In 2013, only the Marlins, White Sox, and Nationals have a worse offense against lefthanded pitching by wRC+ than the Yankees. Collectively, they've hit .234/.305/.341 with a .285 wOBA and a 75 wRC+, and they can only count on the returns of righties Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez so much; they should be able to help, but the injury histories remain concerning. Thus, the Yankees desperately seek some quality righthanded hitters as the trade deadline approaches.
There previously were some rumors connecting the Yankees to the Marlins' Justin Ruggiano and the Brewers' Aramis Ramirez, but neither player no longer appears to be a legitimate possibility. The South Florida Sun Sentinel's Juan Rodriguez learned that Miami "isn't all that motivated to trade Ruggiano at this point." It is understandable from the Marlins' perspective since Ruggiano is 1) still a pre-arbitration player, and 2) not having a very good year at .224/.290/.408 with a 92 wRC+. If someone wanted to overpay for Ruggiano, they would of course listen, but his value is not extremely high right now.
Ramirez has been a name bantered about in the community here and in some MLB rumors, but according to Jon Heyman, the Yankees consider him "too pricey." If they acquired him, the Yankees would have to pay the remainder of his $10 million salary this year, his $16 million salary next year, and a possible $4 million buyout of his $14 million club option for 2015. The 35-year-old has been one of baseball's most consistent offensive third baseman even going back to his younger days with the Pirates and Cubs in the 2000s, but over the past few years, he has missed time due to a dislocated right shoulder, a left thumb sprain, and most concerning, chronic left knee sprains this season. He's on the 15-day disabled list right now with a knee sprain. Ramirez would almost undoubtedly be able to help the Yankees from the right side of the plate, but 2013 just isn't his year on the health front. If the Yankees are going to get another player, it should be someone who is actually healthy since injuries have been their biggest problem.
Recently-released Royals outfielder and negative WAR player Jeff Francoeur has signed a deal with the San Francisco Giants, allowing the majority of Yankees fans to breathe a sigh of relief. Even though Frenchy is terrible on defense aside from his arm and hasn't hit well in two years (.228/.278/.364 with a declining 75 OPS+ and -2.3 fWAR), it seemed inevitable that the Yankees would sign the righty outfielder. Fortunately, the Yankees never seemed to show much interest, and Giants GM Brian Sabean snatched him up. Bullet dodged.
Mark Feinsand offered this bit of news regarding the Phillies' interest in an infamous Yankees reliever:
National League sources say the Phillies are amenable to dealing Michael Young and have expressed interest in Joba Chamberlain, a salary-dump swap that would save Philadelphia roughly $7 million. The sources also say Carlos Ruiz can be had before the deadline, too.
As Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors notes though, it doesn't seem to make much sense from the Phillies' side to rent a reliever if they're possibly dealing away one or both of their position players. It seems unlikely that a straight-up Joba-for-Young or Joba-for-Ruiz deal would occur since Joba has nothing to offer the Phils beyond 2013. There would likely be other prospects involved on both sides, and I don't think many fans of the Yankees or the Phillies want their respective teams trading any kind of prospect for a struggling middle reliever or two over-the-hill players with significant question marks (Young's defense, Ruiz's health and offense).
Feinsand described Brian Cashman's apparent potential interest in Young and Ruiz as "lukewarm," so it appears the Yankees will miss out on acquiring these flawed players unless they can swing a cheap deal. Even then, the thought of Young in pinstripes bobbling crap all around the infield makes me want to Kevin Brown a wall, so hopefully the Yankees will stay away.
On a completely unrelated note, rest in peace, Chase. The Double-A Trenton Thunder's 13-year-old batdog passed away today due to cancer, just a couple days after the Thunder held a retirement ceremony for him. Sad times. I highly recommend checking out the tribute video below. It will probably get a little dusty wherever you are, but it's worth it.
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