Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Damn This Trade Deadline

I very much dislike going a day without writing something constructive about my beloved Yankees. But following an off-day, there’s just not much to talk about. The only worthwhile news are trade rumors, and since nothing new has popped up in the last 24 hours, that’s not exactly a productive road to travel.

But I will go on the record and say that it appears the Yanks are almost better standing pat than pursuing anyone currently on the block. Not that I think we have all the answers within the organization, but it just seems that the guys on the block aren’t worth their asking price. Maybe some of the price tags will come down as the week dwindles and there is less and less time for teams to unload these unwanted players, but until then, I think Cashman needs to keep his current posture.

There has been talk of acquiring a package of Ron Villone, Gil Meche, and Randy Winn from Seattle, but it looks like that stingy Mariners front office will prohibit from that. From the New York Post:

"The price for [Eddie] Guardado is laugh-out-loud ridiculous. They asked us for a package that we would not give up for any single player in professional baseball."

So I’m only assuming that the tag for those three players would be comparable. And since we’re not keen at this point on tossing prospects for mediocrity, I’d almost certainly rule out this trade, unless they can be had for a package of Womack, Proctor, and Eric Duncan, say.

Not that I’m too keen on dealing Duncan. He’s a North Jersey kid, and played high school ball at Seton Hall Prep, a team that my high school played twice a year. Problem is that he plays a position held by arguably the best player in the game over the past five years. Of course, the Yanks could pull a Robin Yount move and switch Jeter to center, A-Rod back to short, and implant Duncan at third. But then we have this year’s first rounder, C.J. Henry, who is supposed to be the shortstop of the future.

But talking about Henry may be jumping a bit far into the future. Then again, he’s been talked about as having a Jeter-like attitude and passion for the game. And although he’s hitting a mere .241 in the Gulf Coast rookie league, he’s already drawn 10 walks in 87 at bats, which leads the team, and inflated his OBP to a respectable .340. But it’s still early, and we’re going to have to see next year how he reacts to A ball. Thankfully, the kid’s only 18.

It’s more than a little comforting to know that we do have tons of upside potential in the minors. Philip Hughes is the talk of the town, and I’m not the only one anxiously awaiting his every start in his new home with the Tampa Yankees. Melky Cabrera may have been a failed experiment for this year, but kid’s only 20. And he’s hitting .308 in 17 games with the Clippers, so there is certainly hope in the future.

And even though he’s 28, Mitch Jones is putting on a show in Columbus, knocking 23 homers so far this season. He may not be a future superstar, but he can surely step in when Tino departs after this season, especially with the rejuvenated Giambi taking the bulk of the time at first.

It’s definitely comforting, knowing that there’s even a possibility that the Yanks may hold on to these young guys. Who knows, maybe we’ll be seeing an infield of Duncan, Henry, and Cano down the road. And that, my friends, would be a breath of fresh air.