I begin with the Yankees little brother in New York the Mets. In a previous blog I thought the Mets should either trade Colon or Matsuzaka for prospects or do nothing before the trade deadline. It turns out they did nothing. I am glad the rumored trade that the Mets would part with their second baseman Daniel Murphy did not happen. Murphy gives the Mets a strong offensive player at second base and is also improving defensively. Sometimes the best trade is the one you don’t make. With the return of Matt Harvey joining Wheeler, Neise, Gee, and the new phenom DeGrom the Mets will have a formidable starting rotation. They do need to add some offensive fire power. I would like to see them go after either shortstop JJ Hardy or Hanley Ramirez in the off-season. Duda is solid at first base and Wright is solid at third base. Granderson won’t hit for average but does produce the power numbers. Lagaras is a defensive acrobat in centerfield who is an improving as a hitter. The young d’Arnaud will only get better at the catcher position. Campbell has a chance of developing into a solid hitter and can play left field. One more power hitting outfielder is needed. The Mets are set to be serious contenders in 2015 and take over New York from their big brother.
What about the Mets’ big brother the Yankees? As we know the New York fans would never accept throwing in the towel. In fact, the Yankees still have a good chance of securing the second wild card in the AL. The Yankees were not involved in any blockbuster trades. Instead, GM Cashman pulled off several little trades, each of which incrementally improved the Yankees. The Yankees swapped rookies, minor league prospects, cash, and a disappointing veteran to obtain mid-level major league veterans.
In a trade with the Diamondbacks, the Yankees got Brandon McCarthy for Vidal Nuno. The 30-year old McCarthy has gone 4-0 with a 2.05 ERA with 32 SO in 30.2 innings since joining the Yankees. The 26-old Nuno has not shown himself to be a legitimate big league starter. In 121 career innings Nuno has an ERA of 4.52.
In a trade with the Padres the Yankees acquired Chase Headley for Yangervis Solarte and Rafael De Paula. In 2012, the 30-year old switch-hitter Headley had a career year with a BA of .303, OBP of .361, a SLG of .455 and was fifth in the MVP voting. His numbers slumped in 2013. Always known for his excellent glove, in his first nine games with the Yankees he batted .303 with three extra-base hits and four RBI. If he returns to his 2012 form the Yankees would have caught lightning in a bottle. Solarte started his rookie season with the Yankees as one of their leading hitters. He then went into a severe hitting slump. DePaula is a hard throwing minor league pitcher with potential.
In a trade with the Red Sox the Yankees shored up their infield with the addition of Stephen Drew for Kelly Johnson, who was a big disappointment for the Yankees. Drew is an excellent fielder who gives the Yankees a solid backup at second, short, and third. Drew is a lifetime .260 hitter and gives the Yankees a valid option for replacing Jeter in 2015.
In a trade with the Diamondbacks the Yankees received the 30-year old Martin Prado for Peter O’Brien. Prado will provide the Yankees with a combination of a good bat and defensive versatility. He can play second, third and right field. He batted .270 in 436 plate appearances for the DBacks this season. In return for sending Prado to the Yankees, the Diamondbacks received the power-hitting minor league prospect Peter O’Brien.
The Yankees traded cash to the Rockies for the 35-year old lefty Chris Capuano. In ten seasons in 266 games (209 starts) Capuano’s record is 74-84 with a 4.28 ERA. He will be a spot starter and a long-man in the bullpen. The addition of another veteran lefty pitcher will strengthen the bullpen.