On a day where Jon Lester traded a Boston Red Sox jersey for an Oakland Athletics jersey, and David Price traded a Tampa Bay Rays jersey for a Detroit Tigers jersey, one of the biggest winners was not Oakland or Detroit, but instead the quiet New York Yankees, and Brian Cashman who acquired Stephen Drew, and Martin Prado to round off, what has been an underrated trade season in the Bronx.
Since trade season has kicked off, the Yankees have acquired Brandon McCarthy for Vidal Nuno from the Arizona Diamondbacks, Chase Headley for Yangervis Solarte (and a prospect) from the San Diego Padres, Chris Capuano for cash from the Colorado Rockies, Esmil Rogers off of the waivers, Stephen Drew for Kelly Johnson from the Boston Red Sox (!), and Martin Prado for Peter O’Brien, once again from the Diamondbacks.
What arises, to me at least, is that Cashman managed to acquire five (potentially six – Rogers) players who can make a difference, while only giving up one significant prospect.
At a time where the Yankees seem to be building a developing farm system around Luis Severino, Gary Sanchez, Eric Jagielo, Ian Clarkin, Aaron Judge, Rob Refsnyder, Jacob Lindgren, Ramon Flores, Tyler Austin, Mason Williams, Slade Heathcott, and Mike Montgomery, the only significant loss was Peter O’Brien, a player who was unlikely to see significant major league time, if any time at all.
For O’Brien, the struggle seemed to come when it came to consistency. He had the power as he slugged 33 home runs over A and AA baseball prior to the trade, but even with his power, a sub -.300 OBP at Double-A doesn’t translate to major league talent.
Allow me to breakdown the effectiveness of Cashman’s acquisitions thus far this season. Brandon McCarthy, who was deemed as a scrub in the rotations by the Arizona Diamondbacks, has accumulated a 2.55 ERA over four starts in which he has gone 3-0 with one no decision. Aside from his latest start in Texas in which he surrendered four runs against the Rangers, McCarthy had allowed one run in each of his first three starts. Thus far, in his four starts with the Yankees, McCarthy’s WHIP is the third lowest it has been in his career, and the lowest its has been in three seasons as it currently stands at 1.297.
Chase Headley looks like a completely new hitter since his arrival to New York as he has upped his batting average from .229 in San Diego to .303 in New York, as well as increasing his on base percentage from a pathetic .296 to a respectable .361, while also slugging an impressive .455. Headley has also posted an OPS of .816; the second highest figure in his career, and his highest since the 2012 career.
Chris Capuano has only made one start for the Yankees so a large sample size is not there, but in that one start up against the Toronto Blue Jays, Capuano gave up two earned runs over six innings, while striking out four hitters over the course of 94 pitches. Clearly a chance in scenery has been good for Capuano as Joe Girardi has given him the ball for the series opener against the Boston Red Sox on August 1st.
As for Rogers, Drew, and Prado? Only time can tell, but with the wheeling and dealing Cashman has done, he has brought in productive players in for bargain prices, while keeping a developing farm system in-tact aside from the departure of slugger, Peter O’Brien.
No, Cashman did not make any big moves, nor did he need to, but nevertheless, the Yankees, and Cashman should come away from the trade deadline feeling confident in the moves made, and feeling October baseball may be closer than initially believed in the early parts of July.