To the Pirates?
In preparation for my Sunday article I considered many possible angles to cover. I liked them all, so rather than picking one of them I decided to go for them all. Thus, in this article you will find out all of the Yankees-related thoughts that are currently swarming around in my head. Don't worry, only Yankees related thoughts, don't want to drive away the readers!
Let's start with A.J. Burnett. If the Yankees eat a lot of his contract a team, like the Pittsburgh Pirates, could be getting a steal. A trade involving A.J. Burnett swap makes sense for both sides, and if the Yankees eat a lot of the contract the Pirates could get an NL improved Burnett for $4-5 million a year over the next two years. It works perfectly for both sides.
Next up is Russell Branyan, a player that I am extremely glad the Yankees signed to a minor league deal. Branyan has mashed at Yankee Stadium in the past, hits well enough against righties, and gives the Yankees a little bit of leverage in negotiations with Raul Ibanez, Johnny Damon, and/or Hideki Matsui.
One question I have is why would Raul Ibanez want to sign with the Yankees? I'm assuming the player that signs with the Yankees will play in ~115 games if healthy, so why would Ibanez sign with the Yankees if he can get a deal to play more elsewhere? Perhaps he has less leverage than the Yankees do in this situation.
Johnny Damon wants to come back to New York, seems to be a fit, has a noodle arm, and is being talked about a lot. Personally, I'd love to have Damon back, but I don't want him back if the Yankees are going to play him more than they would others as he tries to chase 3,000 hits.
Follow me after the jump for more.The Yankees bullpen seems basically set for the regular season, and a few names strike me as interesting. If A.J. Burnett is traded I expect to see the Phil Hughes/Freddy Garcia rotation loser (please be Garcia) be the long reliever, but other than that there's an opening for one of the following: Cesar Cabral, Brad Meyers, George Kontos, Michael O'Connor, Manny Delcarmen, Kevin Whelan, Hideki Okajima, and Matt Daley.
To me, out of those the favorites are Cabral and Meyers, as if they do not make the MLB roster they will be sent back to the teams they were acquired from in the Rule V draft. Manny Delcarmen could be this season's Luis Ayala, however, so watch out for that.
Looks like Jorge Vazquez is not going to Japan yet, as he is on the Yankees non-roster invitee list. I'd love to see him mash in Spring Training and compete for the DH role.
It would make a lot of sense for the Yankees to trade one of Adam Warren or David Phelps in a deal for an outfielder in AAA that could take over for Nick Swisher if he leaves next season in free agency. Of course it would not be a straight swap, but the idea of trading depth for depth is one I'd like the Yankees to consider.
A few names that have been lost in the shuffle of this off-season are Hiroki Kuroda, (remember, the Yankees signed him!) Brandon Laird, and Justin Maxwell. Laird and Maxwell should be interesting to watch this season, as they try to make the big league squad.
That's all I can think of for now. Let's Go Yankees!