The Need For A Second Baseman
Trade for Martin Prado
When his trade to the Marlins was announced, I'm sure a lot of you cringed at the deal like me at first, as Nathan Eovaldi was still raw and Garrett Jones seemed like a throw in. Fast forward seven months, and it seems like a good trade. Eovaldi has markedly improved over his last 10 starts, and Garrett Jones has performed admirably when called upon. Martin Prado has been just okay with the the Marlins (.273/ .313/ .369). Now, why do the Yankees trade for him? The most obvious reason is to get Stephen Drew/Brendan Ryan booted to the backup utility role, and secondly his versatile glove a la Ben Zobrist. His right handed bat would also bring some balance to a lefty heavy Yankee lineup (Ellsbury, Gardner, McCann, Didi are left handers, while Headley, Tex and Beltran are switch hitters). It also helps that he has hit lefties well (.299 average, .776 OPS).Since the Yankees are only looking for incremental improvements, a deal to bring him back sounds pretty good.
The Package: Tyler Wade for Martin Prado
Tyler Wade is a middle infield prospect who has performed solidly in Advanced A (.293/ .354/ .367). A good glove with good contact and on base skills, Wade could be able to stick in the majors in the future. His plus speed is also an asset (31 steals in 89 games). As for 2016, the Yankees could carry Prado as a super utility guy, backing up second base, shortstop, third base, left field and right field. So for those who worry that he might block Refsnyder in 2016, fear not.It's also worth noting that Prado hit for a .877 OPS during the stretch run with the Yankees, so he could rediscover his magic this season as well.
The Need For Adam Warren/ Luis Severino To Start
It's increasingly clear that CC Sabathia is not going anywhere, and fans have been calling for either Adam Warren to continue starting or Luis Severino to be called up. With Tanaka, Pineda and CC locked into the rotation, it only comes down to Eovaldi and Nova. With Eovaldi's recent form, its clear that the only removable part of the rotation is Ivan Nova. Nova would be under team control for two more years after 2015, so he would be a valuable trade chip, if not for his recent Tommy John surgery. He's been reliable so far (3.34 ERA in 5 starts), but his peripherals have been alarming (4.82 FIP, 4.6 K/9). There is one team I'd recommend trading him to: the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers' rotation has been an absolute mess, with 2014 breakout performers Alfredo Simon and Shane Greene pitching like pumpkins. Dave Dombrowski is still willing to buy pieces to vault the Tigers into the 2015 postseason.
The Package: Ivan Nova for Zach Shepherd
Zach Shepherd is a 19 year old Australian third base prospect. He is the #24 prospect in the Tigers system, and he is projected to have 4 above average tools. One deciding factor is his defense at the hot corner, as he is a converted shortstop. Scouts have noted his good range and solid arm. His bat hasn't really caught up yet, but his ability to draw walks have not gone unnoticed. With time on his side, he still has at least 3 years of development to go, at which he will be 22-23 years old and Chase Headley would be out of contract.(Eric Jagielo would be best suited at DH or first base, and he's currently out with a very serious knee injury). Nova gives the Tigers cost controlled pitching and a sidekick to David Price for the rest of 2015. Most importantly, Adam Warren would be restored to the rotation or Luis Severino would toe the rubber at the major league level.
The Need For Another Bullpen Arm
Trade For Mark Lowe
How do you improve a bullpen that's second in the MLB with 4.0 WAR? Add Mark Lowe, a 32 year old reliever with a 95-98 mph fastball and a knockout slider. His 1.08 ERA is outstanding, as well as his 11.8 K/9. His peripherals are a bit funky, with a high .366 BABIP but a 1.84 FIP. This suggests that he's been lucky on fly balls, but extremely unlucky when line drives and ground balls are hit. Imagine a bullpen where Shreve, Wilson and Lowe are the bridge to Betances and Miller. You'd get four guys (except Shreve) with fastballs routinely in the mid 90's and high strikeout totals. That would be a devastating combination.
The Package: Ramon Flores and cash for Mark Lowe
Dustin Ackley has worn out his welcome in Seattle. While Flores may not be a stud prospect, but he is an improvement on defense compared to Ackley. It remains to be seen how Flores hits, but if he could hit .250/.310/.370, he'd already be an upgrade.
Are there any moves the Yankees could make to elevate them? Leave a comment below.