As the Yankees get closer to the July 31st trade deadline it has become painfully clear that they need some help. The problem is that with the looming $189 million budget next year their prospects are at a premium.
They do however have two pitchers, Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes, that not only have become less important pieces on this team, but are also free agents at the end of the season. They are the perfect pieces to trade right now.
The problem is that they have been so inconsistent that rival executives have told Andy Martino of the NY Daily News that the Yankees shouldn’t expect to get much in return for either player.
“They’re not going to get much from those guys,” one National League executive in the market for pitching told Martino. “Nobody is giving up an impact bat, or a prospect, especially because you’re only getting half a season of those guys…”
“…I don’t think teams would give up a whole lot.”
So while ideally Hughes and Joba are perfect players to be traded they’re not necessarily the pieces other teams are looking for. It’s not hard to see why either because while both players flash impressive stuff, they have struggled big time with consistency. Hughes has a 5.09 ERA this season while Joba is even worse at 5.60.
The Yankees could potentially package the two of them together to make them slightly more valuable and it just takes one dumb owner or GM. However it still seems unlikely that the Yankees would get more than a spare part that won’t be a significant upgrade.
The problem is that even with both packaged together the Yankees will need to find a match that wants both. Teams can’t have too much pitching, but with both just months from free agency only a team in a playoff race will even be interested at all. They will also have to be desperate to take a chance on not one but two question marks. There aren’t a lot of teams both in a playoff race and desperate.
Even if they could find such a team the Yankees still might not be able to get a lot out of them. After all, teams aren’t stupid, they’ll realize that the Yankees are probably more desperate than them and would without anything good in an offer. At that point it might be best for the Yankees to just hold on to the two players and hope for the best.