Friday, July 24, 2015

Houston Buying Early Helps The Yankees

Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics are no strangers to jumping the gun and setting the tone and the market around this time every single season and the 2015 season will be no exception. Yesterday the Athletics made one of probably many trades this season when they sent left-handed pitcher Scott Kazmir to the Houston Astros for a pair of minor league players. This news is both good and bad for the Yankees as New York has shown at least minimal interest in acquiring Kazmir before the deadline and he is now off their board. The good news for the Yankees is that this presumably takes one more team out of the running for Cole Hamels, Johnny Cueto and David Price.

It is far from set in stone that New York will even acquire a starting pitcher at this year’s trading deadline and if they did it would have to be on their terms. New York is not going to part with Luis Severino and they’re not going to part with Aaron Judge so the Yankees are unlikely to acquire a big-time starting pitcher anyway or a rental. Taking Houston out of the mix, who was said to be interested in all three of the aforementioned pitchers, can do one of two things. It can raise the price initially as supply and demand fluctuates but it also lowers the pool of interested teams.

Let’s fathom this for a second, Cueto is going to be traded and so is Price because they have expiring contracts but Hamels may not since he is due so much money for so many years on the wrong side of 30 years old. Cueto and Price will now become uber-expensive but honestly unless a team comes out of left field and shocks Ruben Amaro Jr. with an overpayment I believe Hamels just got less expensive. The amount of teams that have legitimate prospects and the ability to absorb a large contract just got smaller with Houston’s acquisition of Kazmir.

Will this push Hamels into the Yankees arm in a deal centered around Robert Refsnysder, Gary Sanchez and Greg Bird? Maybe, maybe not but the acquisition of Kazmir by the Astros and the subsequent acquisitions of Cueto and Price could continue to drive the price down for the Yankees and drive Hamels from Philadelphia up to the Bronx just in time for another World Series run. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)