Trades of Kearns and Wood Working Out; Berkman Not So Much

The Yankees made three deals at the July 31st trade deadline acquiring Lance Berkman, Kerry Wood, and Austin Kearns. So far Berkman hasn’t entirely worked out and has been on the DL, but Wood and Kearns have been big contributors since coming to the Bronx.

Kearns was acquired primarily for his outfield defense and his ability to hit left handed pitching. He has done both of those things extremely well, playing stellar defense and putting together an 11-game hitting streak. During that time he has two home runs, a .400 batting average, a .462 on-base percentage, and a .657 slugging for a 1.119 OPS overall.

Wood was brought in to lengthen the bullpen and take some of the pressure off of Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson and he has done exactly that. Not only has Wood not given up a run in his last seven appearances, but Joba and D-Rob have been great since he’s arrived as well.

The two have done such a good job down the stretch that the Yankees are almost certain to try to bring both of them back next season. Especially Kearns, whom the Yankees could use as they’ll have the same lefty heavy outfielders in Curtis Granderson, Brett Gardner, and Nick Swisher as they have this year. Wood might want to look for a closer’s role, but if he’s willing to stay on as a setup-man the Yankees could have bullpen strength for an entire season.

Berkman has largely been a bust. In 12 games he hit .179 with a .555 OPS and then landed himself on the DL with an ankle sprain. There is still time for him to turn his season around and this 15-day stint on the DL could be the rest his knee, still recovering from a pre-season surgery, needs. Even if he doesn’t turn his time in the Bronx around, the Yankees could still break even on this trade thanks to Berkman’s type-B status as a free agent. His insistence on returning to Houston after this season means the Yankees are almost certain to get a supplemental draft pick for him.

So two trades have been working out for the Yankees and another could break even either way. Of course, Yankee fans know, that if they don’t show up in October all of this can be reversed.

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