Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Yankees Targets At the Trade Deadline

The Yankees already made one improvement by trading for Alfonso Soriano from the Cubs.

Soriano got the game winning hit and went 4-5 on Sunday. He and Derek Jeter provided some great energy to the team. However, with the Yankees starting pitching struggling and the offense still not very good, the Yankees will need more upgrades than just Soriano.

The Yankees should get another upgrade when Curtis Granderson comes off the DL, which will be a big help. If the Yankees can trade for another bat that would be make four new additions counting Jeter, Soriano and Granderson. The Yankees could actually have a decent offense if that happens.

The player who the Yankees have been most connected to has been Phillies 3rd baseman Michael Young. I am not exactly enamored with him for a few reasons. One, is that his defense is so bad that it almost scratches out his offensive production. Young's .2 WAR and -15.2 UZR at third base indicates that.

Another, is that Young will probably cost some significant prospects with a lot of teams interested in him, and I do not want to give up big prospects for rentals this year since the Yankees chances at a championship this year are not great.

Young is having a solid offensive year with a slash line of .277/.342/.402/.743 with a 106 wRC+. That is certainly a huge step up from the atrocious numbers that the Yankees have gotten out of third base this year. However, if the cost is a top 10 prospect I probably don't think Young is worth it.

The guy I would be targeting is Seattle 1B/OF Mike Morse. Morse was just activated from the DL with a quad injury and has a slash line of .250/.308.417/.725 on the season with a 111 wRC+. Seattle has been said not to be sellers, but Morse is expendable with Raul Ibanez, Justin Smoak and Kendrys Morales already on the roster.

I wanted the Yankees to trade for Morse this offseason when Washington put him on the block and he might come cheaper than Michael Young right now after his DL stint. Morse is versatile, hits lefties, and provides power from the right side that the Yankees need desperately.

Morse would be an upgrade over Lyle Overbay at first and can play in right field when necessary. Morse had a career year in 2010 when he hit .303, with 31 home runs, 95 RBI and a .910 OPS. In 2011, he played in only 102 games, but was solid with 18 home runs and a .791 OPS.

Morse is a lefty masher with a slash line of .303/.358/.515/.873 against lefties for his career. Also, he fits Yankee Stadium very well, as 30.1% of his career hits have gone to right field. He has a .280 ISO power on those hits, so Morse would love the short porch.

Morse is the perfect fit for the Yankees right now. Imagine this lineup:

1. Gardner CF
2. Jeter SS
3. Cano 2B
4. Soriano DH
5. Granderson LF
6. Morse 1B
7. Ichiro RF
8. Nunez/Lillibridge 3B
9. Stewart/Romine C

That is not bad 1-7. It would be even better if Alex Rodriguez does end up playing. I think Morse and not Michael Young is who the Yankees should be targeting leading up to Wednesday's trade deadline.

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