The non-waiver trade deadline is nearly upon us, and the Yankees will need to address certain holes if they want to remain competitive in the division. Obviously there is a strong need to improve the bullpen, but with Nick Johnson’s season in doubt and Alex Rodriguez losing playing time thanks to his bum hip, there are two players the Yankees should focus on:
Ty Wigginton (.253/.339 /.448) has already been connected to the Yankees, who view him as a part-time player. The journeyman infielder would provide depth off the bench, fill in as the designated hitter and support the ailing Alex Rodriguez at third base. Despite Ramiro Pena’s superb defense, the Yankees cannot continue to use the light-hitting shortstop as a backup for Rodriguez. Wigginton has already slugged 14 homers this year and has been a fairly consistent player throughout his career, so unless his bat completely freezes up, the Yankees would get a productive player. According to Ken Rosenthal, the O’s want a young shortstop in return for the 32 year-old, and the Yankees have plenty of infield depth in the minors. It will probably cost the Yankees Eduardo Nunez, but perhaps Brian Cashman could send Reegie Corona and an additional prospect to Baltimore.
Matt Capps (3.11 ERA/22 SV/4.57 K/BB) is not the best arm on the market, but with Mo’s knees giving out, the Yankees need to add another pitcher with closing experience to the bullpen. Nat’s prospect Drew Storen is ready to close out games for Stephen Strasburg, and GM Mike Rizzo may be willing to part with Capps and his 97 MPH fastball for a mid-level prospect or two . The high number of hits allowed is a cause for concern, but he’s worth taking a chance on, especially if the Yankees can catch lightning in a bottle with some of their other Triple-A arms.