With the trade deadline looming, and people starting to talk about guys like Ryan Dempster, I was thinking about contract situations that are more important to the Yankees.
More like "Dumpster"... am I right?
I really don't think the Yankees should pay a lot for a rental. Especially a rental that is not really necessary. The Yankees can win without acquiring Matt Garza, so why pay for him? But what if they could trade for a guy to help them this year, and then be in a better spot to re-sign or extend for 2013 and beyond? Like... say... Cole Hamels?
Well, when it comes to paying a guy $20 million, I think the Yankees could spend their money a bit better. Their chances of getting down to a payroll of $189 million are slim already, and signing a guy like Hamels is going to force them to fill other spots from within. More to the point... how can they bring back Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson, if they spend $20 million a season on Hamels? In short... they can't, unless they say "to hell with the austerity budget".
So how should the Yankees spend their money?
Well, Robinson Cano comes first.
Number 1 on the field, and number 1 in your pretty little heart.
Why? Angelo Gumbs is the only middle infielder in the organization ranked in the top 20 Yankee prospects (19th by River Avenue Blues), and he's only 19 years old. Cito Culver could take over for Cano even though he's a shortstop (Cano is a former SS), but Cito's only 19 too. Then there's Corban Joseph, who is in AAA now, but he's batting .259 this year, and hasn't quite shown the same power that Cano provides the Yanks. I'm not saying Joseph won't ever be a viable MLB starter, I'm just saying that betting on the guy right now is not smart. I could be singing a different tune after next season, but the decision on Cano should come before Opening Day of 2013, not at the end of the 2013 season, due to how extensions affect team payroll for the Luxury Tax.
Then the Yankees need to figure out what to do with Curtis Granderson.
"I may be a nice guy, but I will hurt you if you don't do the right thing."
Why? Mason Williams is really interesting to the future of the team, but he's probably 3 years away (currently in high A ball). The same for Tyler Austin, another good OF prospect. Zoilo Almonte is a possibility I guess, but he's also only got an OBP of .32o above high A ball. Ravel Santana, Ramon Flores, and Ben Gamel are top 25 prospects for the Yankees, but they are all 3+ years away from being MLB-ready. That leaves Ronnier Mustelier.
I'm not a big prospect guy, as I've said in the past, but I'm intrigued with this guy. In 267 plate appearances with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season Ronnier is hitting .302/.357/.475. But due to the fact he's not done well in LF (.968 Fielding Percentage), and his experience in CF is extremely limited (6 games), I see him as a possible replacement for Swisher... but not Granderson.
That leaves the Yankees with an outfield in 2014 consisting of Brett Gardner and... being optimistic... Ronnier Mustelier. Barring a trade, you can see that this situation with Granderson is not so cut and dry.
I love you, Nick, but you're not irreplaceable.
So, in my oh-so-humble opinion, there is no way the Yankees should pursue Cole Hamels. And seeing as how they don't really need a rental to get them to the "Promised Land" this season, I see no reason for them to make any big moves... unless that move includes an OF that could take over for Granderson (offensively and defensively) in 2014 and beyond.