There has been a lot of speculation recently regarding whether or not the Indians will trade C.C. Sabathia if they fall out of the race (which could well happen). If this were to happen, would the Yankees pursue him? Well, that would depend on a lot of things: asking price, liklihood of an extension, state of the current rotation, etc.
Remember, while Rasner may not be the next Roger Clemens (or even Mike Mussina), he’s been alright in the 5-spot and he will be challenged by Kennedy and Hughes when they return. While it is true you can never have too much pitching, the addition of Sabathia would mean a viable starter could be pushed out. If the Yankees suffer another injury though or if Pettitte continues to struggle, acquiring Sabathia becomes much more likely.
The Yankees don’t like the idea of signing pitchers to a long-term deal and could always simply “rent” Sabathia and take the draft picks when he leaves. However, it is wrong to assume that just because the Yankees wouldn’t give Santana a longterm deal that they will follow suit with Sabathia. The Yankees clearly scouted Santana and were scared of his declining fastball, relecutance to throw his slider, and propensity for giving up home runs. In just a few months this year, I think their concerns have been justified. Do they have similar concerns over Sabathia? Only time will tell.
Of course the real interesting point to any trade speculation is – what will they give up? Pete Abe over at LoHud gave the following suggestions and hypotheticals:
This would be my untouchable list: Austin Jackson, Jesus Montero, Phil Hughes, Andrew Brackman and Mark Melancon
Other than that, have at ‘em.
That includes Jose Tabata, Brett Gardner, Robinson Cano, Melky Cabrera, Ian Kennedy, Alan Horne, Dellin Betances, Jose Veras, etc.
Remember, this is C.C. Sabathia we’re talking about. The Indians aren’t taking Shelley Duncan and Scott Patterson for the Cy Young Award winner.
They’ll want at least one pitcher. Kennedy, Tabata and Betances. Would that get it done?
Tabata, Betances and Cano. Would you do that? Or do you stay away entirely?
I agree with Pete’s untouchable list to a degree. I don’t know if Melancon is truly untouchable, but probably for a rental he would be.
If the Indians would take Kennedy, Tabata, and Betances, the Yankees probably have to make that deal. Tabata and Betances are high-upside guys, but even if Sabathia leaves at years end, the Yankees would likely get 2 similar talents drafting in the first and sandwich rounds. Kennedy almost has to be a part of any Sabathia deal – his value is as a major league pitcher right now. If the Yankees bring in Sabathia and keep Kennedy, how do they both pitch? (Though the standard “you can never have too much pitching” rule does apply, I suppose)
The second proposed deal – Tabata, Betances, and Cano – seems like a bad deal for the Yankees. I’m frustrated with Cano as much as anyone and I don’t know if he’ll ever be as great as people think. However, selling Cano now would be a classic example of selling low. The same goes for Tabata to a degree. Tabata was the Yankees best position player in the minors just last year. He’s had a bad start and you never want to trade a player when their value has bottomed out. Of course, with Tabata there is a chance he’ll be a complete bust and thus trading him now would salvage something.
This is likely all pointless speculation as I am doubtful the Yankees will get that involved for Sabathia – but it makes for interesting conversation because it is always fun to evaluate player’s value in the organization.