Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Should/Will the Yankees Be “In” On Any of These Players Who Cleared Waivers?

The August waiver wire trade deadline may be a bit more complicated for teams to pull off deals but it doesn’t necessarily make it impossible, especially if that player you’re looking to acquire clears waivers. There have been more than a few notable veteran players that have already cleared waivers, and keep in mind that not every team releases the name of every player that clears waivers and are not obligated to do so either, which leaves me wondering if the Yankees should be or will be interested in any of them. Before we jump into the list though and talk about any potential trades for the Bombers I will preface the post by saying that Hal Steinbrenner, the Yankees principal owner, has stated that the Yankees payroll is now frozen. No more payroll will be added in 2017, period. Keep that in mind when suggesting or thinking about potential trades this season.

The most current and up to date list that I have of players that has cleared revocable waivers includes Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson, Justin Verlander, Chris Davis, RA Dickey, Jim Johnson, Bryce Harper, Joey Votto, Justin Upton, Felix Hernandez, Brandon Crawford, Yoenis Cespedes, Asdrubal Cabrera, Neil Walker and AJ Ramos. This list admittedly may be out of date due to teams not releasing who has cleared waivers but this is the most current list according to MLB Trade Rumors so for the sake of simplicity and this post we will go with it.

The Yankees don’t need an outfielder, in fact when Tyler Austin and Aaron Hicks return from their rehab assignments the team may have too many outfielders and not enough roster spots to accommodate them all, meaning that you can immediately mark Bruce, Granderson, Harper, Upton and Cespedes off the list for New York. The Orioles are unlikely to trade Davis within the division, especially to the Yankees, and you have that whole no more payroll thing marking him off the list as well. Votto has a full no-trade clause and is owed a ton of money throughout the end of his contract, #PayrollFreeze, and the same can be said for the Tigers starter Justin Verlander who may be a member of the Houston Astros before this post even goes live.

Taking those names off the list leaves Dickey, a hard no, Johnson, a former AL saves leader and an attractive setup man option, Hernandez, yes please but #PayrollFreeze, Brandon Crawford, this move was purely procedural and the Giants are not going to move him, Cabrera, no thank you, Walker, no thank you, and Ramos, another dependable bullpen arm that New York may or may not need. Looking at the list it looks like the only options New York really has at this time is Jim Johnson, AJ Ramos or maybe Felix Hernandez. The Mariners seem willing to go for it in 2017 as the team has a Wild Card spot in their sights though making the Hernandez trade less and less likely, although not impossible given his salary and the salary restraints in Seattle right now.

Do the Yankees really need Ramos or Johnson? I mean, sure, it would be nice to get greedy and acquire one or both of them but neither are a real need. Both, though, will cost real prospects and that’s just not something I am willing to do and is not something I think the Yankees are willing to do either to be completely honest. Also, as much as I hate to admit this, the Hernandez trade opportunity is likely a pipe dream. Again, I am not completely counting it out but I just can’t see New York pulling this off or Seattle willing to make the trade. Hernandez hasn’t been Hernandez in 2017, he has struggled some and battled injuries including the bursitis that he learned about and was diagnosed with yesterday, which is one of the only reasons I have hope but that payroll freeze is really going to get in the way. Conceivably the Yankees could include better prospects and have Seattle kick in his salary like they did with the Minnesota Twins and Jaime Garcia but that seems unlikely as well.

Who knows what is going to happen between now and August 31st but as it stands right now it looks like all the Yankees heavy lifting is all but done. Brian Cashman is likely just sitting on a beach somewhere sipping on fruity drinks with little paper umbrellas floating in the glass, and he deserves to be after what he did for the team before the July 31st trading deadline. Brace yourselves Yankees family, winter is coming to the Bronx and it won’t include any fresh, new characters to kill off two episodes in. 

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