I know there are more pressing things going on with the New York Yankees at the moment than speculative and vague trade talk, but I can’t hold my tongue (fingers) any longer. Looking at the depth of the New York Yankees’ farm system – especially at the catcher and starting pitcher spots – it seems like the New York Yankees are going to be in a prime spot to pull off a significant trade or two this off-season.
The Yankees have a good problem right now as talent is starting to bottleneck at the Triple-A and Major League levels. The Yankees will go into 2012 with CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes, A.J. Burnett and Ivan Nova in the rotation. You have to imagine they will make a strong run at either Yu Darvish or C.J. Wilson with an outside shot at both. Top pitching prospects Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos will start 2012 in Triple-A and if Mo is willing, each will be knocking on the rotation door at some point next summer. You can already see the potential for an extremely crowded rotation. It is true that you can never have too much pitching, but there is also a point where your organization’s Major League ready assets lose value when they spend too much time in the minor leagues. Even if some of the Yankees’ Triple-A pitchers – Andrew Brackman, Hector Noesi, Adam Warren, D.J. Mitchell, David Phelps, etc. – find a spot in the big league bullpen, there is still going to be a surplus.
There is a similar, but not quite as crowded situation behind the plate where prospect Austin Romine could find himself squeezed out of the mix. Russell Martin has done a great job in his first season in the Bronx and will almost certainly be brought back. Top prospect Jesus Montero has had a strong debut and the team has said that he will do some catching in addition to his DH duties. Add in Frankie Cervelli’s presence on the roster and the continued development of No. 2 preseason prospect Gary Sanchez and JR Murphy and you can see the traffic jam brewing. Like pitching, you can never have too much talent at catcher but you don’t want talent collecting dust.
I don’t have any specific trade targets to speculate on at the very moment, but the New York Yankees appear to have the surplus necessary at key positions that will allow them to pull off a blockbuster this winter. There will be plenty of additional trade speculation in the coming months, but for now just stash this info/speculation/suggestion in the back of your mind.