The Yankees already have one deal in the books, another expected to be completed and perhaps something else on the way as Saturday’s 4 p.m. ET non-waivers Trade Deadline approaches.
By the time the clock hits the deadline, Austin Kearns should have passed through customs and have tried on his Yankees gear for the first time. Lance Berkman is also expected to be at Tropicana Field by first pitch and could be in the lineup, as soon as the deal for Minor Leaguers Mark Melancon and Jimmy Paredes is officially finalized.
Berkman’s going to be an interesting fit here. He’s very close with Andy Pettitte and it’s believed that Pettitte helped convince Berkman to approve the deal to the Yankees, although Berkman admitted he’s “nervous” and “apprehensive”
about the whole idea of playing home games in a city that isn’t Houston. It’s all he knows, and that’s understandable, but it’s also not exactly what you want to hear.
Then there’s this – Berkman is hitting .245 with 13 home runs and 49 RBIs in 85 games this year, but he’s hitting .188 with one home run and four RBIs in 64 at-bats against left-handed pitching. Kearns’ right-handed bat can help balance that, along with covering for Curtis Granderson’s troubles against lefties. Berkman has also hit .194 away from Minute Maid Park this year, but the Yankees still consider him an upgrade over Colin Curtis.
So, is there anything else to keep on the radar? The New York Daily News noted that the Yankees are still talking
to the Cubs about lefty Ted Lilly, but ESPN’s Buster Olney tweets that the Yankees are not pursuing
Lilly unless the Cubs want “to put him on a platter and give him away.” (Of course, the Yankees could have had Lilly back in 2007 but decided to go with Kei Igawa instead, but that’s an item for another day.
Olney also tweets the Yankees may be looking to pick up an infielder
before 4 p.m. today. Also, I thought it was interesting that Joe Girardi said Kearns’ name wasn’t even mentioned to him in passing by Brian Cashman until Thursday — and that’s after New York just completed a four-game series in Cleveland. If that’s so, things move quick, huh?