The trade deadline is a mere 11 days away, counting today, and speculation will reach great heights before it’s over. With the increase in on-line coverage, you’ll see more information than ever before.
A few things to keep in mind:
* Many writers just throw stuff out there with the hope that something sticks and they can claim they had it first. I’d wager than half of what you read, mainstream and otherwise, is either nonsense or old news. Some blog a few days ago totally made up a story about the Yankees and Barry Bonds.
* That Brian Cashman is “talking to” somebody means zippo. He’s a GM, that’s what they do. Cashman will try and get in the mix of every deal involving an American League team, if only to see whether he can drive the price up or get the deal at a discount.
* That “Yankee scouts” attended some game means next to nothing, too. That’s what scouts do, they attend games. The Yankees have scouts assigned to MLB games, every minor league and others who do special assignments. There’s also a magical box called TV that allows you to see games.
Somebody last year wrote, “Yankee scouts are impressed with Scott Kazmir.” No kidding.
* The players who can improve the Yankees the most over the remaining 64 games are Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Bobby Abreu, Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada. For various reasons, including injury, these players have not been as productive as hoped to date. Much like last year, the Yankees will wait for them to rise.
(Note: Before the A-Rod Apologist Army jumps ugly on me, Alex has played just fine outside of his RISP numbers. I mention him because was on the DL in the first half and obviously that didn’t help the team score runs.)
* Try and think a little. Cashman did not package his best prospects for Johan Santana or CC Sabathia. What makes you think he’ll suddenly shift his thinking now? The Yankees could well make a move to improve their roster, but Cashman isn’t likely to make some stunning trade.
* Searching minor-league rosters for players is fruitless. The numbers really don’t translate and are skewed by so many factors including the level of competition and ballparks. Just because somebody is crushing the ball in the PCL means almost nothing. There are actual prospects and there are dozens of AAAA-type players.
* Be careful not to overvalue the Yankees just because you like them. Melky Cabrera doesn’t have much trade value. He’s a .250 hitter with a good arm. Brett Gardner doesn’t profile well. Jose Tabata is hurt and could be an attitude case. The Yankees have some pitchers with value but I don’t see Cashman giving them up.
* Four mediocre players does not make for one good one in trade talks. A team that is a seller doesn’t need assorted scrubs. That’s what made them sellers in the first place.
* Just because a player is available doesn’t mean he’s the answer. People are discussing Xavier Nady like he’s Roberto Clemente. Brian Fuentes once lost his job to Manny Corpas. These guys could be helpful players, maybe.
* Get used to the idea that while the Yankees want to make the playoffs, this is very much a transition year. They are getting players experience, carving a lot of money off the payroll and breaking in a new manager and coaching staff. Do you realize that Joe Girardi and his staff had a total of 13 years of major league experience coming into this season?
The Yankees are trying to build a team that will contend for years to come, not do whatever it takes for 2008. If that was the case, Santana would be in the rotation instead of Sidney Ponson.
* The trade deadline has become an event unto itself, much like the World Series or All-Star Game. All that’s missing is a logo and they’re probably working on one on Park Ave. It’s fun to speculate, but don’t believe everything you read. We’ll try and keep you informed here as best we can.