Before I begin, I'm not here to throw out ridiculous trade suggestions for players such as Ubaldo Jimenez, James Shields or Felix Hernandez. The following three players are types of guys that Brian Cashman has become known for acquiring before the deadline. They're all small upgrades that can certainly make a difference. Would I pull off all of these trades? Probably not. However, they make sense and would make the Yankees a better team.
1) Reed Johnson. Kudos to YankeesJets for first mentioning this (at least he's the first that I saw mention Johnson's name) and I 110% agree. He's currently making $900,000 and playing for the Chicago Cubs. He'll be a free agent at the conclusion of the season. Let's be frank, the Cubs aren't going anywhere in the National League Central. They're battling the Houston Astros to stay out of the cellar, so there's no real reason to hang onto Reed. Johnson is 45 for 137 this year and 22 of those hits are for extra bases (17 doubles, one triple, four home runs). His triple slash currently sits at .328/.369/.555. He's absolutely raked lefties this year (21 for 59) and it's no fluke. His lifetime splits against lefties are as follows: .314/.373/.468. He's also a defensive upgrade over Andruw Jones. It shouldn't take much to land Johnson and I'm sure the Cubs would eat most of his salary.
2) David DeJesus. Nothing too special about David, but he could provide solid production off the bench. Many of you probably recognize his name from his days with Kansas City. He's now in the final year of a 6 year/$19.3 million contract and Oakland likely isn't winning the American League West. DeJesus is having a bit of a down year statistically, but his career numbers suggest he's a better player. He's struggled mightily against lefties (12 for 81), but his numbers against righties are still respectable (58 for 222) .261/.360/.414. He's an average to slightly above-average defensive outfielder who will draw his fair share of walks and put the ball in play often. I see him as a relatively cheap piece to add to the bench.
3) Sean Marshall. If there's one lefty reliever out there that the Yankees should look at, it's Marshall. He's currently on the Chicago Cubs and he's quietly putting together an extremely impressive year. His K/9 rate of 9.51 is fantastic, especially when paired with his BB/9 rate of 1.90. He's only given up one home run through 47.1 innings pitched and his xFIP is a cool 2.34. I love how he mixes all four of his pitches, even using his curveball more often than his fastball. He's under contract through the end of 2012 with a 2 year/$4.7 million contract. I'm sure the Yankees would have no problem attaining that. The Cubs have leverage to ask for a bit in return for him right now, so I'd be surprised if he ends up in pinstripes this year. However, he's one of the best left-handed relievers in baseball and New York would love to have another lefty.
This next suggestion is a curious one. I'm not saying the Yankees need him or should trade for him, but I'd like to throw it out there anyway. Michael Bourn of the Houston Astros. He's a speedy center-fielder who's hitting .302 and working a good amount of walks (OBP of .360). His 38 stolen bases is the most in the majors this season. He's under contract through the end of 2012 and the Astros don't look like they'll be contenders next year, either. What do you guys think will end up happening with Bourn?
With Eric Chavez and Rafael Soriano coming back, I don't see an overwhelming need for another backup infielder or righty in the bullpen. Eduardo Nunez is a more than suitable utility infielder. I'm also not a fan of trading even slightly above-average prospects for a decent starting pitcher.
Yes, four days until all this talk stops. But what do you all think?