Blogging the Deadline-UPDATING

Welcome to deadline day! Here’s what we know. The Nationals are not trading Harper, and may not trade anyone. Chris Archer is said to be in play for a number of teams and there are tons of rumors about almost everyone. Joel Sherman says that the Yankees are likely to only add an OF, if they do anything more. I’ll update as news happens.

2:15- Buster Olney reports the Angels are shopping some of their relievers.

2:22-Marlins are said to be close to trading Cameron Maybin, but not to the Yankees according to Joel Sherman.

2:26- Jon Heyman says Kevin Gausman is getting serious interest from NL teams.

2:29- Maybin is going to Seattle according to multiple sources.

2:45- 75 minutes to go.

2:49- Ramos going from Tampa to Philly according to multiple reports. Also word that the Orioles have made another trade.

2:52- Buster Olney reports that with the Ramos trade done, the Rays are turning their attention to trading Archer.

3:05- Multiple reports that the Cubs are getting Kintzler from Washington.

3:08- Sounds like the Pirates are the front runners for Chris Archer.

3:15- Sounds like the Orioles trade referenced earlier is Gausman, probably to Atlanta.

3:22- Jon Heyman reports the Giants are going after Matt Harvey.

3:23- Ken Rosenthal reports the Dodgers are close to getting Dozier from the Twins.

3:27- Heyman has Gausman going to Atlanta.

3:34- Sounds like Archer is headed to Pittsburgh.

3:39- Joel Sherman says Harvey will not go to the Giants.

3:52- Very quiet right now.

3:54- Joel Sherman says the Mets are not making any moves by the deadline.

3:56- Buster Olney says the Brewers are trying to land Schoop from Baltimore.

3:58- Rosenthal says it’s close.

3:59- If the Yankees don’t add a bat, it’s probably because Neil Walker is hitting .370/.455/.500 in July.

4:00- The deadline has arrived, but as long as the paperwork is in, trades may have happened that haven’t been announced.

4:01- Jon Heyman says the Reds kept Matt Harvey

4:10- Multiple sources says Schoop was traded to Brewers.

Interesting-UPDATED

The Yankees traded Adam Warren to Seattle tonight for international pool money. This is the third-straight day they have made a trade and they have received $3.75-million in international pool money back. They have also opened two spots in the 40-man roster and lowered their payroll by about $1-million.

I suspect this means the Yankees are going to try to swing another trade for a major leaguer that can help them. Warren was clearly the sixth or seventh option in the bullpen, but he was a viable option and they wouldn’t trade him without some idea of a way to improve the overall club. Tommy Kahnle is also probably coming back to the bigs soon.

Stay tuned.

7:30pm- And another trade as the Yankees send Tyler Austin and Luis Rijo to Minnesota for Lance Lynn and cash. Lynn is not having a good year, so this is odd. I worry that we are about to hear about an injured starter.

The Deadline Approaches

Just over 24 hours until the non-waiver deadline and the question dominating the conversation is what will Washington do? They appear to be stuck in neutral and they have a ton of free agents. If they open for business, it could be a massive deadline day. (Side note, Bryce Harper is not coming to the Yankees for a myriad of reasons but primarily because adding him now would put the Yankees over the luxury tax threshold and blow up all the work they did to get under it.). If Washington doesn’t open for business, it could be a really quiet deadline as a lot of players have already been traded.

We shall see and as usual, I will live blog it from about 2pm onwards tomorrow.

Smart

After a lackluster effort against the Royals the Yankees announced the following trade- Chasen Shreve and Giovanny Gallegos to St Louis for first baseman Luke Voit and international bonus pool money.

Voit is not a prospect. At best he is a guy who can play decently at first if the Yankees need it. Garret Cooper filled this role for part of last year and probably had more upside. So what makes this “smart”?

First. Shreve was going to be DFAed tomorrow to make room for Happ and that almost certainly meant losing him for nothing. Second, removing Gallegos from the 40-man allows the Yankees to add someone like Sheffield before the end of the year and the international bonus money allows them to take a flier on another pitcher like Gallegos. So, the Yankees turned two assets they didn’t want anymore into something in the form of a backup at first, more international money, and a new guy on the 40-man. That’s a smart move.

And, I expect the Yankees to leave that 40-man spot open for now. Perhaps another trade makes sense.

Ugh

And just like that, the Yankees take a big hit. Aaron Judge suffered a broken bone in his wrist when he got hit by a pitch in the first inning and the Yankees will be without their best player for around a month.

Add in the loss of Gary Sanchez, and the Yankees are down two premium bats. Their best replacement, Clint Frazier is on the DL with a concussion. Shane Robinson, a career journeyman who was added to the 40-man roster yesterday as a stopgap, is actually the only extra healthy outfielder on their roster. So I suspect the Yankees may jump back into the trade market. Anyone who can hit and play a bit of the outfield would make sense. My first call would be to Toronto to see what Curtis Granderson costs. If the answer is anything beyond a fringe prospect, try another team. This is a lot easier than trading for a starter.

J.A. Happ?-UPDATED

The Yankees are reportedly close to landing Happ from Toronto. This is a trade that could make a lot of sense.

Happ is not close to an ace, but he is dependable and fortifies the back end of the rotation. In his 8 games at Yankee Stadium he has a 3.94 ERA and in his 9 career games at Fenway he has a 2.91. He is better than Cessa and depending on how the season plays out, might be a better option than Sonny Gray in a playoff game. I wouldn’t give up a top prospect for him, but extra pieces like a Brandon Drury could make sense. I’ll update as the news progresses.

2:30- Jon Morosi says a deal is done. No word on the players involved.

2:34- Joel Sherman and Jon Heyman report that it is Drury and Billy McKinney going to Toronto. I could live with that.

2:36- A lot of people are confirming that. I like this move. McKinney is a 4th outfielder and Drury doesn’t really have a position to play in NY. Andujar and Torres are going to have 2b and 3b for awhile. Drury is a nice player and would be a super bench option, but the Yankees are trying to win this year and Drury got Wally Pipped.

3:05- Yankees have some roster moves to make now. Britton and Happ are going to take two pitching spots. I figure Cessa probably gets sent down and Shreve DFa’ed but it could also be Cole. Drury will probably be replaced by Austin or Torreyes right now, because Wade can’t be brought back until next week.

3:55- Deal is official.

Superpen-UPDATED

The Yankees have apparently traded for Zach Britton. Dillon Tate is the headline name going back and there are two other pitchers involved. I mentioned the other day that the bullpen may be the way to go if starters are too expensive and that is what they have done. I will update as I get more details.

9:15- The trade is Tate, Cody Carrol and Josh Rogers

9:18- Lets Break this down. Tate was one of two pitchers who were the return for Carlos Beltran. They hoped he would show the form that made him the fourth-overall pick in the draft, but he hasn’t. He is at AA and pitching solidly, but it is still a question if he is a starter or a reliever. He is 24 and has to be added to the 40-man roster this offseason.

Carroll is a hard throwing reliever closing for Scranton. The Yankees have a lot of these arms and this one is 25 and will need to be put on the 40-man roster this offseason.

Rogers is a LH starter who was drafted in the 11th round of the 2015 draft. The Yankees kicked him up to AAA this year where he has been mediocre probably because he also needs to go on the 40-man this offseason.

9:31- Lets talk about what the Yankees get a power lefty with closing experience and the best ground ball rate in the bigs right now. This adds another weapon to a loaded bullpen and another way they can shorten games. Tate could sill turn into something good, but it is worth noting that Erik Swanson, the other half Beltran trade has already made AAA, so could be considered ahead of Tate in development. More importantly, all three of the traded pitchers would have to be added to the 40-man this offseason and the Yankees are packed with candidates for that. The big prospects are still in the organization and the Yankees still can make a run at a starter if prices drop. I would say this was a solid move by the Yankees, but they still need to fortify the rotation.

On To The Second Half

The Yankees ended the first half with the best record ever for a team not in first place at the break. That’s because as good as they have been, a pace of 106 wins, the Red Sox have been better, a pace of 112. Overcoming a 4-1/2 game division deficit will not be easy and the AL playoffs are going to be brutal. Cleveland added two huge bullpen pieces yesterday. Houston has a great rotation, Boston might set the all-time wins record, and Seattle is on pace to win 96-games and still omly squeak into the wild card.

So what do the Yankees do to improve? Pitching is the obvious answer, and while the New York Times suggested trading Judge for Syndergaard and deGrom, I don’t think that is happening. The problem is the starters market is full of terrible choices and question marks with very few solid options.

A bullpen arm is always a thought. Chapman, Green, Robertson, and Betances are a great front four and Holder looks like he is right there with them. If Tommy Kahnle’s Scranton resurgence continues (2.65 ERA) that could be a sixth. But you can never have enough pitching and adding another arm to replace someone like Shreve could be a way to upgrade at a lower cost.

The added benefit of a bullpen arm is that the playoffs are packed with off days which could let the Yankees leverage their bullpen arms over multiple innings. A starter would be better, but adding more heft to the bullpen may be the most realistic.

Machado?

Jon Heyman reported tonight that the Yankees have made a strong offer for Manny Machado. I’m trying to figure out why. Don’t get me wrong, he is a wonderful player, but three thing about this make no sense.

First, Machado is a free agent in October. If the Yankees had a glaring hole at short or third, I would understand the move, but they don’t. Didi is one of the better shortstops in the league. Andujar looks like he could be a solid guy at third for the next six years. A rental doesn’t make sense here.

Second, even if you think the Yankees should try to sign and trade for Machado, is he the right long term fit? Again, he is a wonderful player, but do you want another righty power bat in this lineup at a salary probably $25-million or more a year?

Third, he is not a pitcher. That’s where the Yankees need to fortify above all else.

For those reasons and more, this doesn’t make sense to me. I wonder if it is the Orioles trying to stir up bidders? If it isn’t and it’s true, it doesn’t make any sense.

Mike Moustakas?

At first glance the rumor that the Yankees might be interested in Mike Moustakas doesn’t make a lot of sense. For one thing, he plays third base and the Yankees are very happy with their situation there. And the idea of him as a first baseman doesn’t make a ton of sense since he has played a total of two games there and the Yankees have Greg Bird.

But if you dig a bit deeper, the idea has some merit. Bird isn’t hitting at all and Moustakas is signed for only this year with a mutual option for next. In a division race which looks like it will come down to the wire, any incremental improvement could be huge.

And the Yankee could get creative with Moustakas in the fold. Aaron Hicks has always been a better hitter against LHP than RHP while the opposite is true for Brett Gardner. Against a RHP, the Yankees could put Gardner in center and Moustakas at DH, Bird at 1B and with Stanton and Judge in the corners.

So I don’t think this idea is crazy, but I also question if it isn’t just a way to try and spur Bird to do better and if Moustakas is going to be ok not necessarily playing all the time. If he joins the Yankees they will almost certainly decline his option for next year and make him a free agent. For a guy who hit 38 homers last year and took a massive pay cut, I don’t think a part-time role would satisfy him. The Yankees better make sure they do their homework on that before making a trade.