(Otherwise entitled "Keep Greg Off The Ledge")
So here we are just 10 days away from the trading deadline, with our Yankees still leading Major League Baseball with the best record in the game. Robinson Cano is having a phenomenal season, along with Brett Gardner, Nick Swisher, C.C. Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, and Mariano Rivera. Everyone else seems to be producing under par in my opinion. That's not to say that they aren't having pretty good seasons in general, but they are definitely playing below their abilities. Take your pick from the rest of the lineup and pitching staff. Jeter, A-Rod, Tex, Posada, Granderson, Burnett, Robertson, Joba, etc. Every single one of those players is playing below what we probably all expected from them at the beginning of the season.
While we have all heard the Brian Cashman statement of this being a "dead market", I find that very hard to believe. There are talks this morning of a deal between Houston and Philly for Roy Oswalt, and Philly and Tampa for Jayson Werth. Both of these players are ones that could help the Yankees, so the question is "what do we do now?"
There has been conversation here on SIH that Joba may be a prime candidate to be moved, perhaps for a Soria-type reliever, or even to another team for a starter. I am on board with that being that I have tired of waiting for him to become what we all hyped him up to be. I think that train may have left the station and a change of scenery may do him some good. I do believe that he will have a good career, but I do not believe it will be in New York.
On the Oswalt front, I believe he could actually help the team now and in the future. He is a solid pitcher that we would have under control for the next two years as well, at a lower salary than Cliff Lee would command, and with Vasquez gone at the end of the year, and Pettitte most likely gone as well, Oswalt would slide in quite nicely. By next year Hughes will have a full year under his belt, and we would go into the season with a top 4 of C.C., Oswalt, Hughes, and Burnett. I like A.J. much better as a 4th starter. Maybe we even go ahead and sign Lee anyway. Imagine how nice that would be! If we were to go get Oswalt now, we could slide Hughes back into the 8th inning role to keep his innings down, put Joba (if he's still here) in the 7th with D-Rob. Keep Albaladejo in the 8th and bridge to Mariano.
Jayson Werth would be a nice addition as well, but I think the Phils will want too much for him. I really don't think the bench is that horrible to begin with. I am not a big fan of Ramiro Pena, but I think Thames can get a hit when he has to, and Cervelli is an RBI machine when there are RISP.
I don't think the Royals are going to move Soria. They are a team that could surprise some people in the next two years or so, and I think they will hang on to him. There is no real need to move him for the Royals, so unless they bring in a haul of prospects, there is no point in doing it for them.
My trading "Wish List" would therefore be as follows:
1. Roy Oswalt.....(Joba to 7th with D-Rob...Hughes to 8th...)
2. Soria (Joba to KC with another mid level prospect or two...D-Rob in the 7th, Hughes in 8th)
3. Jayson Werth (Joba to Philly?)
4. Dan Haren, Jake Westbrook, Ben Sheets, Ted Lilly (Has he recovered yet from the Barry Bonds blast at Old Yankee Stadium?)
As you can see, I am in favor of getting another starter. Even with Pettitte coming back eventually, Hughes will reach his innings limit sooner rather than later. What happens then? I think we should make an all out push for another mid level starter. I really think the bench will be fine, although Werth does look pretty good (by that I mean much better than Granderson).
This is one of the years where I think that what we do at the deadline will ultimately play into our chances in the postseason. If we make the right moves, then I think our path to another WS championship is clear. Should we stand pat however, and not make a decent move to bolster our bench, bullpen, and rotation, then we could definitely be in trouble. So Greg, for now...stay off that ledge...at least until August 1st.