“I haven’t been looking,” Cashman said. “That doesn’t mean that (it’s out of the question). Now you’ve passed the draft, people will be more interested in having conversations. I have not had any conversations with anybody about anything.”
Almost immediately after we heard of Brett Gardner‘s setback last weekend, we had word from Brian Cashman on a possible replacement. Unsurprisingly, Cashman claimed that he’s been quiet on the outfield trade market, although he left the door open for future moves as the trade deadline comes to fruition. In the coming days we’ll learn more about Gardner’s injury, but that doesn’t change the Yankees outfield need in the future.
The impeding budget in 2014, the vacancy in right field in 2013, and the current issues of the 2012 roster seem to foreshadow a trade for a cheap young outfielder in the future. Although it appears the Yankees won’t lose their left fielder for the entire season, there should be a point where Raul Ibanez‘ and Andruw Jones‘ bodies can’t take the robust task of running the outfield daily. Yesterday, Mike Axisa over at River Ave Blues ran through the immediate internal options, but it’s looking more and more like a trade will happen sooner rather than later. With the vacancy left open by losing Nick Swisher next year, and the $189 million budget in 2014, the Yankees could squash years worth of problems by targeting a young and cheap outfielder via trade. Here are three targets to muse on.
Here’s a name familiar to most Yankee fans. Brown showed up in trade rumors last year when Joel Sherman caught a Phillies scout watching Dellin Betances start for the Trenton Thunder. The idea of trading Betances at the moment appears enticing, but I highly doubt that the Phillies have much interest in the struggling righty, yet Brown saw struggles of his own, if not more. After being ranked the 4th best prospect overall by Baseball America in 2011, Brown went on to post a somewhat disappointing .274/.395/.414 line last year. This year has been a mixed bag, OPSing in the mid .600′s for the months of April and May, followed by a .316/.381/.605 slash in the first half of June.
If you haven’t followed the Phillies this season, things aren’t looking too bright for their playoff hopes. It’s too early to count them out, but they’ve lost significant starts from Cliff Lee, and stuttered behind a diminished Roy Halladay who will be out for at least 6-8 more weeks. While the Phillies continue to wait for Ryan Howard and Chase Utley to optimistically return sometime before the allstar break, the team is 5 games under .500, and 9.5 games behind the first place Nationals. Not only is the team struggling, but the payroll appears to be maxed out for this season and the farm system is largely depleted from trades. You would think with all the offensive trouble the Phillies have shown, Domonic Brown would be an easy call up, but the reluctance of the front office has shown a lack of faith in the left fielder.
Its hard to give up on a player that looked like a future allstar less than a year ago, and the Yankees could certainly be buying low on the 24 year old. While his left handed power fits well in Yankee stadium, three lefties in the outfield may evolve into an issue in the future. With a longterm position filled for the Yankees and prospects headed to the depleted Phillies, the deal ultimately makes sense for both teams involved.
Like Brown, Myers was ranked in the top 10 of Baseball America’s 2011 rating, but went on to struggle in a similar fashion in 2011. Unlike Brown, Myers has done nothing but rake this year. In 152 plate appearances of Double-A he hit .343/.414/.731 with 13 homeruns, which was followed by 98 plate appearances in Triple-A, where he’s hit .341/.388/.714. With 21 homeruns on the season already, Myers has shown some incredible power at only 21 years old, and probably has the brightest power upside of any comparable prospect.
The Royals are currently 9 games under .500, could very quickly be out of the AL Central race, and the outlook of Kansas City is centered around their long term success. It’s hard to imagine a team trading away such a high upside prospect with that mindset, but there is one reason the Royals may consider such a trade. Between the development of players like Alex Gordon, Mike Moustakas, and Eric Hosmer, the Royals are constantly churning out position prospects, but struggling with their starting pitchers. The team needs pitching to accompany their young positional players, and although they have Jake Odorizzi tearing up the Pacific Coast League, Mike Montgomery and Chris Dwyer could be fizzling out. Manny Banuelos might be an intriguing enough piece to cornerstone a deal for Wil Myers.
Headley is best known as the third baseman for the Padres, but was actually the starting left fielder for the majority of 2008 and 2009. UZR doesn’t rank Headley’s fielding particularly well, but if you believe in his outfield glove there is probably no better option versatility-wise. Not only does the switch hitter offer strong platoon matchups offensively, but his ability to play third base adds depth to a roster that features the 36 year old Alex Rodriguez.
He’s in the middle of the best offensive season of his career, hitting .273/.383/.444, but these numbers may not adequately show his offensive potential. Headley has shown an exuberant home and away split as he’s struggled hitting in Petco throughout his career. This season is no different, hitting .250/.363/.363 at home, and .304/.409/.554 away. I’ve always been curious to see what he would hit in a full season out of Petco Park, but I could only imagine what the numbers would look like in half a season in Yankee Stadium. While it’s a bit of a stretch to see Headley as the starting right fielder in 2013 and 2014, no one expected the same out of Nick Swisher.
So why would the Padres trade Chase Headley? Aside from being 21 games under .500, the Padres are definitely looking at the future with a prospect heavy organization. One of these top prospects is third baseman Jedd Gyorko, who is currently hitting .356/.404/.644 in Triple-A. Trade rumors surrounding the 28 year old have already begun churning out, so with the Padres in the middle of a sale, it’ll be interesting to see how they handle the team before the trade deadline.
There are numerous other players that could be added to this list, so who do you suggest?
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