The Yankees have to fill positions in right field, catcher, third base, and DH and since they have a limited budget it’s likely going to take some creativity to figure out exactly how to do it — that’s where Curtis Granderson and Phil Hughes come in.
Both players will be free agents after the 2013 season and the Yankees are reportedly open to trading either player, according to Buster Olney of ESPN and Joel Sherman of the NY Post, but they would then just have to replace them as well.
That doesn’t necessarily make things easier for the Yankees and the fact that both will be free agents at the end of the year sorta limits each of their values. But it could be a way to free up payroll for other moves. It might also be easier to replace an outfielder or a pitcher than it is to replace a third baseman or catcher since there are so few available quality players at the latter two positions.
Keep in mind though that at this point Brian Cashman is probably open to just about anything that could help him fill holes in the roster. You could probably switch Granderson and Hughes’ names with just about anybody on the team. That doesn’t mean they are necessarily going to get traded it just means he’s open to the idea. Like Cashman said, if something makes sense for the Yankees he’s going to pounce on it and if that means trading Granderson then he’ll do it.
Neither player would necessarily be easy to replace. Granderson had a low average and OBP, but crushed the ball for 43 homers and finished with a .232/.319/.492 line. Although with Brett Gardner able to slide into the center field position they wouldn’t need to replace him with a center fielder necessarily.
Hughes is also coming off a solid year. It was a bit of a slow start, but he finished his final 27 games with a 3.82 ERA, 7.5 K/9, and a 2.1 BB/9. He had a crazy home run rate which if he brings down even a little bit could be in for a big year in 2013.