As the July 31st non-waiver trading deadline continues to approach, the New York Yankees need to begin to address a handful of issues if they are going to make their run at an American League East crown. Two primary needs–starting pitcher and second base are both items that general manager Brian Cashman should be looking for with 32 days until the deadline.
A recent report stated that ESPN’s Buster Olney stated that “sources guarantee that the Yankees will acquire a starting pitcher by the July 31st trade deadline.” With Chase Whitley beginning to hit the wall, and C.C. Sabathia and Michael Pineda still several weeks away, the Yankees are going to have to pull the trigger for an upgrade in the rotation. Whether they attempt to empty the farm for an upper-tier arm like Jeff Samardzija, Cliff Lee, Mat Latos, or David Price remains to be seen, but most in and around the game believe the Bombers just don’t have the pieces to get it done. Look for the Yankees to make a run a second-tier starting pitchers such as Jason Hammel or Brandon McCarthy.
The other pressing need, remains finding a somewhat suitable replacement for the departed Robinson Cano. Brian Roberts, Kelly Johnson, and Yangervis Solarte are simply not going to get the job done over the long haul of a baseball season. The Yankees may not have to look much further than to their crosstown rivals, the New York Mets. There have been rumors about the Mets being willing to deal second baseman Daniel Murphy since spring training, and with the deadline quickly approaching, it’s time for the Yankees to make their move.
The Mets are looking for pitching in return, and as the aforementioned report stated, Manny Banuelos could be the young arm that gets the deal done. Banuelos was once the prized possession of a thin Yankees’ farm system, but a Tommy John surgery has derailed his fast track to the big leagues. Murphy is hitting .291 on the season, and would provide an immediate upgrade to the Bombers–both offensively and with the leather.
The Toronto Blue Jays and San Francisco Giants have also been rumored to be in the market for both a second and third baseman, and names such as Murphy, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ben Zobrist, and Martin Prado have all been mentioned over the the past few days. It’ll come down to the asking price, and specifics of each player’s contract as to whether any or all of these players get moved. Rollins and Utley have 10-and-5 rights, and would have to sign off on any deal. Whether or not the Mets would be willing to deal with the Yankees remains to be seen, and the asking price might increase, with a prospect such as Austin Romine being dangled along with an arm to acquire the much-needed second baseman.