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Yankees Trade Rumors and Gossip 8/8/15: Prepare for James Shields and Martin Prado

The Yankees have been linked to some alarming waiver trades. Can I interest you in some overpriced options for the starting rotation and second base?

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What’s this, you ask – a non-Wednesday rumors and gossip roundup? Why, yes, that’s what this is! Picture every Yankees-related rumor encompassed in the body of a portly old man – short and squat, big belly, Larry King-like suspenders, maybe corduroy pants. Now imagine the portly old man eats an especially full plate of rumors for lunch which causes his stomach to become portlier and his pants to explode open, top button flying across the room and zipper ripping apart as if it had been sliced open by a samurai sword. In this convoluted and, truth be told, totally meaningless metaphor, we are the portly old man, and we have been fed one too many rumors and/or gossips. It’s time to expel them, lest we explode. (Exploding would be ugly and disgusting.)

So, let’s expel then. Here are some important things people are saying:

  • Chatter says the Yankees are looking to upgrade their offerings at second base. I sense you’re appalled at the thought that anybody would ever want to replace the dynamic duo of Stephen Drew and Brendan Ryan – well, while you’re scraping your jaw off the floor with a butter knife, let me run this by you: word on the street is the Yankees will bite at Martin Prado should they get the opportunity. As Caitlin wrote earlier today, Prado would be a massive improvement at second with his .314 OBP and his 85 wRC+, but most of the other teams in the Majors would have to pass on him before the Yankees would get a chance – that is, if the Marlins even make him available in the first place.
  • Prado is not the only waiver trade candidate connected to the Yankees. You may recall the San Diego Padres failed to move any of their top-line players prior to the trade deadline. While team officials continue to say they’re gunning for the postseason, reports state the Padres still want to trade players like James Shields in an attempt to clear the books of payroll commitments. Shields is under contract until 2018 and is owed $63 million between 2016 and 2018. He’s managed a 4.21 FIP this year, which is not especially good, but a confluence of factors may see him become a legitimate option for the Yankees. The Yankees are willing to take on payroll, and the rotation is only one serious injury away from becoming a major liability. Shields hasn’t been great but, shockingly, he hasn’t been that much worse than Masahiro Tanaka this year. Tanaka has a 4.07 FIP, an 8.36 K/9, and a 17% HR/FB compared to Shields' 4.21 FIP, 9.84 K/9, and 18.3% HR/FB. Should the Yankees be feeling nervous, and the Padres be looking to jettison Shields’ garish contract, the two could link up, assuming everyone else passes on Shields first.
  • Finally, a number of teams are rumored to be interested in Chase Utley. Utley is far from the most attractive candidate – battles with a degenerative knee condition and an ankle injury in June have almost certainly contributed to this being the worst year of his career. And calling it his worst year doesn’t quite do it justice – he’s been shocking, with a .179/.256/.274 slash and a 42 wRC+ across 66 games. That’s worth -1.3 WAR – this from the man who made 4.5 WAR last year. Stephen Drew is better than him (mull over that for a few moments). It’s been a tragic season for him, and the Yankees should leave well enough alone.
  • Meanwhile, in Minor League Baseball… well, perhaps Deadspin put it best: "Tonight’s Florida State League game between the Clearwater Threshers and Tampa Yankees at George Steinbrenner Field was cancelled due to a distracting circus tent behind the outfield fence."
  • "Thank God for the New York Yankees," said Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred. He didn’t actually say that, but he more or less did, when he said that having both New York teams competitive was best for business. "In terms of our fans," said Manfred, "to have two New York teams in the hunt, it’s a good thing."
  • Prepare for upgraded security systems at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees have partnered with CLEAR, a service which uses your fingerprint (along with some other identity data) to allow you "Fast Access" (quote-unquote) through security checkpoints. Said a Yankees representative: "Ensuring the safety of our guests is our top priority at every event held at Yankee Stadium."
  • Will Stevens, twenty-four-year-old Manor F1 Team driver (that’s Formula 1), paid a visit to Yankee Stadium on Thursday. In true British fashion, he compared the game to rounders. From his Twitter, we also learned he Airbnb’d at a penthouse somewhere in Manhattan and played a FIFA Soccer video game on a large projector screen. So, pretty much the same experience as every other twenty-four-year-old tourist in New York, right?
  • Joe Girardi materialized at a city pool in Harlem on Thursday to promote the Free Summer Meals program which, as described, promises free summer meals to anybody under eighteen. "I can’t float on my back," Girardi explained to the kids around him. "I sink." Following this stirring pep talk, he went on to speak science facts, telling the frightened children, "If you don’t put good things in your body it won’t start." This explains why I’ve been stuck frozen here for the past seventeen years. Somebody hand me an apple. And curse you, science.