In late-breaking news that is sure to rattle the baseball world, the Yankees have acquired Jason Heyward (OF) from the Braves for the price of one Joba Chamberlain and one…it pains me to write this…Jesus Montero.
While the Yankees have not yet DFA’d Randy Winn or Marcus Thames, they can likely be expected to do so fairly soon.
More can be found at the source, linked below, but here is my own take:
I don’t like giving up Jesus. It’s painful. You guys know this, how much I like him and how I went gaga over the six year predictions. In the world of baseball trades, though, you have to give to get.
The thing is, as good as Montero is projected to be, Heyward is projected to be even better. Whereas Montero is four or five on most prospect lists, Heyward is one or two. Unlike Montero, there’s no question about Heyward’s defense, and his entire package (erm, excuse the word choice) is ready to play in the Majors, now. This could very well be the Yankees trading, say, Mike Piazza for a young Ken Griffey, Jr–which would be okay with me.
The combination of Brett Gardner, Randy Winn and Marcus Thames, as well as Swisher’s inconsistent batting average and Granderson’s struggles against lefties, means that the Yankees could very well have had one of the weaker outfields this season. For a team whose strongest players–Ruth, DiMaggio, Mantle, etc–have traditionally been outfielders, the idea of a weak outfield is anathema.
Jesus Montero projects to be one of the best power hitters (whether at catcher or another position) in the league, but the Yankees have a wealth of catching prospects from which the could draw, and it’s generally been thought that they would trade either Montero or Romine, and Romine projects as the better all-around player.
The Yankees could very well think that Montero is unable to work as catcher, and the Braves, who do have Brian McCann, may be interested in turning Montero into a first baseman.
Joba Chamberlain, you, of course, all know, and as it turns out, may be the player that benefits most from this trade. As a cost-controlled replacement for Javier Vazquez, Joba will finally get a spot, unquestioned, in the rotation from the get-go and be able to remain there all season and the Braves get, well, like I said, a cost-controlled, capable and experienced replacement. He may not be Tommy Hanson, but he’ll help make the Braves one of the favorites in the NL East.
The Yankees have thus taken another hit to their pitching depth, but given their resources, it shouldn’t be hard for them to find a solution.
Once again, I implore you to check your calendar for more information.