Contrary to what my cohort said about my absence this weekend, I was not a "drunkard". Sure, I took part in some St. Patrick's Day festivities, but at the end of the night it was I that drove my friends to get something to eat. And no... I was not in danger of receiving a DUI for doing so.
So the latest conversation happening in Yankeeland has to do with trading Freddy Garcia. I mentioned in my post regarding the signing of Andy Pettitte that trading Garcia wouldn't really get the team much in return. At least not something that is really needed at the moment.
Could the Yankees get a better DH than they currently have? No.
Could the Yankees get the heir for Jeter at SS? No.
Could the Yankees get a young 3B to take ARod's place in a couple of years? No.
Could the Yankees get anybody that would be a regular this season? No.
Actually, it's possible the Yankees could get a hitter better than Raul Ibanez. And it's possible to get somebody that is the future 3B to replace ARod. Whereas getting a future SS would be a lot harder, and finding somebody that would be a regular right away is unlikely.
The point is, nobody that the Yankees could get in return for Freddy Garcia would be exciting in any way.
But what about trading Phil Hughes, as Joel Sherman recently pointed out?
Well, first of all, Hughes would probably return less than Garcia would. Phil's BB/9 has gone up in each of the last three seasons, his K/9 has gone down over the last three seasons, his ERA last season was a very high 5.79, he had arm fatigue issues last year, and he may be a future reliever rather than a starter. Put yourself on the other side of this question.... would you be excited if your team traded for Phil Hughes?
And Hughes only has two more years of team control before becoming a free agent. Meaning that by the team a team really gets him going as a starter, he could be on his way out of town. What made me so happy about the acquisition of Michael Pineda was that he has 5 years of team control left, and is an average starter at worst right now.
Like so many other young pitchers, such as Brian Matusz of the Orioles, Phil has plenty of upside. So don't start calling me a Hughes Hater. But I just don't see a team paying much for that upside at all. So while Freddy Garcia would get the team little even though he has something to offer as a starter, Phil Hughes would get the team little even though his upside is that of a good starter.
So what should the team do? Nothing. Regardless of Garcia possibly being disenfranchised with the Yankees (which I call bulls*** on, as any athlete would be upset over news that could negatively effect their playing time), it's important that the team hold onto pitching depth so early. Phil could be ineffective, Pineda's issues could extend from the 2nd half of last season, Kuroda could have a hard time adjusting to the AL East, Nova could take a step or two back, Pettitte may never be ready to return, and the kids in the minors could turn out to be poor choices in MLB. This isn't a case of the Yankees needing to trim a few million dollars from their payroll to make room for somebody, like when they traded Burnett.
So keep everybody around until moves need to be made. Besides, until Pettitte is ready, nothing has changed since people have discussed Garcia or Hughes going to the bullpen. This entire conversation may prove to have been completely pointless.