The New York Yankees have to love the trade of Matt Garza from the Chicago Cubs to the Texas Rangers. The Cubs will reportedly receive third baseman Mike Olt, who was ranked the 22nd best prospect in the game by Baseball America and MLB.com, and right-handers C.J. Edwards and Justin Grimm. Garza was scheduled to become a free agent at the end of the season and the Cubs certainly brought back a decent return for Garza.
This is good news for the Yankees if they decide to trade one of their own impending free agents, right-handed pitcher Phil Hughes. There have been rumors for weeks that the Yankees have been aggressively pursuing deals for Hughes and right-handed reliever Joba Chamberlain. If GM Brian Cashman wishes to pursue that avenue he knows he can at least ask for a decent prospect or two in return.
Hughes has had a very up and down year this season which is not a surprise considering he is an extreme fly ball pitcher in a park that turns fly balls into home runs. However, Hughes is a former 18-game winner who has had success in the largest media market and has plenty of playoff experience.
Yankees’ fans shouldn’t expect a similar return for Hughes, at least not a prospect as highly rated as Olt was heading into this season but if Cashman is thorough he could get a Top 100 prospect and a B-prospect in return for Hughes at least.
The market has been set and Hughes joins Bud Norris of the Houston Astros as the top pitchers left on the trade market. Cashman should take advantage of that and try to move Hughes for as great of a return as he can possibly get.
As the Yankees struggle this season, Yankees’ fans could see the team become sellers at the deadline for the first time in over 30 years. Even when the Yankees were bad in the early 1990s they were never sellers, though that had more to do with them not having much to sell as well as an owner in George Steinbrenner who didn’t know what surrender was and would rather fire a manager than admit defeat. Now, times have changed and the Yankees are trying to rebuild on the fly with a roster that is aging and injured. Trading Hughes could help accelerate that transition.