Talking trades with the Yankees in St. Pete
There’s nothing hot on the trade front at the moment as the Yankees report to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg and get ready to close out this three-game series with the Rays, but that never stops people from talking rumors and gossip.
The Yankees’ main needs as July 31 approaches are to acquire another arm for the rotation and address their outfield situation. And while you never want to count the Yankees out, even when they say they’re not in (most recent example — Mark Teixeira), the Yankees still remain a long shot to dance with the Blue Jays for Roy Halladay.
Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi is saying this afternoon that he now does not think a trade will be completed, and Halladay will remain a Blue Jay heading into 2010. We’ll see about that, but what we can say for sure is that Cliff Lee is off the board, having been acquired by the Phillies from the Indians on Wednesday for four Minor Leaguers.
The big question about the Yankees is how much they can even spend. While there has been some contact with Toronto on the part of general manager Brian Cashman, according to FOXSports.com, Cashman also has spoken often about how his team is near budget financially, even needing to have the Pirates chip in approximately $400,000 of Eric Hinske’s salary just to get a deal done.
A pitcher like Halladay is, of course, a much different case than a bench player like Hinske, but the fact remains that the Yankees spent an awful lot this offseason and Cashman had to beg ownership to approve the $180 million contract to Teixeira after the additions were considered complete in late December.
Halladay would also take the kind of prospect-heavy package that the Yankees balked at sending to Minnesota for Johan Santana, offering a little more anecdotal evidence that it’s not exactly up their alley. Cashman has also said that he believes waiver deals will be there to pull the trigger on past July 31, making that sort of a false deadline.
Here’s the wild card — if the Red Sox get involved, all bets should be off. That’s how it went down with Teixeira and that’s the only way I see the Yankees getting in on Halladay.
If they were going to do anything, it had seemed more likely that the Yankees could dig up the spare change to pay the remainder of Jarrod Washburn’s salary for 2009, but the Mariners are sending mixed signals there.
But with their trade for Jack Wilson and Ian Snell(another pitcher the Yankees had some interest in), the Mariners seem to be telegraphing that they think they’re in it in the American League West. Joe Girardi said that he does not think there is any urgency to make a move and echoes Cashman in believing there will be moves to be made in August.
In another update, Damaso Marte’s rehab appearance last night for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre didn’t go particularly well, as he served up a pair of home runs and allowed three hits in 1 2/3 innings as the losing pitcher. If they do hurry him to the big leagues, one wonders how effective he will be.