Of the remaining sub-.500 teams:
- Scott Baker‘s having a nice year for the Twins but is signed to a very team-friendly deal through 2013;
- Onetime Yankee draftee Doug Fister is having a very strong campaign for the Mariners but is under team control through 2015;
- I can’t see Billy Beane trading any of his crop of young and cheap arms except for perhaps pending free agent Brandon McCarthy, but dealing with Beane is always a dicey proposition;
- I have zero interest in the Nationals’ Jason Marquis, whose underwhelming peripherals scream “I will get eaten alive in the AL East;”
- The Cubbies’ rotation, non-Matt Garza division, scares the crap out of me; and,
- The only Rockie starter I’d be interested in is Ubaldo Jimenez, and even with a slightly disappointing season and despite what MLBTR may be reporting I doubt he’s going anywhere, given that the club has options on the flamethrower through 2014 and they recently locked their offensive core up for eight million years. Additionally, the Yankees would have to gut their system to get him, and while Ubaldo is good, he’s not King Felix good.
Unfortunately, the combination of many teams still being relatively competitive along with the fact that teams are going to be demanding top trade chips in order to part with anything of value would seem to back up Brian Cashman’s assertion that he doesn’t expect to be able to find top pitching via a trade.
Need #3: A reliever
We’ve heard the Yankees recently linked to the Nationals’ Sean Burnett, the Padres’ Heath Bell and Mike Adams, among others. While the team should certainly kick tires where needed, I’m not sure how great the need for relief is — or whether any of the external options represent upgrades over potential in-house reinforcements from AAA — given how strong the Yankee ‘pen has been (2nd-best ERA, 4th-best FIP in the AL) despite losing three players in Pedro Feliciano, Rafael Soriano and Joba Chamberlain expected to play major roles.
The Mets keep offering Francisco Rodriguez but everything I’ve read says the Yankees have no interest; though if Mariano Rivera‘s triceps injury is indeed more significant than they’re letting on then they may have no choice but to import K-Rod. It also sounds like Soriano may be closer to returning than initially expected.
I suppose one could argue that Cashman’s luck in the reliever scrap heap is due to run out, and that just because the ‘pen outperformed expectations in the first half doesn’t necessarily mean it will continue to do so going forward (in fact, the unit’s xFIP is 3.91), but this is the first season in a long time I don’t feel overwhelmingly concerned about the relief corps. However, if it doesn’t look like Soriano will make it back within a reasonable timeframe, I’d imagine Cash will set out to acquire someone a la the Kerry Wood deal last season.
LIKE TYA ON FACEBOOK
- TYA To Merge With It’s About The Money, Stupid
- What about Kevin Youkilis?
- Teix Now Front And Center On The “Needs To Produce” Radar
- Cashman: Heathcott A Dark Horse Candidate
- A Dog Chasing Cars
- Outfield Trade Targets
- The Problem With Brett Gardner
- A Look At Relief Prospect Branden Pinder
- The Yankees Should Be Realistic, Put Team on Short Leash in 2013
- Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- the tao of badass pdf on What about Austin Romine?
- Joey Parkhill on Dante Bichette Jr’s Swing
- lululemon factory outlet on Contact Us
- Cary on Will R.A. Dickey’s Knuckleball Succeed In A Domed Stadium?
- Brenna on Links: Prospects, Support for A-Rod, Mariano is Love and Who’s in Center?
- Louis Vuitton Outlet Sale Singapore on The Monthly Prospector: April Edition
- Authentic Louis Vuitton Outlet Store on The Monthly Prospector: June Edition
- Louis Vuitton Outlet San Diego on Banuelos to Undergo Tommy John Surgery, Yankees Prospectors to Undergo Grief Counseling
- related web site on The Great Subway Race
- get your lover back on Contact Us
TagsA.J. Burnett Alex Rodriguez Andy Pettitte Austin Romine Baltimore Orioles Bartolo Colon Boston Red Sox Brett Gardner Brian Cashman Bullpen CC Sabathia Chien-Ming Wang Cliff Lee Curtis Granderson David Robertson Dellin Betances Derek Jeter Francisco Cervelli Freddy Garcia Game Recap Hiroki Kuroda Ivan Nova Javier Vazquez Jesus Montero Joba Chamberlain Joe Girardi Johnny Damon Jorge Posada Manny Banuelos Mariano Rivera Mark Teixeira Melky Cabrera Michael Pineda New York New York Yankees Nick Johnson Nick Swisher Phil Hughes Prospects Rafael Soriano Red Sox Robinson Cano Russell Martin Tampa Bay Rays Yankees