Brian Cashman and Billy Eppler will be in Tampa today to sit down with the Steinbrenners, Mark Newman and the rest of that crew to discuss what can be done to improve the team.
The list of needs:
1. Starting pitcher
2. Lefty reliever
3. Right-handed bat
One trade the Yankees could make now if they wanted would be Kei Igawa and a B-level prospect to Seattle for LHP Jarrod Washburn and DH/1B Jose Vidro. The Yankees would take on $16 million (plus a $500,000 buyout for Vidro) while shedding the $9.4 million owed to Igawa.
So for roughly $7.1 million, you get Washburn for this year and next and Vidro for this season. Washburn would likely want something to waive his no-trade clause, which includes the Yankees.
Washburn would be the No. 4 or No. 5 starter while Vidro would come off the bench. Neither has been very good this season, but they would replace Darrell Rasner and Justin Christian.
Washburn has pitched well of late, making it a deal worth pursuing. Dropping $7 million is pocket change for the Yankees. Take Vidro and DFA him if he’s awful. What difference would it make? Washburn is an upgrade for the rotation.
Washburn’s last eight starts: 51 IP, 54 H, 15 ER, 16 BB, 29 K, 2.65 ERA .722 opposing OPS.
Rasner’s last eight starts: 42.1 IP, 60 H 30 ER 17 BB 29 K, 6.38 ERA, .914 opposing OPS.
There are roughly 10 lefty relievers on the market. Ron Mahay and Brian Fuentes would be tough to get. Others not as much.
There are very few catchers available and teams would want a lot knowing the Yankees have lost Jorge Posada. Rod Barajas would be a good fit, but Toronto won’t trade within the division unless they get something worthwhile in return.
Remember Kyle Higashioka, the California catcher the Yankees took in the seventh round? He visited Yankee Stadium shortly after the draft and that seemed like a sign he would agree to a deal.
Well, Ken Davidoff of Newsday reports that he has, for $400,000. Good signing for the Yankees.