Sep 28, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Ichiro Suzuki (31) gets a single during the ninth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Two New York Yankees Who Could Be Dealt Before Opening Day

All seems to be quiet on the New York Yankees front. Stephen Drew doesn’t seem to be on the radar. Probably no interest at this point in free agent bullpen guys like Joel Hanrahan or Andrew Bailey who could help later on in the season. (Why? I’m not too sure). There are two players who may not be Yankees come Opening Night in Houston.

One is Ichiro Suzuki. To say he isn’t the player he once was is pretty accurate. Out of all the free agents the Yankees signed going into last year, he was the only guy who was given two years, and it’s fair to see the Yankees probably aren’t thrilled they did that right now. Ichiro will probably get his fair share of at-bats if he were to remain with the team. Carlos Beltran will probably miss time at some point. The DH spot is going to rotate between him, Alfonso Soriano, Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira and Brian McCann.

Ichiro is still a capable defender, but to me they would be better served with Zoilo Almonte in the bench spot. You had to like Almonte’s approach at the plate last year in limited time. He, like so many other Yankees missed time due to injury. The Yankees could use Ichiro as trade bait for a veteran reliever like J.J. Putz, who’s contract also expires, or as my co-editor Billy Brost suggested, Jonathan Papelbon.

Behind the dish, Austin Romine may find himself on the block as well. The Yankees didn’t exactly get great production out of the catcher position. Romine, in 148 plate appearances, had a .207/.255/.296 line with a homer and 10 RBI. Romine will probably find himself as the odd man out since the Yankees have five catchers on the 40 man roster. McCann and probably Francisco Cervelli will be at the big league level. J.R. Murphy is a better hitter and pretty close defensively with Romine. Gary Sanchez is the catcher of the future. Catcher isn’t very deep in the major leagues, so the Yankees might be able to pick up an arm or an infielder for Romine.

The Yankees roster seems to be pretty set right now, however, Ichiro and Romine could find themselves on the outside looking in if the Yankees try to fill other holes on the roster.

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  • Jimmy DeMarco

    As long as Cervelli stays healthy, I don’t see any way that Romine or Murphy get any time at catcher. Of course, I’m assuming that McCann can stay healthy somehow as well.

    Personally, moving Murphy to third may be an option this spring. He played 3B & RF in college. And I think Murphy is the kind of player who will only get better the more he plays. But I don’t think he will ever be as good defensively as Romine will be. Where as Romine, I don’t think his bat will ever catch up to big league pitching over a full season. He’ll probably end up between a Chris Stewart & Russell Martin type hitter.
    Now with saying that, I think Murphy has more value to trade, especially if packaged in a deal to land a higher end reliever.
    There was an article written towards the end of last year about possible trade partners for Kimbrel. And I for one am all over that. As stated in that article, the Yankees don’t have the elite or top notch prospects to get a deal done. What they do have is, exactly what the Braves would be asking for and need. And in the past week there have been grumblings out of Atlanta again that they would like to trade him.
    I apologize if my sights are set a little high here when discussing a possible deal for Kimbrel. But the truth is, adding him into our pen, along with Robertson, Kelley, Claiborne, Thornton, Warren or Phelps & whoever else gets a spot, that’s deep and jumps our pen to top 4 in the league.

    Now I bring up the Kimbrel situation because I believe the Yankees would be better served putting Murphy in a package to land him, not Romine. If it takes Gardner, Murphy, a Ramirez or DE Paula, Phelps or Warren, possibly Tyler Austin or Slade Heathcott, do it. And even if the Yankees want to add a Refsnyder, I wouldn’t be opposed to that either.
    It may sound like a lot to give up for just a closer, but the Yankees prospect pool, as I said earlier, isn’t elite or top notch. So it very well may take 4 or 5 guys to land him. And the Braves would actually gain payroll relief and wouldn’t have to deal with his contract demands next season. And the Yankees would gain that pen guy and closer they really need, (I am on the side that Robertson is not closer material). And also, the Braves have a ton of arms who could step in & close and they already have another closer on their team, Walden. Obviously he’s not Kimbrel, but no one is. & he would still be a good option for a closer.

  • Gregg Brennan

    We knew going in that Ichiro was pretty much done as the player he used to be, despite his second half revival with the Yanks in 2012. I guess the hope was he could continue his late-career revival full time in 2013 and it didn’t happen to no one’s surprise. I don’t know who would take him and what they would offer in return, but something tells me the Yanks would have to pay at least part of his salary to move him at this point or take another teams albatross in return. Deal him for a minor leaguer, pay half his salary and move him as he’s taking up a valuable roster spot that could be better spent on someone else.

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