Sep 20, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez reacts after driving in a run with an infield hit in the ninth inning during the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees Should Deal With Seattle and Milwaukee

March 3, 2014; Peoria, AZ, USA; Seattle Mariners second baseman Nick Franklin (6) throws to first to complete an out against the Colorado Rockies at Peoria Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees certainly had a successful offseason for the most part. They’ve improved at almost every position and look to be a serious contender. Still, they let Robinson Cano walk, so they have a giant hole at second base. Alex Rodriguez is suspended for the entire season, so third base is also a problem. For now, they’re filling these holes with guys like Brian Roberts, Kelly Johnson, Eduardo Nunez and others, but that may not be enough.

According to George King III of the New York Post, the Mariners, Cano’s new team, and the Brewers had scouts in attendance at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, FL on Tuesday night to watch the Yankees’ 3-2 loss to the Orioles. The M’s had a scout watch  starter David Phelps’ 2.1 inning outing. With Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker hurt, they are looking for pitching. The Brewers are looking for a backup for catcher Jonathan Lucroy. Francisco Cervelli went deep during the game.

The Yankees have assets they can give to both teams. Phelps, Michael Pineda, Adam Warren, and Vidal Nuno are all fighting for the fifth starter role and could be easily expendable. Cervelli, Austin Romine, and John Ryan Murphy are battling to backup catcher Brian McCann.

Both teams have assets the Yankees should be enticed by if they want to make a deal. Cano’s signing with Seattle has made 23 year-old second baseman Nick Franklin expendable. He has good pop and is improving with the glove, and the Mariners have been dangling him all winter. He can also play shortstop, but they have Brad Miller at that position. It’s possible they would like to get Phelps, who has been inconsistent but misses plenty of bats (career 8.5 K/9 in 186.1 IP) to fill the back-end of the rotation. The Yankees could easily replace him.

The Brewers have some potential quick fixes the Yankees could use, but it may cost them some money and other things. They’re trying to unload either second baseman Rickie Weeks or third baseman Aramis Ramirez, both owed over $11 million this year. Weeks has shown potential in his career but constant injuries have plagued him. It shouldn’t take all too much to get him, as the Brewers are trying to break in prospect Scooter Gennett.

The 35 year-old Ramirez is still a great player as he put up a 134 OPS+ in the previous three seasons, but the Brewers may ask for a bit unless they want to eat the rest of his $16 million. A starting point with be one of the losers of the battle for the Yanks’ backup catcher position.

Trading with either team would fill a big hole for the Yankees. Franklin is a young and improving player who would be under team control for the next six seasons, something the team could very well use. Weeks would be a reclamation project for the next two years that has potential and not a whole lot of risk Ramirez would be a monster upgrade at the hot corner and would move Kelly Johnson to his natural second base.

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Tags: Aramis Ramirez New York Yankees Nick Franklin Speculation Trade

  • New_Core

    We have nothing to trade and we don’t need to add anyone else. The end.

    • Stan

      plenty of backup catcher prospects in the yankee system and catcher is about the thinnest postion in the majors. Though i would rather trade a catcher and a pitching prospect to arizona for either gregorious or owings

      • Joseph

        ^^ this. We are loaded with catchers and I’d add outfielders, both of which we signed multiple deals at the big league level. In fact, pretty much EVERY prospect worth mentioning in the Yankees system is one or the other.

        As for not needing anything, keep dreaming lol. Teix’s wrist is a question mark with Johnson being his replacement at first, which would further complicate the situation.

        Jeter is anything but a certainty at his age.

        Roberts is an injury waiting to happen.

        Johnson is “ok” but nothing special.

        Ryan has no stick.

        NunE6z has no glove.

        The list goes on.

        “i would rather trade a catcher and a pitching prospect to arizona for either gregorious or owings” is the winner, winner, chicken dinner comment.

        I can EASILY see both teams dealing from need/strengths on this. We have a lot of C’s, they need one. They have a lot of SS’s, we need one beyond 2014 (or sooner).

        • Stan

          im not too worried about the outfield for this year. next year it may be a concern but thats a year away and while the outfield class for 2015 is not great, (colby rasmus is probably the top name at this point) the yankees will find a way

          • Joseph

            Gardner and Ellsburry are locked in, Beltran can field RF for now (hopefully 2 of the 3 years on his deal) but can easily be replaced with a minor FA signing. Additionally, the Yankees have several options developing to slide in behind Carlos in the near future.

        • artie999

          I again agree, both these teams people are eyeing our players I hope something happens. :-)

  • ArjayW

    Stop trying to buy yourself a team! We’re fine the way we are. Period.

    • Stan

      discussing and making trades is not the same as buying a team.. when one refers to buying a team they mean signing free agents. Trades and player development are the opposite of that.

      • Stan

        didnt mean to like my own comment

        • Joseph

          There I liked it for ya lol so yours doesn’t feel lonely.
          You’re right too. Making trades is NOT buying players or wins. It’s using assets you acquired through scouting and development to get other assets. Baseball transactions in their purest form.

  • Joseph

    ” The Yankees could easily replace him (Phelps)” is a bit of a stretch.

    We know Pineda has the upside but his injury is one where guys suffer setbacks/diminished performance as often (or more) than they bounce back.

    Nuno is s junk-throwing lefty whom I’d rather not hang hopes on.

    Warren is very similar to Phelps but also hasn’t really as much success through the minors. He was solid out of the pen last season but has only started three times in MLB, posting a catastrophically bad ERA in the process.

    That being said, I’d certainly be talking to my coaches about how the starters look, making sure that Pineda is 100% honest with trainers about how he feels and seeing what my scouts/player development people think about all the other young arms we have in the pipeline.

    If everything seemed right I’d package Phelps and a middling prospect for Franklin, though the M’s would try to leverage more.

    I wouldn’t give up squat in terms of young players for either Weeks or Ramirez, only offering to absorb contracts, but that doesn’t seem to be something the front office would do.

    • Stan

      i think when he he says easily replaced he means a bottom of the rotation type pitcher. I dont see phelps as anything better than .500 pitcher with a 4.00 era… a 5th starter. which i think any of the other guys can do, or even a last minute addition.

      • Telly Halkias

        Except Phelps is the Bob Shirley of his era
        …he has a rubber arm and you need one of those guys on your team who can start, close and relieve long and short…all on no notice. Enter Phelps.

    • artie999

      I agree with everything you’ve said. It’s an astute in depth analysis. My only quibble, and its a minor one, is if Phelps is really healthy. When he was he was he was an excellent long and middle reliever and spot starter. But we really need at least one corner IF who is healthy and can hit with power or a young quality middle IF who’s still developing and we can control for a few years. Ramirez for next to nothing money wise would also be a big help. Bottom line, we still need an elite reliever for either the 8th or 9th inning. what do you think?

      • Stan

        I think that while an established 8th inning guy with some closer experience would be nice to have, I do like the mix that it looks like they will go with. A bunch of hard throwing kids. The yankees will carry 6 or 7 relievers robertson, claibrone and kelley as the 7th and inning guys, cabral and thorton as the lefties and a long man (whoever comes in 2nd for the 5th starter i am guessing phelps) and then if the yankees to carry 7 relievers maybe betances comes up with the team also. that makes thorton the sole member of the bullpen over 30. and of the under 30 crew they are all hard throwers.

        • artie999

          Lot of quality info here. All of it makes sense. But when you make the playoffs 18 out of 19 years using a FA, veteran, highest payroll model, why on earth would you change it? Despite all the press, hoopla, and new players, the Yanks are spending @20M less than last year. When you see Hal and Hank sell all their interest in YES and pass up an every day 3rd baseman who projects at 25+ HRs and 80+ RBIs for only 2M it makes me seriously wonder if the Steinbrenners are no longer able to spend as they always have. What do you think?