Monday, June 12, 2006


I've talked a lot about outfielders who we could target for a deadline trade for an outfielder. I figured that I would take a brief moment and talk about the other end of the puzzle - who the hell we would actually trade for reinforcements.

The Yankees have very limited depth near the major leagues. We have one hell of a Single-A team in Charleston (Austin Jackson, Eddie Nunez, Jose Tabata, CJ Henry, Marcos Vechionacci, and Tim Battle in the same lineup), but little else beyond that. Our only legit prospects above that level include Tylar Clippard, Brett Gardner, Justin Pope, Eric Duncan, Phil Hughes, Steve White, T.J. Beam, J.B. Cox, Matt DeSalvo, Jeff Karstens and Josh Schmidt.

In addition, we have the following tradable guys at the major league level: Matt Smith, Robinson Cano, Melky Cabrera, Scott Proctor, Darrell Rasner, Ron Villone, Mike Myers, and Andy Phillips.

That is a pretty hefty list. We can probably narrow it down. Duncan, Karstens, DeSalvo, and Clippard aren't really performing well enough to have significant value in a trade. Hughes and Cox are probably considered untouchable by the organization. We'll also assume for now that Robby Cano and Melky Cabrera are off limits (although in my master plan, which I probably will get around to typing tomorrow, I would trade one or both of them). Pope, Gardner and Schmidt also probably wouldn't garner a whole lot of value, so they are also out.

That leaves us with the following trade bait: Beam, Smith, White, Rasner, Proctor, Villone, Myers, and Phillips. Who has value and who does not?

T.J. Beam is probably worth more to the organization than he would garner in a trade. No doubt he is going to be a very good reliever in the majors one day, but few teams would give away a quality major leaguer for T.J. Beam.

The three lefties could easily be peddled off to some club. Contending teams are always looking for good left handed relief pitching, and we happen to have three pitchers to fill what really is three available bullpen spots. And none of them are being paid a whole lot. Matt Smith, under control for six years, almost certainly has the most value out of this group.

Steve White probably has more value to the Yankees, barring a really hot first month at AAA, than he does in the trade market. He might even start for us sometime this summer. He absolutely should not be considered untouchable given the proximity (read: next year) of Hughes, Clippard, Karstens, and DeSalvo to AAA ball, but everyone always regrets trading away young starting pitching. The same probably goes for Darrell Rasner.

Scott Proctor had a lot more value a month ago. Now he's just a cheap middle reliever. Some team would probably accept him in part of a package. If he starts pitching well again, his value will increase.

Andy Phillips might be considered very good trade bait. He has a ready replacement - Carlos Pena (who is hitting at a solid rate in AAA right now) - within the organization all ready. He has the upside of a very strong hitter and tremendous defender at 1b.

Tomorrow will be my master fantasy plan for the organization.