Well, so much for…anything. After weeks of speculation and rumors, this scenario and that scenario, the New York Yankees went into the July 31 trade deadline and came out of the other end with the exact same roster. The New York Yankees are usually one of the busier teams during this time of year so it is pretty surprising to see them sit tight and not address needs. Starting pitching was the biggest need with Ubaldo Jimenez and Hiroki Kuroda the most speculated names. As we know by now, Ubaldo Jimenez was dealt to the Cleveland Indians for a package that included their top two pitching prospects and Hiroki Kuroda exercised his no-trade clause meaning that he will be staying with the Los Angeles Dodgers. What nobody in the media really talks about until August 31 rolls around, is that July 31 is not the last day that trades can be made – they just more complicated after that. We may still see the New York Yankees pull off a move or two, but for now they are who they are.
I’m not particularly disappointed that the Yankees did not make any moves. I do want to see the starting rotation upgraded, but I’m not certain that trading for Jimenez was the answer. I was certainly intrigued by the talent, but there were some points of hesitation – the lower velocity, less than stellar command and asking price. The Rockies received Cleveland prospects RHP Alex White and LHP Drew Pomeranz, among others – a significant package overall that included three top ten prospects. From the Yankees, a similar package could have been Jesus Montero, Dellin Betances and Ivan Nova. Adding that legit No. 2 guy behind CC Sabathia would have been nice, but at the same time I am not upset that the Yankees still have Betances and Montero in the organization.
As far as Kuroda goes…ehh, I’m not sweating the fact that he won’t be wearing Yankee pinstripes either. He has definitely put up very good numbers – albeit in the NL West in a cellar race. Who knows how he would perform in a completely different pot of pressure. The same can absolutely be said for Jimenez, but he at least has the raw talent, youth and upside that could be worth paying for in many people’s eyes. Not to mention, the Dodgers were asking for a lot in exchange for Kuroda. The price might have come down, but they seeking substantial compensation before they even tried to convince Kuroda to waive his no-trade clause.
I know there are a lot of disappointed or even angry Yankees fans out there, but I am not really one of them. If anything, I might be a little concerned that the Yanks did not improve their team in the short term, but I am extremely happy that they did not make a move for the sake of making a move (i.e., Heath Bell) or trade away top prospects for a pitcher that did not serve as a legit upgrade. Even though a lot of fans may feel like they were left empty handed, we should remember that the best trades are sometimes the ones that you don’t make.