Has today been a slow day for everyone else, too? Maybe I’m still reeling from all the turkey, but my day has been nothing but television nonsense, a few Bob Dylan albums and plans for a Chinese food dinner.
In the spirit of more exciting days to come, let’s look back. At this point, I don’t think anyone would be surprised to see Brian Cashman pull off a Nick Swisher-type three-for-one trade to open some spots on the 40-man, so let’s look back at the Yankees 2009 trades. A some point next week we might add to this list.
February 2: LHP Chase Wright to the Brewers for C/OF Eric Fryer
Why? Because Wright had been designated for assignment and Fryer seemed to (possibly) have a little bit of upside as an older prospect.
Good move? Small move but a good one. Wright won nine games in the Pacific Coast League but ultimately became a free agent without ever geting to Milwaukee. Fryer didn’t do much in High-A Tampa but was part of the Eric Hinske trade.
March 22: Cash (money, not Kevin) to the White Sox for C Chris Stewart
Why? Because Stewart was terrific as Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s regular catcher the year before. Also, Francisco Cervelli was set to open in Double-A and catching depth can be vital.
Good move? Yep. Catching depth proved important as both Cervelli and Kevin Cash wound up catching in the big leagues, and Stewart once again had a terrific season in Triple-A. It would have been nice to see P.J. Pilittere get more Triple-A at-bats, but Stewart’s a great player to have around, especially with all of those good young arms on the Triple-A staff.
March 28: RHP Jason Jones to the Twins for RHP Charles Nolte
Why? Because Jones was a returned Rule 5 pick who had no place to pitch in the Yankees organization, and Nolte had a 2.00 career ERA in two minor league seasons.
Good move? Sure. Neither pitched especially well — ERAs above 5.00 for both — but at least Nolte is younger. Jones deserved a shot at Triple-A and he wasn’t going to get it with the Yankees.
May 16: RHP Eric Hacker to the Pirates for RHP Romulo Sanchez
Why? Because Hacker had been designated for assignment and trading him was better than losing him on waivers (which is exactly what happened to Steven Jackson a few days later). Sanchez had a big arm and some big league experience.
Good move? Absolutely. Hacker pitched pretty well and got to the big leagues, but he was ultimately outrighted off the Pirates roster. Sanchez, meanwhile, came into his own when he moved into the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre rotation and was added to the Yankees 40-man. As far as DFA trades go, this could hardly have worked any better.
June 24: RHP Jose Veras to the Indians for Cash (money, not the general manager)
Why? Because Veras had been designated for assignment after a 5.96 ERA.
Good move? At least the Yankees got something for Veras. I had honestly forgotten all about him until working on this post. He pitched a little better for the Indians — 4.38 ERA — but it’s hard to imagine Veras playing any sort of role for the Yankees in the second half.
June 30: RHP Casey Erickson and C/OF Eric Fryer to the Pirates for OF/3B Eric Hinske
Why? Because the Yankees wanted to improve their bench, and the cost of two Class-A players didn’t seem too high a price to pay.
Good move? Probably. Fryer moved back to catcher after spending his brief time with the Yankees as a left fielder, but it was Erickson who was the prize of the deal for the Pirates. He had a 1.17 ERA with 32 strikeouts and only six walks in 38.1 innings with Low-A West Virginia. Erickson pitched well, but Hinske played a role in giving the Yankees their 27th championship, and that was the point of making the trade. Unless Erickson becomes a stud, the move was well worth it for the Yankees.
July 29: Cash (money, not Tango’s partner) to the Rockies for RHP Jason Hirsh
Why? Because the Triple-A team suddenly needed another starting pitcher. It was initially thought to be a PTBNL deal, but Mark Newman told me recently that the Yankees sent money to complete the trade.
Good move? Yes. Once a big name prospect, Hirsh had struggled through injuries and had terrible numbers before coming to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but he pitched well for the Yankees. He’s still in the organization — I have no idea how he’s not a free agent, but he’s not — and he could pitch his way back to the big leagues if he continues to rebound.
July 31: C Chase Weems to the Reds for INF Jerry Hairston Jr.
Why? Because Cody Ransom struggled, Ramiro Pena is young and Angel Berroa isn’t very good. Also the Yankees have a ton of catching prospects, losing one didn’t hurt.
Good move? Hairston got a pie to the face, started a playoff game and improved the Yankees bench. Weems hit .197 for Class-A Dayton. So, yeah, good move.
August 7: Cash (money, not another lame joke) to the Padres for RHP Chad Gaudin
Why? Because Sergio Mitre was the Yankees fifth starter and Josh Towers had been temporarily brought up to give the Yankees a long reliever.
Good move? Not a huge move, but a very good one. Although he played a limited role in the playoffs, Gaudin pitched well down the stretch and could play a role next year.
August 31: (Something) to the Orioles for OF Freddy Guzman
Why? Because Guzman is very, very fast.
Good move? Guess so. Proving that roster rules are for suckers, Guzman made the Yankees postseason roster. His role was extremely minimal, but he was there and that’s got to count for something. The deal was initially announced as a trade for either cash or a player to be named. I don’t remember ever reading that it was finalized, but I’m betting a small amount of money went to the Orioles. I’ll try to remember to ask about it. I can’t imagine the Yankees giving up anything significant.