Granderson Is Out For 10 Weeks: What Can Cashman Do?
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Monday, February.25, 2013
Chuck Booth (Yankees Correspondent/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
The start of the season is starting to look extremely bleak for the Yankees so far. Derek Jeter is coming off of a broken ankle, A-Rod is out indefinitely with (insert whatever ailment here) until after the ALL-Star Game, Mariano Rivera is 43 – and trying to make it through one more season after tearing up his ACL last year, Phil Hughes is having back spasms, Joba Chamberlain seems healthy – (but you never what freak injury is going to happen to him next,) Michael Pineda is still recovering from shoulder Surgery, so what else was going to happen? Add Curtis Granderson and a fractured right forearm to the walking wounded list.
This injury should alarm the Yankees and their fans. The team is not strong depth-wise, as they have been in decades, so “The ‘Grandy Man’ not being able to play until early May should cause New York GM Brian Cashman to explore all of his options. Like I have said in previous articles – ‘Financial Armageddon’ is coming for the club in 2014, plus the team is rapidly becoming older by the year. It is safe to say that this year might be the last kick at a championship for some time. What may the Yankees do to replace Granderson for the 1st quarter of the season?
Juan Rivera hits a Walk-Off for the Dodgers:
Option #1 – Keep it internal:
The club was smart enough to offer Juan Rivera and Matt Diaz Minor League deals this past winter- otherwise this situation would be even worse. While neither guy represents the kind of player you want starting for a championship caliber team, they may be able to stem the tide for about a month. Diaz (34) has a career 3 Slash Line of .291/.332/.770 despite having back to back sub par campaigns – grinding for a .613 OPS in 2012 – and a .625 OPS in 2011. He is clearly better off in a backup role. As stated in the picture above, he hits LHP very well. While collecting only 3 hits in 30 AB in 2012 vs RHP, he hit .260/.312/.745 vs LHP in 2012, with 2 HRs and 10 RBI in 78 AB.
Juan Rivera has closer splits vs LHP and RHP, with a bit better numbers versus the LHP. The man who was drafted originally bu the New York Yankees in 1996, hit 9 HRs and drove in 47 RBI for his 317 AB during the 2012 season. Those are decent power totals. You must note that the man does not walk very much – as his .286 OBP suggests. Rivera also hit substantially better away from Dodger Stadium – then he did at home (.264 BA – .215 BA).
These 2 gentlemen could probably platoon for the immediate future, however we are talking about the Yankees. Lets explore some more options. The Yankees will be hard pressed to sign Granderson after this season, therefore Cashman should kick the tires on a possible trade. As of right now, only Ichiro Suzuki and Brett Gardner are signed in the OF for the 2014 year. Brett Gardner is Arbitration Eligible and becomes a Free Agent in 2015. Suzuki will also become a Free Agent in 2015. Since the urgency is always to win in New York, I highly doubt they will use anyone from their Minor League System.
Option #2 – Make a Trade:
1. Alfonso Soriano CHC - The Yankees should be going after Soriano first. The old management under ‘The Boss” would always spend whatever $ were necessary to stay in contention for a championship. The Yankees would need the Cubs to eat about 30 of the 36 $MIL left on the former Bronx Bomber’s deal for the next 2 years. With Jeter and Suzuki potentially coming back for a 2014 season, it would be worth it for the team to have Soriano on the club – and only making little bit towards payroll.
It will possibly cost the Yankees a pitcher like Ivan Nova for this to go down. With Granderson and A-Rod having portions their salaries covered by insurance, why not up the ante and ask the Cubs also trade Matt Garza to strengthen the club too? The Yankees might have to part with a prospect like Dellin Betances, Manny Banuelos, Melky Mesa or even Draft Picks if that is what it takes to get the deal done. They might as well go all chips into the middle of the table. I would be absolutely fine with what went down after the 2013 year if the ‘Pinstripers’ were to do a trade like this. Let the payroll escalate this year and start cutting back after this season ends.
2. Vernon Wells LAA – Just like with Soriano, the Yankees would have to see the other club eat most of the salary for the player. Wells could end up hitting around 30 HRs if he played in hitter friendly New York. With Peter Bourjos being a better option for speed and defense, the Angels would probably be happy to severe ties with the former Blue Jay. The Angels would definitely ask for a reliever in return. That’s where the caveat of Yankees receiving 85-90% ($35 – $38 MIL out of the $42 MIL left on the deal) of the salary cost for Wells would kick in. With Ryan Madson unsure about his health, plus a plethora of problems in the bullpen last year, LAA would welcome a pitcher like Cody Eppley or Clay Rapada into their roster of relievers.
The Yankees must look at these first two options closely for later in the season. Either Wells or Soriano would be perfect in the DH role heading into the playoffs – (should the Bronx Bombers make the Post Season.) With Pineda scheduled to be back by the end of the season, you could always work him out of the bullpen….or if he is starting well, put Phil Hughes back in a familiar role as a reliever in the playoffs. The Yankees have a nice stable of pitchers in the bullpen with Rivera, David Robertson, Joba Chamberlain (maybe for a full year), Cody Eppley, Boone Logan and Clay Rapada. David Aardsma may also turn out to be a bargain pick-up at just over the Major League Minimum this year in salary for a 7th guy.
Having the Angels or Cubs absorb most of the salary would also by you another year of Minor League development in 2014 for the likes of Tyler Austin,
3. Roger Bernadina WSH - With Bryce Harper, Denard Span and Jayson Werth patrolling the Outfield, Bernadina may be a nice little trade bait chip. The Nats have Steve Lombardozzi – who could also play the OF in the event that he left. The compensation would not be great in exchange.
4. Jose Tabata or Alex Presley (Pit) . The Yankees and Pirates have hooked up previously for a trade before. Both young players are caught in a crowded OF predicament with Andrew McCutchen and Travis Snider all competing for 3 spots with them. Garrett Jones may see some time in the OF as well. Perhaps if the Yankees were willing to part with a reliever like Eppley or Rapada, they could secure Tabata in a trade. Tabatha has a friendly contract of 4 Years (2013-2016) left on his deal worth 13.5 Million Dollars. Presley is on an Entry-Level deal – and is not Arbitration Eligible until 2016. The Pirates could surely use another reliever in the bullpen in exchange for one of their extra OF.
5. Gerardo Parra This is a longshot for an idea, but not completely foreign. If Adam Eaton wins a OF position to bat Leadoff for the DBacks, he would round out an Outfield that also has Jason Kubel and Cody Ross. The 2011 Gold Glove winner may then be made available. The Yankees and DBacks have a long history of trading players. Parra is an exceptional defender – plus could play all 3 positions beyond the dirt, for those reasons, it might scare off the Yankees for compensation heading back the other way. The Yankees may have to part with an upper – prospect for Parra.
Option #3 – Sign a Free Agent:
1. Carlos Lee - This is not likely to happen as Lee is older and heavier than the last time he played the LF position regularly in 2011. He would be able to hit in the Yankees lineup. It might also make sense for him to enter a Platoon DH with Hafner. Lee would probably not sign anyway as other teams like Milwaukee have interest in him as a 1st Baseman.
2. Carlos Zambrano..…. just kidding…..Although 24 HRs and 71 RBI is pretty decent for 691 Career At-Bats as a Starting Pitcher.
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Chuck Booth – Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner and author of the Fastest 30 Ballgames: To learn more about my “The Fastest 30 Ballgames Book” and how to purchase it, click here . You can also follow my Guinness Book of World Record Successful Bid to see all 30 MLB Park in 23 Days- click here. I am happy to be part of such an awesome Magazine-Style Baseball Website and am looking forward to talking to all of the fans of the MLB. You can reach me on Twitter here Follow @mlbreports
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Posted on February 25, 2013, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged Adam Eaton, AL East, alex presley, alex rodriguez, alfonso soriano, anaheim stadium, Andrew McCutchen, andy pettitte, arizona diamondbacks, boone logan, brett gardner, brian cashman, bryce harper, Carlos lee, carlos zambrano, chicago cubs, clay rapada, cody eppley, cody ross, david aardsma, david robertson, dellin betances, derek jeter, garrett jones, gerardo parra, ichiro suzuki, ivan nova, jason kubel, jayson werth, joba chamberlain, Jose Tabata, juan rivera, los angeles angels of anaheim, manny banuelos, mariano rivera, mason williams, melky mesa, michael pineda, new york yankees, peter bourjos, phil hughes, pittsburgh pirates, ryan madson, steve lombardozzi, the bronx bombers, Tommy John Surgery, top 100 2013 MLB prospects, travis hafner, travis snider, twitter @chuckbooth3024, vernon wells, yankee stadium. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.