MLB New York Yankees

New York Yankees’ Top 5 Trade Assets

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New York Yankees Rumors: Top 5 Trade Assets

Debby Wong-USA Today Sports

The New York Yankees are in a precarious position as they approach the trade deadline. They are set to get back a number of veteran players from the disabled list (Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson), and have to feel good about their chances of grabbing a playoff spot. It’s amazing that they have been able to stay this close considering the substantial injuries they have had in 2013.

However, now they face some tough decision about their roster moving forward. Do they need to trade for a reliable infielder in case Jeter or Rodriguez gets hurt again? Do they need to add starting pitching considering the age of starters like Andy Pettitte and Hiroki Kuroda, who could falter down the stretch?

Another consideration is the contract of the player they receive in any trade. The Yankees have made a concerted effort to reduce their payroll for 2014, and let players like Russell Martin and Nick Swisher walk as a result of it. Robinson Cano still needs to be signed for 2014 and beyond, so a lot of their money will certainly be tied up in him. Therefore, it is unlikely they will trade for a player that is owed big money next year.

This is a different circumstance than GM Brian Cashman is used to facing at the trade deadline. Usually, he is able to do whatever it takes to put the best product on the field, but now, he has some limitations. With that said, here is a look at the Yankees top five trade assets heading into the end of July.

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Joba Chamberlain

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Joba Chamberlain’s time in New York is running out, so if there is a team looking to add bullpen depth at the deadline, the Yankees would likely get rid of him. The only problem is he’s having his worst statistical year yet, so the market for him is shrinking.

He will be a free agent at the end of the year, so if the Yankees can get something for him in return, the deal would make sense. It’s probably wishful thinking on the Yankees end, but trading Chamberlain at the deadline would be a win-win for the team.

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Phil Hughes

Jesse Johnson- USA Today Sports

Hughes has been the can’t-miss prospect for the Yankees for almost a decade, but at this time, it appears he won’t ever be as good as they’d hoped. Hughes too will be a free agent at the end of the season, and will likely be looking for a contract the Yankees won’t give him. As a result, it’s possible he will be dealt at the deadline.

Ivan Nova was brilliant in his last start, and if Michael Pineda can come back to the rotation within a month, Hughes could be expendable. It would be tough for the Yankees to give up on a player they’d put some much time and effort into, but it looks like Hughes won’t ever become a star in pinstripes.

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Mason Williams

Kim Klement-USA Today Sports

Most teams trading veteran players at the deadline are looking for big-time prospects to be a part of the trade, and the Yankees have a few of those. Mason Williams is one of the Yankees' top outfield prospects and has the tools that scouts love. He’s tall, athletic, runs well and plays a great center field. Naturally, he is compared to Bernie Williams, but he’s not that type of hitter. At least, not yet.

Williams could be the centerpiece of a deal for a big name player, but they would have to throw in a few lesser-known prospects as well. Williams isn’t lighting it up in the minors right now, but scouts still believe he will be a tremendous major league outfielder.

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Tyler Austin

Kim Klement-USA Today Sports

The other top outfield prospect is Tyler Austin. Austin worked his way through four levels of minor league baseball in 2012 and hit at each stop. He has a smooth, fluid swing and can drive the ball to all fields. At this point, he’s the prospect that is rising the fastest. He’s not a great speed guy, but does project as a solid hitter who will drive in runs.

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Gary Sanchez

The Star-Ledger- USA TODAY Sports

Sanchez is the prized prospect in the Yankee organization. He’s a tremendous young hitter who just so happens to play catcher as well. While some think his average defensive skills will lead to a position change, others think he will break into the bigs behind the plate. Either way, the kid can flat-out hit.

He might be considered untouchable by the Yankees brass, but if the right deal comes along, they might be willing to pull the trigger. He’s one of the top prospects in all of baseball, and even though he’s probably a few years away from the big leagues, teams across the league know his potential and would love to get him in a trade.