One day before baseball’s non-waiver trade deadline, the Yankees don’t seem to be closely linked to any particular trade target. That means they’ve either kept things quiet — which is entirely possible — or they don’t see much that grabs their interest. These seem to be the four types of players who might have a spot on the Yankees roster.
The Yankees have plenty of long relievers, and the ninth inning is locked down, but the eighth inning has been a problem. A late-inning reliever seems to be their greatest need. Finding one, on the other hand, might be an expensive crap shoot. Last night, the Twins traded for Matt Capps, and it cost them an Austin Romine-type catching prospect.
There are significant names out there — Joakim Soria and Leo Nunez have been thrown around — but someone like Scott Downs or Octavio Dotel might be more attainable. This also seems like the kind of thing the Yankees might be able to address after the non-waiver deadline, or they could give Dave Robertson a shot.
The Yankees seem to have found something in Colin Curtis, and they have Marcus Thames who can play the field when absolutely necessary, so the outfield isn’t a huge need. Francisco Cervelli hasn’t hit since that red-hot start to the season, but he also doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, so catcher is probably not a target until Jorge Posada’s injury is worse than expected.
The bench could most use an upgrade in the infield. Ramiro Pena has lived up to his billing as a defensive specialist, but he doesn’t hit much. Eduardo Nunez is a pretty good bat in Triple-A, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Yankees go after a Jeff Keppinger-type if he’s not too terribly expensive.
Right now, the Yankees primary DH is probably a platoon of Thames and Juan Miranda, but it’s also been a pit stop for Posada and various other everyday players. A big bat certainly wouldn’t hurt, but it would clearly cost them in one way or another. When it comes to position players, the Yankees might be better off tinkering with the bench rather than remaking the lineup. But, of course, it depends on what kind of deal is out there.
This would be more of a luxury purchase, and now that Roy Oswalt, Dan Haren and Cliff Lee are off the market, there might not be an available starter who provides a significant upgrade. The only concerns in the rotation would be Andy Pettitte’s injury and Phil Hughes’ innings limit. I’m not sure either is significant enough to give up young players for a No. 4 or 5 starter.
Associated Press photo of Joe Girardi