Moves like this are typically very minor as teams don’t usually put talented minors that they don’t want to lose through waivers for obvious reasons. This particular move seems to be one with a decent amount of potential upside. At least it seems to have upset Padres GM Paul DePodesta who ranted about losing Huffman on his blog yesterday:
We lost the player. And, he’s a pretty good one. Chad was a 2nd round pick in 2006 out of TCU and has been a successful minor league hitter throughout his pro career, posting an OPS over .800 in each season. While crushing lefties early in his career, Chad had his most successful year yet against RHP during his first season in AAA in 2009. He always controlled the strike zone and also hit for some power – a combination we like. We think he’ll be a good Major League hitter.
This wasn’t an easy decision, as we feel good about our 40-man roster at this point. We talked about a number of different guys and worked through various scenarios – who had the best chance to clear waivers, what depth did we have, what depth did we anticipate needing during the year, etc.
We hate to lose good players. Additionally, we hate to lose good people, and Chad is a tremendous clubhouse guy. Getting beyond the selfish aspect, we’re excited for Chad. We truly wish him the best with the Yankees and will be rooting for him to make it to New York and contribute to the big league team.
Thoughts: This was a move the Yankees made because they don’t have much outfield depth in the minor leagues and Huffman is a pretty good outfielder. Jon Weber made noise this spring by hitting nearly .500 in March, but that’s not the type of depth the Yankees need. Weber is 32 and outside of possibly catching lightning-in-a-bottle for a couple of weeks a guy like Weber really brings nothing to this organization.
A guy like Huffman is only 24 and could potentially become a bench player in the Bronx. There is a big difference in having a 32-year-old prospect and a 24-year-old prospect. The biggest difference is that there is no such thing as a 32-year-old prospect. By that time you’re never going to catch on to a major league team for any extended period of time. The Yankees need to sign more players that inspire the players former GM to rant on the internet about losing him.
This is a good move for the Yankees organization and it hows because it got DePodesta’s attention.