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New York Yankees News and Notes: 2/12/2011

I was surprised to see so little support among Yankees fans at the idea of trading for Francisco Liriano.  It's About The Money was on this bandwagon (or never on it, I guess), and I just don't understand why:

(T)rading (Manny) Banuelos for Liriano would carry the opportunity cost of not being able to use (him) in another trade later.

Really?  Let's say the Twins did propose a straight Banuelos for Liriano trade.  If Brian Cashman says no, who exactly is he holding out for?  Tim LincecumFelix Hernandez?  Old Hoss Radbourn's reincarnation? 

Don't get me wrong.  I LOVE Banuelos.  But he is what he is - a 19 year old pitcher with 10 innings above A ball.  The Yankees have a serious need for starting pitching in both 2011 and 2012, and even if everything breaks right for Man-Ban, he won't reach the majors until late 2012 at the earliest, with severe pitch count/inning limit issues for at least the first season or two. He may be CC's heir by 2014, but that's a long time away.

Liriano, on the other hand, is much more of a sure thing.  He's not in the class of Cliff Lee or Zach Greinke, not yet, but he's closer than you think.  In fact, if everything breaks right for Man-Ban, his career will probably wind up looking like Liriano's does at this point.  It's like trading Austin Jackson for Curtis Granderson; when money's no object, and you have the chance to trade a prospect for a player of the same position with the same profile and ceiling, you do it without having to think much.

  • It looks like both Nick Swisher and Robinson Cano may be joining the ranks of ex-Yankees in a few years.  That's what happens when you hire Scott Boras as your agent.  I suspect his asking price will be higher than what the front office is willing to pay for a 30 year old Cano and 32 year old Swisher, especially when the Yankees will have to older, more expensive Boras clients on their roster.
  • The Yankee U compares some prospect rankings from various sources.  After Montero and Banuelos, it's interesting to see how little agreement there is.