Blog Entry

Yankees need a solution, but maybe not a trade

Posted on: June 10, 2011 7:33 pm
Edited on: June 10, 2011 8:02 pm
 
NEW YORK -- The Yankees' first choice to replace Joba Chamberlain is a 33-year-old journeyman who pitched for three Pacific Coast League teams and no big-league teams last year.

Their second choice is a 27-year-old who has appeared in 248 minor-league games and no major-league games, and whose biggest claim to fame is that he was once part of a trade for Gary Sheffield.

The crazy thing is, the way relief pitching is, Luis Ayala or Kevin Whelan might actually be able to handle the seventh inning for a while. And if they can't, maybe Hector Noesi can, or maybe Dellin Betances can.

After announcing Friday that Chamberlain's Tommy John surgery has been scheduled for next Thursday, Yankee manager Joe Girardi said Friday that he plans to use Ayala in Chamberlain's spot in the seventh inning. Later Friday, the Yankees called Whelan up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

I understand why neither of those options will excite any fans, and why the Joba news set off calls that the Yankees trade for Heath Bell or Grant Balfour or Francisco Rodriguez (as the New York Daily News insisted on its back page Friday).

But middle relief is different, and more than with any other spot on a team, middle relievers come out of nowhere to have success. Throw enough good arms at the problem (and the Yankees actually have plenty of good young arms), and there's a real chance you'll find a solution.

"A lot of times you prefer power arms, or deception," Girardi said. "There are a lot of kids, even in Double-A or even further down than that. They don't have experience. But they might get it."

These are the Yankees, so it's naïve to think that they won't spend the next two months trying to trade for bullpen help. And they'll shoot high. They spent $35 million on Rafael Soriano when they really didn't need him.

But general manager Brian Cashman does not like trading top prospects, and it's hard to imagine him dealing prized kids for someone to pitch the seventh inning -- or even the eighth.

It's easy to see the Yankees first trying to see if they have a solution closer to home, even if it means trying someone like Betances or Noesi or Manny Banuelos (which Cashman suggested to the New York Post that he's not ready to do yet).

Four years ago, the Yankees had bullpen problems and found a solution from their farm system -- it was Joba Chamberlain. Two years ago, they had bullpen problems and found a homegrown solution -- Phil Hughes.

They have bullpen problems again. And now they need another solution.



Comments

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Yankees need a solution, but maybe not a trade

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Yankees need a solution, but maybe not a trade

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Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 9:48 am
 

Yankees need a solution, but maybe not a trade




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Yankees need a solution, but maybe not a trade

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Since: Nov 27, 2011
Posted on: November 27, 2011 4:40 pm
 

Yankees need a solution, but maybe not a trade



Tomly
Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 21, 2011 10:49 pm
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Since: Apr 26, 2007
Posted on: June 12, 2011 8:22 pm
 

Yankees need a solution, but maybe not a trade

The wild card will come out of the East, which means that all but the Western and Central leaders will likely be dumping contracts at the trading deadline. Cashman can afford to wait them out if the Yanks are still close to the division lead with their current arms.

Will Whelan be the next Aaron Small? Who knows. But for sure right now, it isn't panic time. Not even close. They can scrape by until they know what the story will be with Hughes.

And unless Robertson breaks down, I'd rather see him in there than Chamberlain any day.

Have to agree more or less with Knobler that there are enough arms in the system to go through before a desperation trade is made.



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