New York Yankees Editorial: The Bronx is Boiling Deadline Deals


75 games into the season and this New York Yankees team is, thus far, a success. Despite long absences from Jacoby Ellsbury and Masahiro Tanaka and the continuing fall of CC Sabathia, the New York Yankees remain in second place in the AL East and atop the Wild Card leaderboard.

It’s that time of year though, folks. The trade deadline is looming and the rumor mill has busted wide open. Do the New York Yankees need help? Yes, but only if the price is right. The Bronx is boiling and I need to blow some steam.


Last season, Brian Cashman may have done his best in-season work bringing over names like Brandon McCarthy and Martin Prado which kept the Yankees in the race right down to the end of the road. He may have to outdo himself this season if he is to bring in any help that won’t cost too much of the future. 

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One of the names that keeps popping up is Jeff Samardzija. I don’t like this idea one bit. Samardzija was always one of those guys who had that label, “just get him off of the Chicago Cubs and you’ll see how good he really is.” Well, he is off the Cubs, and he is the same pitcher. That pitcher is one in which people think extremely too highly.

Samardzija is a nice three or four starter. The problem is teams, like the Chicago White Sox who traded away four pieces to obtain him as their No. 2, overvalue him. The White Sox, who are in last place, won’t let Samardzija go cheap, and he simply isn’t worth any deal that includes Aaron Judge, Luis Severino, Rob Refsnyder or Greg Bird.

I will say the same thing I said when the New York Yankees acquired Nathan Eovaldi. Bringing a historically hittable pitcher to Yankee Stadium is not a smart move. Samardzija has always been very hittable, and this season he is doing it at a career worst. He leads the MLB in hits allowed and is currently allowing a career-worst 10.5 hits per nine.

Samardzija’s strength in the past is that despite allowing a lot of hits, he was a big strikeout pitcher. He could limit the damage by striking out the side and stranding base runners. This year he is striking out a career low 7.5 batters per nine, a number that has been dropping since his consecutive seasons of striking out one per inning in 2012 and 2013.

Another name that has surfaced is the Cincinnati Reds Mike Leake. The Reds are two things: bad in the big leagues and bad, if not worse, in the Minor Leagues. Getting an arm like Johnny Cueto from them would cost just about every top prospect the New York Yankees have. Stepping down and getting Mike Leake would still be costly.

Again, the problem with Leake isn’t that he is a bad pitcher, it is what it will cost and that he will be overvalued. Leake’s impending free agency seems to suggest that, like Brandon McCarthy before him, he would be an arm for hire and left to test the free agent market at season’s end. Is sacrificing a Top Ten prospect worth that?

If the New York Yankees go all-in and decide to mortgage the farm it should be for Cole Hamels. Many fans are opposed to this because of how much it would take to get him, but trading away anymore than a Gary Sanchez for either of the two above mentioned names would be trading away too much as well.

Many people look at Hamels 22-29 record over the past two and a half seasons and think he is tailing off since he hit 30. It is quite untrue. His ERA (3.10), WHIP (1.16) and strikeout rate (8.9) are all right around or actually better than his career norms. What the problem has been is the Phillies, not Hamels.

Say this to yourself out loud: Hamels-Tanaka-Pineda-Nova-Eovaldi (if you follow along with me, you are well aware by now my thoughts on Adam Warren in the rotation. I am a huge Warren fan, and think that he is a quality starter, but think that the value he brings to the bullpen is second to none). That’s impressive and that’s set in stone for a few years. But again, it would cost the Yankees severely.

If it were any other GM the Ruben Amaro, the Phillies could be had for less, but Amaro has proven in the past to be difficult to work a deal. The Phillies are in desperate need for just about everything except third or first base because of Maikel Franco, and the Yankees can provide a lot of that.

The Phillies catching situation is in shambles. Carlos Ruiz is still starting and that is scary. Enter Gary Sanchez. Sanchez is still just 22-years old, but I think he has run his course in the New York Yankees system. He needs a fresh start to reach the potential the Yankees once saw in him.

Should the Phillies find a taker for Ryan Howard (who should be considered the offensive version of Sabathia at this point), they can move Franco to first and the Yankees can send over No. 11 prospect Miguel Andujar who has a chance to be fast tracked to the Majors in Philly but is blocked by Eric Jagielo in New York.

It would take more than that, maybe an Ian Clarkin or maybe Jacob Lindgren if Jonathan Papelbon were to be in the mix as many rumors suggest, but at the end of the day, there are options that are favorable to both teams that keep Severino, Judge and Bird in pinstripes. But again, it will be difficult with Amaro.

Who knows what is in store over the next few weeks, but there is no doubt that the Yankees will be making some moves. Hopefully, they can pull in some nice pieces on the cheap and return to October playoffs.

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