The MLB non-waiver trade deadline arrives today at 4:00 pm. There are several teams searching for the last piece of their puzzle in an effort to provide a playoff push and there are others trying to unload as much as possible looking forward to the future. The New York Yankees portray a state of contentment, but it is more a product of the perceived costs of the players available than it is that they WANT to remain out of the trade market.
An organizational decision to lower payroll under the $189 million tax threshold in 2014 along with the massive contracts of Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and CC Sabathia, has hamstrung the Yankees ability to make major moves, or even consider them and stay within the confines of the future payroll they’ve established. The Yankees did make a trade last week, acquiring Ichiro Suzuki and cash from the Seattle Mariners for D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar. Both former Yankees’ minor leaguers are fringe prospects at best, neither listed in any list which projects stars in the league. The addition of Ichiro was intended to alleviate playing time in left field for Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones, so that they could go back to taking turns at DH.
But the Yankees cannot stay away from injuries. Rodriguez went down after being hit by a pitch. A-Rod will miss up to eight weeks with a broken left hand. Nick Swisher went down with an injury which allowed Ichiro to stay in right field for the time being. Suzuki remained in right even with Swisher returning as the DH Sunday night in a effort to ease Swisher back into full-time action.
Last night, Teixeira aggravated an injury he sustained swinging a bat in the Red Sox series by falling on his left wrist while making a diving attempt at a hard grounder. He fell awkwardly on the glove hand and was unable to swing a bat in between innings and was subsequently removed from the game. He had x-rays taken last night, which showed nothing, so a MRI is scheduled for today.
The Yankees will hope that this is a minor injury which only needs a few days of rest. If it is worse and requires a DL-stint, there is no telling which way the Yankees will go, but it seems that they will stay within their system as general manager Brian Cashman claims to be unwilling to make a deal. Of course he says this, but if Teixeira’s test shows significant damage, can the Yankees go long term without him AND A-Rod in the lineup for an extended period?
The Yankees have been linked to San Diego Padres’ third baseman Chase Headley, who can play third base or left field. But, if they decide to look for a cheaper solution, the Philadelphia Phillies have Ty Wigginton on the market at a much lower cost. Wigginton can play multiple positions all around the field. If Cashman stays true to his word and stays in-house, the Yankees have a slew of options, which will require manager Joe Girardi to move players about the field on a daily basis.
Swisher could man first or right, Ichiro could play either left or right and Eric Chavez could play third or first. Jayson Nix can play any of the infield positions. Moving the players around allows for the continued use of the DH for Ibanez and Jones, while both could still see time in left if Swisher moves to first base. The Yankees have Brandon Laird at the ready in Triple-A. Laird can play both first and third base. He is hitting .250 with 12 homers and 61 RBI.
The long and short of it is this; the Yankees have been decimated by injuries all season and have found a way to get through them. The manner in which they do for the next couple months will be spelled out by 4:00 pm today.
Joba will make rehab appearance today
Joba Chamberlain will make another appearance with Double-A Trenton Thunder today. The hope is that Chamberlain will be able to enter the game with runners on base, the only situation he has not encountered thus far in his rehabilitation process. Chamberlain has been hitting anywhere from 94-98 mph on the radar gun and considers himself ready to go.
- Yankees clarify that Andy Pettitte did not suffer a “setback” but will take a step back in the rehab process after pushing ahead too quickly. The team claims he is still on schedule to return in September.
- Suzuki has a hit in each game since being traded to the Yankees (seven).
- Robinson Cano is in a three-game slide (0-for-13) and is hitting only .227 with one home run and one RBI in the last ten games.
Topics: A-Rod, Alex Rodriguez, Andruw Jones, Andy Pettitte, Brandon Laird, Brett Gardner, Brian Cashman, CC Sabathia, Chase Headley, D.J. Mitchell, Danny Farquhar, Eric Chavez, Ichiro Suzuki, Jayson Nix, Joba Chamberlain, Joe Girardi, Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees, Nick Swisher, Raul Ibanez, Robinson Cano, Trade Deadline, Ty Wigginton, Yankees