When discussing the trade deadline earlier in the week, Yankees GM Brian Cashman said that he preferred to do nothing at all rather than deal prospects and spend money on players just for the sake of trading. Yesterday’s injuries to CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte may have changed things, but Cashman still insists he’d prefer to stay in house for their replacements.
But these are the Yankees and despite the fact that George Steinbrenner is gone, old habits die hard. If the Yankees give into those old habits and look to the trade market here is who they might find. Remember, as per the new CBA, the Yankees wouldn’t be able to receive compensation picks for any of these pitchers who might leave this offseason.
The top five of the list are pitchers that could potentially make a big impact on the playoff rotation. The bottom five could help solidify their rotation during the regular season, but wouldn’t necessarily be a top 3 pitcher come playoff time.
- Matt Garza - (4.06 ERA, 8.4 K/9, 2.5 BB/9 in ’12, 1-year & $9.5M, free agent after ’13): Garza is one of the more likely on this list to actually get traded, but he will certainly cost a lot in prospects. One of the few pitchers on this list with AL East experience.
- Francisco Liriano – (5.30 ERA, 8.8 K/9, 5.0 BB/9 in ’12, 1-year & $5.5M, free agent after ’12): The Yankees have had interest in him in the past, but he had an ERA north of 5.00 last year and struggled mightily early this season before posting a 2.41 ERA over his last six starts.
- Zack Greinke – (2.82 ERA, 9.0 K/9, 1.9 BB/9 in ’12, final year of a 4-year & $38M deal): The Yankees have passed on trading for him before in 2010 and probably would again this year.
- Ryan Dempster – (2.11 ERA, 7.3 K/9, 2.4 BB/9 in ’12, final year of a 4-year & $52M deal): A career 99 ERA+, there are legitimate concerns as to whether he can pitch in the AL East or not, but he has been a much better pitcher since turning 31.
- Cole Hamels – (3.03 ERA, 9.2 K/9, 2.2 BB/9 in ’12, 1-year & $15M deal, free agent after ’12): Best pitcher on this list. He’s still 28, he’s lefty, he has a career ERA+ of 125 and has a World Series MVP. Problems with budget concerns and ability to sign him this offseason as both the Dodgers and Phillies could bid aggressively. Will cost a lot in prospects for a possible rental.
- Wandy Rodriguez – (3.52 ERA, 5.9 K/9, 1.9 BB/9, 1-year & $13M owed in ’13, $13M club option for ’14 w/$2.5M buyout): Yankees have come close, but resisted dealing for him over concerns that he wasn’t enough of an upgrade to justify the expense. Astros would likely have to eat some cash, but he would still cost a decent amount in prospects.
- Shaun Marcum – (3.39 ERA, 8.4 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, 1-year & $7.725M deal, free agent after ’12): To me could be one of the more intriguing name on this list because he might not cost a lot and is a solid pitcher with a 113 career ERA+. Trading for him now would be a good tryout for him in the Bronx before he is a free agent. Has solid AL East experience. Brewers might not be sellers though.
- Edinson Volquez – (3.82, 7.6 K/9, 5.2 BB/9, 1-year & $2.2375M, free agent after ’13): The Padres are going no where and Volquez is their biggest trade chip. He’s arbitration eligible after this season so he wouldn’t just be a rental. He might cost a decent aount and only has a 92 ERA+. This seems doubtful.
- Jeremy Guthrie – (6.36 ERA, 4.7 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, 1-year & $8.2M, free agent after ’12): He has had some success in the AL East and Coors Field is definitely not pitcher friendly, but it seems very unlikely the Yankees would trade for him amidst a horrible season like this.
- Joe Saunders – (3.44 ERA, 5.9 K/9, 2.3 BB/9, 1-year & $6M deal, free agent after ’12): On this list mostly just to round it out. Could have put Bruce Chen here too or potentially even Joe Blanton. I picked Saunders as the guy to put on this list though because of the Yankees relationship with Dbacks GM Kevin Towers. The Yankees would have to be in panic mode with regards to the pitching staff which is hard to imagine right now. Deal would have to be very cheap as well.