NEW YORK (WFAN) — What will they do at the trade deadline?
That’s the question that will follow the Yankees and Mets around once the All-Star break ends.
CBSSports.com and WFAN baseball insider Jon Heyman spoke to WFAN’s Marc Malusis and Kim Jones on Tuesday and suggested what each team might try to do, in addition to hypothesizing where some of the biggest names on the market could end up.
Due to the relative mediocrity of the AL East — and the junior circuit in general — the Yankees, despite being 47-47 with more problems than they ever could have envisioned when they broke spring training, are five games out of the division lead and 3 1/2 out of the second wild card.
General manager Brian Cashman has scrambled to put a pitching staff together since losing 80 percent of his starting rotation to injury.
“They’ve lost four starting pitchers. Not too many teams can absorb that kind of loss,” Heyman said.
Ivan Nova (Tommy John surgery) and CC Sabathia (degenerative knee) are out for the season, while Michael Pineda (back) and Masahiro Tanaka (elbow) may not return until August and September, respectively.
Compounding matters is the fact that the Yankees simply haven’t hit anywhere near enough. Free agent signings Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann have been major disappointments and veteran Alfonso Soriano was designated for assignment, leaving serious run-production holes.
“They have the names in terms of the offense and they should be better,” Heyman said.
Heyman said despite the Yankees’ hitting woes, they sorely need starting pitching more than anything else. The kids and retread veterans that have stepped into the rotation have done an admirable job, but there are concerns that they won’t hold up in the throes of a pennant race.
Heyman said if the Yankees look to buy they could be fixated on Philadelphia as the deadline draws near. It’s believed the Phillies will entertain offers for left-handers Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee if they fall further out of contention, but it’s unknown if the Bombers have the prospects to get either. A more realistic option for the Yankees could be Chicago White Sox southpaw John Danks, Heyman added.
The Mets (45-50) have won eight of 10 to pull within seven games of both the NL East lead and the second wild card, but are still unsure if they will be buyers or sellers come the deadline. Reports have indicated that GM Sandy Alderson will listen to offers for veteran right-hander Bartolo Colon.
Heyman said it’s more important for the Mets to get a significant bat or two for next season, when their pitching staff will figure to be one of the best in baseball. One suggestion thrown out there of late has been trading for Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro.
“You hear conflicting things about how interested the Mets would be. The on-base percentage isn’t spectacular so he may not be exactly their kind of player. If they don’t go for him, I don’t necessarily blame them. He’s not a guy who is a slam-dunk. He has some flaws,” Heyman said. “I will say this though, the teams do match up … He’s not the perfect player, but certainly is a major upgrade for them, so they should at least consider it.”
Heyman also speculated that players like Giancarlo Stanton and David Price could be moved. To find out where, please click on the link below to hear Heyman’s entire interview.