The Yankees may or may not believe they have enough to make some noise in the playoffs. But other teams in contention are already making some noise with deals that directly impact the pennant and wild card race.
So far, the Yankees, unlike their actions at the trade deadline, are remaining very quiet during the current second round of deals we typically see at this stage of a season. And while their season doesn’t hinge on what other teams are doing, there’s cause to wonder if the Yankees need to follow suit by beefing up their roster too.
Teams are moving, and they are moving fast. In a deal that now looks nixed, the Astros were reportedly set to acquire Justin Verlander from the Tigers in exchange for Franklin Perez, Daz Cameron and possibly Jake Rodgers, all highly regarded prospects in the Astro’s system.
Verlander, who has a full no-trade clause in his contract, reportedly has nixed the deal for reasons unknown at this point. But even if the deal falls through, it shows the intentions of the Houston ballclub to make up for their inaction at the trade deadline by acquiring the pitcher they desperately need to put them over the top in the playoffs.
Editor’s Note: (9:00 A.M. EST) The deal for Verlander is complete and he will be pitching for the Houston Astros.
Assuming the Yankees can get by the one-game shootout, it’s likely they’ll be facing the Astros later in the playoffs.
Meanwhile, the California Angels took a giant step to improve their ballclub by acquiring Justin Upton from the Tigers for minor league pitcher Grayson Long and a player to be named later or cash considerations. Paired with Mike Trout, this makes the Angels a force to be reckoned with should the team make the playoffs.
The Angels also acquired second baseman Brandon Phillips from the Atlanta Braves.
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In a bonafide seek and destroy mission to clean house, the Tigers still have Shane Greene and Alex Wilson, two dependable relievers to deal and both would draw interest from any of the contenders in either league. It is not likely the Yankees would be interested in either, though, as the bullpen is the least of their worries.
From time to time, Verlander, for good reasons, has been tied to the Yankees as a subject of interest. However, Verlander’s age (34) and the $56 million he’s owed over the next two years make him less attractive to the Yankees, as well as other teams seeking his services.
That could change, however, since Detroit is in a rush to get rid of him and they could decide to eat most of his contract. Still, the Yankees, with the exception of CC Sabathia, have a young staff with more pitching on the way. And while Verlander is a sure-fire ace, adding him would create a log jam in their farm system. Not likely to happen.
The point remains, though, that while these moves by other teams are eye-catching, the Yankees only need to concentrate on what they are doing.
And I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see them sit tight, letting their competition scramble for last minute deals.
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