Saturday, July 28, 2012

Thinking About Other Possible Trade Targets

(This guy WOULD look good in pinstripes... )

The Yankee trade talk has quieted down a bit since the Ichiro deal and the initial boom in hypotheticals in response to the Alex Rodriguez injury, but it's never wise to consider Cash "done" until the trade deadline has passed.  There are still a few days until the happens, and with Eric Chavez hobbled by an HBP last night, production from the catcher position still inconsistent and underwhelming, and the natural connection of the Yankees to any big name pitcher who may be available, it's still worth at least talking about what the Yankees could do.  At the moment there is nothing to indicate that the Yankees are or will be involved in major negotiations about any of the gentlemen mentioned below, but here's my takes on a few players whose services could fit the Yankees' future wants and current needs.

George Kottaras- He was DFA'd by the Brewers the other day after Jonathan Lucroy came off the DL, and Kottaras would represent an upgrade over what the Yankees have been getting from the Martin/Stewart catching tandem.  He has a .352 wOBA this season in 116 PA, and a .321 for his career, mainly on the strength of his BB rate (13.8%), but Kottaras can also hit for some power.  He's not much defensively and doesn't throw out many base stealers, and the Yankees would be the last team able to make a waiver claim on him so they would have to trade something to get him.  While some stability from an offensive standpoint would be nice, I don't think it's really worth giving up any kind of prospect for Kottaras' services.

Josh Johnson- Johnson has always been one of my sneaky favorite pitchers from the NL.  He's young, he's huge, and he's got plus stuff.  Johnson seems to have fully recovered from last season's shoulder injury, and with the Marlins fire sale fully in process he could be had for the right price.  Johnson is still in his prime, and adding another sub-30-year-old stud to the rotation is enticing, but the Marlins' asking price is reportedly through the roof and Johnson is not without his injury concerns based on his checkered health past.  I don't see the Yankees getting seriously involved in talks with Miami for Johnson as anything more than a pipe dream.

Chase Headley- Everybody who knows their stuff about baseball immediately thought about Headley when the A-Rod injury was announced, and he actually makes a ton of sense for the Yankees.  He's only 28, is an underrated hitter (.265/.360/.424 this season) who would thrive as a switch hitter in Yankee Stadium, and he's a plus defensive player at third base.  Adding Headley would allow the Yankees to transition A-Rod to DH full-time starting next year, and he's arb-eligible until 2015.  As much sense as he makes for the present and future, Headley won't come cheap and adding a player of his caliber goes against Cash's recent deadline MO.  I'd be more than willing to start talks around a package of Nova/Hughes, Mason Williams, Eduardo Nunez, and possibly David Phelps, but it probably makes more sense to wait until the offseason to start those talks.

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