Buyers or Sellers
Remember the start of the season when all the "experts" were forecasting a fall from grace for the Yankees? [Sigh] Those were the days to be a Yankee hater. Now a team of has-beens and "who-the-hells" are sitting a couple games over .500 and just a handful of games outside the wild card race.
And even if they weren't, the Yankees would still be buyers. They'll always be buyers.
A plague of flesh-eating bacteria could decimate the entire franchise, and the Yankees would still be buyers because everyone in the Bronx, from the owners, to the fans, to the flesh-eating bacteria, expects it of them.
What They Need
The Yankees offense has been less Bronx Bombers and more Trenton Tiddlywinkers, ranking 22nd out of 30 teams in runs scored (two spots behind the Twins), so hitters will be welcomed.
Early in July, they hoped rehabbing All-Stars would eliminate any need to trade for hitting. But a combination of surgery, re-injury, delayed rehab and an acute case of "threatened suspension for steroid use" have created needs at first base, shortstop, the outfield and third base.
Even with those gaping holes, and even though the pitching staff has often carried the offense, the Yankees know that you can never have enough pitching and will at least consider spare starters, strong relievers or anyone with an arm attached to his shoulder. Sorry Venus de Milo.
What Might Work
Justin Morneau isn't up to Lyle Overbay's standard, nor is Jamey Carroll a better backup for Jeter's spot. With Willingham hurt, Ryan Doumit would be the only outfielder to help, but he can't fit with Ichiro in right, Francisco Cervelli returning to catch, and a number of DHs in waiting.
Trevor Plouffe might not curl the toes of the New York Post, but with A-Rod on the edge of oblivion, and back-ups Kevin Youkilis/Jayson Nix banged up too, he's a vast improvement on the spare parts out there now. While the Yanks have been ogling Chase Headley and Michael Young, both would be pricey, making Plouffe not only viable but relatively affordable.
Though the Twins (unsurprisingly) don't have a starter who would upgrade New York's rotation, they could help solidify a strong bullpen. Sadly, David Robertson has been anointed as heir to Mariano's throne (sorry Perkins theorists), but Brian Duensing could be a welcome extra lefty alongside Boone Logan (improving on Joba the Hutt).
Jose Campos - RHP - 20 years old - A
Campos is back in form after an elbow injury last season. He'd be ideal for Twins coaches, with a variety of pitches and good control numbers (1.7 BB/9, 5.08 K/BB). The elbow might make him a relatively low buy in the right deal.
Vidal Nuno - LHP - 25 - AAA
Nuno also fits the Twins formula. He has an array of pitches that stay around the plate (1.05 WHIP in minors). He doesn't throw hard, which could mean he's been lucky; if so, he's been lucky at every level for several years, which might be less luck and more like command.
Rafael DePaula - RHP - 22 - A+
DePaula crushed Low A Charleston this year before scuffling lately at High A Tampa (14 R/12 IP). He struck out Byron Buxton at the Futures game and has huge upside, but he's a big risk due to a lack of off-speed stuff and a birth certificate conundrum.
Brett Marshall - RHP - 23 - AAA
Roughed up in his Major League debut start, and shaky in Scranton (1.69 WHIP & 58 BB/ 94 IP), Marshall's recent results are better. But the sink on his fastball and change haven't translated to ground balls...worrisome.
Gary Sanchez - C - 20 - A+
the Yankees power prospect. He has 13 homers so far in his second season at High A and is drooled over by Bronx Zoo residents the same way Twins fans drool over Miguel Sano. At a premium defensive position, he'd be a valuable asset (especially with Joe Mauer nearing transition time). Better still, Sanchez and resident catching prospect Josmil Pinto become two options to offer should we need an impact arm at future trade deadlines (though hopefully that impact arm isn't named Matt Capps).