With the July 31st trade deadline quickly approaching I thought it would be fun to look back at the New York Yankees’ best trade deadline deal in the Brian Cashman era. There have been many deals Cashman has made, especially around the trade deadline, many of which have helped propel the team to World Series championships and some that have been flops.
There are a couple of trades that stand out but one that really stands out. That one trade is the Yankees’ acquisition of Bobby Abreu and Cory Lidle from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for C.J. Henry, Jesus Sanchez, Matt Smith and Carlos Monasterios on July 30, 2006. If you haven’t heard of any of the players the Phillies received it is because only Smith and Monasterios appeared in the Major Leagues. Monasterios never appeared in a game with the Phillies, however, as he was selected by the New York Mets in the Rule V Draft in 2009.
Smith was a promising left-handed reliever who had appeared in 12 games for the Yankees before the trade and didn’t allow a run. As a Phillie, Smith lasted two seasons and posted a 4.97 ERA while walking 15 and only striking out 13. He last appeared in the Majors in 2007.
C.J. Henry was a former first round pick of the Yankees in the 2005 Draft. He is a career .241 hitter in the minor and independent leagues. He left the Phillies prior to the 2008 season and returned to the Yankees. However, he played only 20 more games in the minors before leaving to play college basketball at Kansas. He is now playing in an independent league at age 27 trying to make his way back into the baseball world.
Jesus Sanchez was a catcher in the Yankees’ system but the Phillies saw no future for him there and changed him to pitcher. He has had a nice minor league career, posting a 3.20 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. He is now in the Milwaukee Brewers’ system and is still only 25 so he could make his MLB debut one of these days.
The Yankees got a then-32-year-old Bobby Abreu who was hitting .277/.427/.434 with eight home runs. Abreu had lost a lot of his power it seemed, after winning the All-Star game Home Run Derby in 2005. While Abreu never regained his 30 home run power he did hit .330/.419/.507 after the trade with seven home runs and 42 RBI in 58 games. Abreu ultimately appeared in 372 games with the Yankees before being granted his free agency and signing with the Los Angeles Angels. In those 372 games Abreu posted a .295/.378/.465 with 43 homers, 243 RBI, 57 stolen bases and 103 doubles. Abreu helped propel the Yankees into the playoffs in 2006 where he hit .333/.412/.400 and drove in four runs in four games. Abreu was good for an accumulated 7.0 WAR during his time with the Yankees.
Lidle only appeared in 10 games, nine of which were starts with the Yankees in 2006. He was killed in a plane crash in October of 2006 at the age of 34. He was a serviceable fifth starter in the Yankees’ rotation going 4-3 with a 5.16 ERA.
The Yankees got the better part of this deal. They received a player who solidified the Yankees’ outfield for two years and helped them into the playoffs in 2006 and 2007. The Phillies got nothing serviceable except a salary dump. Abreu went on to have a few more strong years with the Angels before ending his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers last season at age 38.