As the trade deadline looms, we at Yanks Go Yard have begun looking at a couple of players who could be on the move. Last week, we looked at trading Phil Hughes. Earlier this week, Jason Evans looked at the possibility of trading Joba Chamberlain. This week, let’s look at another pitcher, Boone Logan.
On the surface, the idea of trading Logan would seem stupid. For starters, outside of CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte, Logan is the only left-handed pitcher on the entire 25-man roster. He has been historically a very decent lefty specialist since coming to the Yankees after the 2009 season.
Moreover, Logan was arbitration eligible during this time, making him a good bullpen option at a reasonable price. During that span, Logan has had an exceptional averaged ERA of 3.37 and an averaged WHIP of just over 1.35. He was durable as well, averaging over 40 IP per season, with a career-leading 80 appearances in over 55 IP in 2012 and a combined 152 Ks to just 61 BBs, including only 13 BBs (!!) in 2012.
Additionally, Logan’s ERA+ in those three years has been an average 128.6 After a bumpy start, Logan is set up to have possibly his most successful season in pinstripes. With 31 games under his belt, Logan has a 2.29 ERA, with a WHIP 1.27 in 19.1 IP. Through the year to date, he has an ERA+ of 182 and 28 Ks to just 4 BBs.
Logan is having a great year– why trade him, you may be asking. The reasoning is two-fold. Firstly, while Logan’s overall number are good, they are deceptive. Though he has an outstanding strikeout rate, he has actually given up more hits than innings pitched- 21 hits to 19.1 innings. As we have seen with Ivan Nova, ultimately, luck runs out and there is a regression to the mean, resulting in the inevitability that those runners that Logan has allowed on base will score.
Additionally, through this point, Logan has already given up 3 homers; in all off 2010 he surrendered 3 homers. Further, Logan is a lefty specialist, but on the whole, his numbers against lefties are not that great. Of the 21 hits surrendered, 13 have been to lefties. In fact, lefities are currently batting .295/.311/.432 against him, with an OPS of .743 in 44 ABs, allowing 9 RBI. Given that Joe Girardi is often beholden to his match-up games, that doesn’t inspire much confidence in Logan, particularly in light of the fact that he is the only lefty in the pen.
Finally, Logan is in the final year of arbitration. He will be a free agent at the conclusion of this season, and will probably be seeking a relatively long-term deal. Considering his strong performance heading into a contract, and the fact that he is making over $3 million/per year, will probably price him out of the Yankees range (and what is fiscally responsible).
With Vidal Nuno in the minors, who showed very strong promise during his short big-league tenure this year, Logan becomes expendable. Further, unlike Chamberlain or Hughes, whom the Yankees would be selling with a very low value, the Yankees could capitalize on Logan’s success to get back a piece (please, please, a bat, please), that could be helpful later in the season.
It will be difficult to make an impact trade, as so many more teams are in the race with the added wildcard, and the AL East is so tight. As the deadline draws closer, the Yankees might be able to take advantage of a team who has fallen out of contention, or else maybe (don’t shoot the messenger) decide to trade for a long-term building piece, with the knowledge the a championship in 2013 might be unrealistic with the injuries and roster composition. However, as Brian Cashman said, open for business really means that almost anyone is fair game, and the Yankees should at least kick the tires to see what would be offered for Logan.