Daily Archives: November 24, 2012

Royals seem like good trade match with Yankees

Alex Gordon is the type of player the Yankees need to target

The Royals are looking to contend in 2013 and appear to have the young offensive core to do so.  Their bullpen is also strong but they must improve their pathetic starting rotation to be taken seriously.  K.C. was 26th in MLB with a 5.01 ERA from their starters this year and are looking to trade from their strong young offensive core in order to improve their staff.  According to this article by  Tim Passan of Yahoo Sports, even MLB’s top minor-league hitter, Will Myers is available.

Apparently only young starting catcher Salvador Perez and starting SS Alcides Escobar are off-limits with the Royals willing to listen on DH/1B Billy Butler, 1B Eric Hosmer, 3B Mike Moustakas, OF Alex Gordon and OF Myers.  The article explains Kansas city’s budget parameters as follows:

“The Royals’ payroll commitments are around $69 million, leaving them two options to stay within their expected payroll around $73 million: They can pursue a young starter with a cheap contract but not as much experience as the Royals want; or deal for a veteran with a higher salary whose cost would cause them to deal a veteran.”

What could the Yankees offer KC?

The Yankees could offer a package centering around Phil Hughes or Ivan Nova with David Phelps, Joba Chamberlain, Adam Warren and Brett Marshall as other possibilities.  The Yanks could also explore a 3-way trade in which they trade players like Curtis Granderson or Eduardo Nunez for pitching that they could flip to KC for a bat like Gordon.  There are several contenders in the market for a CF this year and many teams would plug Nunez in as their starting SS. Gordon will make $9M in 2013 and go up to $12.5M in 2015.   That is a high price for a team with a $73M payroll andhuge pitching holes. Gaining Hughes and another cheap starter like Phelps or someone acquired for Granderson/Nunez, KC would plug 2 rotation spots and save money to spend on more pitching.  Myers could replace Gordon’s bat in the lineup and KC would be a more balanced team.

It’s time for the Yanks to look at players and decide if they are part of the team’s plans in 2014 and beyond.  With Granderson, Hughes and Joba as FAs in 2014, will NY be willing to pay them on multi-yr deals?Will they ever be comfortable turning the SS position over to Nunez?  If the answers to those questions are no as I expect – now is the time to move these guys. Getting a player like Alex Gordon back would be a great return and is precisely the type of player they should target.

Gordon will turn 29 next year and is under team control for 4 more seasons at an AAV of $11 Million per season. That is fair value for a 2-time Gold Glove OF who could hit 3rd in the lineup and become the team’s new leader as they transition away from the Core 4 Glory Years.  Over the last 2 years he’s hit .298/.372/.478/.850 with an average of 48 Doubles, 5 Triples, 19 HRs, 80 RBI, 14 SBS and a 133 OPS+.

Yankees in 2013

The loss of Hughes could be offset by signing Dan Haren or Edwin Jackson.  Haren is one of baseball’s most consistent pitchers who had a down 2012 due to back problems.  Signing him now after a down season would be wise.  Jackson seems like he’s been around forever but is still only 29 yrs old.  He has an excellent arm and has been a consistent Innings eater averaging 32 starts and 199 IP over the last 5 seasons.  He’s posted a 105 ERA+ over the last 5 years so he’s been 5% better than the average starter.  Pitchers like Jackson often don’t hit their prime until they are about 29-30 when they learn to pitch and harness their great stuff.  I believe either Jackson or Haren would be an improvement over Hughes and have the benefit of staying with the team beyond 2013. The rotation this yr would be a solid CC/Kuroda/Pettitte/Haren or Jackson/Nova or Phelps.

Losing Granderson’s power would hurt but Gordon is a better all-around offensive player and Gardner could move to CF.  Ichiro could be brought back for 1 year to play RF along with a RH hitting OF like Scott Hairston, Chris Denorfia or Red Johnson. Then in 2014, hopefully one or more of Tyler Austin, Slade Heathcott, Mason Williams or Zoilo Almonte could be ready to join the OF.

In the IF, David Adams should be brought up to play 3B when ARod DHs.  Corban Joseph could also be brought up to DH some against RHP and to rest Cano at 2B. Either Adams and/or Joseph could also become a backup 1B for Tex.  Rather than bring back a 41-yr old like Ibanez to DH some vs RHP,  give a young player like Joseph a shot.  A veteran like Ibanez can always be acquired mid-season.  The Yanks have also been linked to veteran IFs like Jeff Keppinger and Stephen Drew who could play the Utility role Adams & Joseph would.  I’d like to give the young guys a chance because I believe in both of them as hitters.  Either way, the Yankee lineup would look something like this:

RF Ichiro

SS Jeter

LF Gordon

2B Cano

1B Teixeira

3b/DH ARod

DH/3B Adams/Joseph or Keppinger

C Martin

CF Gardner