Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Best Trades Are Those Not Made

This time last year we were talking about top prospect Austin Jackson who was arguably one of the best outfield prospects to come through the Yankee farm system since Bernie Williams. He ended up having a good all around season at Triple-A, maintaining a batting average around .300. He was also solid defensively, chasing down fly balls with his above average speed.

Unfortunately he was rewarded for this performance by becoming the cornerstone of the Curtis Granderson trade, which today looks very one-sided. Unfortunately not in the Yankees favor, and may look even worse in the future. Jackson and the other players given up, Phil Coke and Ian Kennedy, have each had good seasons this year:

Jackson: .307 batting average; 64 runs; 25 RBIs and 16 stolen bases. At this pace he should project to about 200 hits for the year. He has been a solid lead off hitter and defensive centerfielder. Referred to by manager Jim Leyland as the "total package".

Coke: In 52 games so far he has a 2.60 ERA and 38 K. He has been a very serviceable lefty reliever for the Tigers.

Kennedy: Has started 22 games for Arizona and has 6 wins, an ERA of 4.40 and 113 K. Right now he is a back of the rotation starter who should get better as he pitches more.

The evaluation of this trade will continue for awhile but unless Granderson, who is 6 years older, makes a major contribution the remainder of the season, it could become more obvious that the Yankees were fleeced. Of course some will argue the negatives about Jackson like the strikeout rate or lack of power, but his progress over the next couple years will also have a lot of impact on the analysis.

I personally like the trades the Yankees don't make a lot better. Like the one that kept Phil Hughes with the Yankees.

Today we have another prospect at Triple-A that I hope the Yankees can resist trading. He's 20 year old Jesus Montero who won the game for Scranton last night with a walk-off, 2 run home run. In 22 games after the all star break he is batting .395 with 6 HRs; 15 RBI and a .460 OBP. He is getting better offensively by the game and his defensive skills as a catcher have also been improving.

He has already almost been traded once. Hopefully he will get a shot to impress in September so he can give the front office some more reasons not to trade him.

Hughes or Santana? Jackson or Granderson?? Montero or ????

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