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  • Trade Target Team Profile: New York Yankees

    The Big Picture
    The Bronx Bombers have made the playoffs in seven of the past eight years but have reached the World Series only once, when they beat the Phillies in 2009. For most teams, one championship in eight years would be perfectly adequate, but not for the Yankees. This is a franchise that appeared in the Fall Classic six times in nine years prior to their latest "drought."

    Now, with a 48-32 record that qualifies as second-best in baseball (behind the Rangers) and gives them a comfortable six-game lead in the AL East, you can bet they'll do whatever it takes to position themselves for another strong postseason run.

    Why They Will Trade With the Twins
    Championship aspirations? Check. Room to add payroll? Check. Pressure from fan base to make a move? Check.

    The Yankees have all the characteristics of an aggressive deadline buyer, which means they're exactly the type of club that the Twins should be focusing on should they choose to sell. Moreover, they've suffered some tough losses in the rotation; Michael Pineda was lost for the season in spring training, and more recently Andy Pettitte and CC Sabathia went down with injuries that will keep them out for a while (Pettitte likely won't be back until September). In addition, Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances – two top prospects that were being counted on to step in at some point this season – have been set back by injuries and ineffectiveness.

    These events leave the Yanks on shaky ground in the rotation, so it's easy to envision them taking an interest in Francisco Liriano, who they've been linked to in past rumors.

    Why They Won't Trade With the Twins
    There's a very narrow fit here. The Twins don't really have any impact starters to trade outside of Liriano, and New York is in no great need of help in the lineup or bullpen.

    So the question is, how much are they willing to give up for two months of the mercurial Liriano? Even if they're desperate for starting pitching, it's tough to see them moving a high-end prospect for a rental, especially considering that superior impending free agents such as Zack Greinke and Cole Hamels could be made available.

    There's definitely a potential match here, and if Brian Cashman is unwilling to meet the asking prices of Milwaukee or Philadelphia, one could easily imagine him calling up Terry Ryan to inquire about Liriano.

    At that point, it becomes a matter of settling on a prospect (or prospects) that the Twins like and that the Yankees are willing to move in return for a wild card.


    Possible Trade Targets

    Dellin Betances - RHP
    Top pitching prospect Manny Banuelos is probably unavailable, but it's possible that Betances – another of the vaunted "Killer B's" – could be plucked. The sky-scraping right-hander was ranked by Baseball America as New York's third-best prospect during the offseason, but he's had a brutal campaign. He was recently demoted from Triple-A to Double-A after posting a 6.39 ERA and 71/69 K/BB ratio in 74 2/3 innings for Scranton. If the Twins feel they could straighten the 24-year-old out, this might be the right time to make a bid for him. But that's a risk, and it's unclear Cashman would be willing to sell low.

    Gary Sanchez - C
    Catching prospects are intriguing, because the Twins will be gradually transitioning Joe Mauer away from the position in the coming years and they certainly don't have any amazing backstops on the farm. Sanchez would seemingly be a good fit – he's 19 and hitting very well in Single-A, which means that if all goes well he'd be reaching the majors around the time Mauer is looking at a full-time switch to first base or DH.

    David Phelps - RHP
    Despite posting excellent numbers throughout the minors, the former 14th-round pick has never been viewed as a spectacular prospect. He's pitched as a starter and a reliever for the Yankees this year, posting very respectable numbers (37 IP, 3.16 ERA, 34/14 K/BB). A 25-year-old rookie who's missing bats in the majors and has several years of inexpensive team control ahead of him? Sounds like exactly the guy the Twins are looking for. In fact, he should be the first player Ryan asks about.
    This article was originally published in blog: Trade Target Team Profile: New York Yankees started by Nick Nelson
    Comments 8 Comments
    1. J-Dog Dungan's Avatar
      J-Dog Dungan -
      You forgot to mention that Twins fans would be outraged if the Twins did any kind of trading with the Yankees that might even slightly help the Yanks out.
    1. glunn's Avatar
      glunn -
      Excellent article.

      I would hate to see Liriano go for anything less than someone who is at least a potential #2 starter. Liriano seems like the Twins' best chance to have an ace next year, assuming that he continues to improve.
    1. jm3319's Avatar
      jm3319 -
      ...we've all been hoping for Liriano to turn into the ace for the last 3 years...not happening.
    1. jimbo92107's Avatar
      jimbo92107 -
      Ridiculous article. The Yankees aren't stupid enough to trade for Liriano. NY is the biggest stage of all, and Liriano has already shown that pressure makes him unravel. If he can't handle pressure situations in Minnesota, imagine how he'd come apart when New York fans start tearing into him after one bad outing.

      You'll never get the Yankees to trade for a guy that lacks self-confidence. Liriano would have to win a Cy Young award before they would even consider acquiring him.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      the yanks were rumored to have wanted to trade Nova for him prior to his 2010 break out season... just a point. I do agree that putting a mental case in NY would be dumb, but teams do desparate things when they want a ring...
    1. John Bonnes's Avatar
      John Bonnes -
      I wonder about the likelihood of Hamels or Greinke re-signing with their existing teams. It sure seems like it could happen. That changes the market quite a bit.
    1. drjim's Avatar
      drjim -
      This is the most likely landing spot for Liriano IMO. They have liked him in the past, almost pulled the trigger last year on him, and probably don't want to meet the asking price of prospects for Hamels or Greinke. Phelps makes sense for the Twins as well.
    1. biggentleben's Avatar
      biggentleben -
      Quote Originally Posted by John Bonnes View Post
      I wonder about the likelihood of Hamels or Greinke re-signing with their existing teams. It sure seems like it could happen. That changes the market quite a bit.
      I don't see it with Hamels for sure. He's from Cali, and he's openly stated that he wants to go back there. The Dodgers will have a boatload of spending power. It's just about the worst kept forgone conclusion of the upcoming offseason. Heck, most Philly players have been doing a tribute thing with Cole in cities where they won't get to be his teammate anymore.
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