5 Ways Yankees Can Improve

By: Jon


1. Trade Phil Hughes and Outfield Prospect for Michael Cuddyer

The Yankees are in massive need of a first baseman as well as a right handed power hitter. After the Yankees lost Mark Teixeira for the second time this season, the Yankees were left with a massive hole in the middle of their lineup. Especially against left handed pitchers, the offense is absolutely dreadful. Currently, the Yankees are forced to put Travis Hafner and Lyle Overbay into the lineup even though they have massive struggles against lefties. Cuddyer can also play outfield in case the Yankees experience even more injuries to their outfield. Cuddyer is having a stellar season this year batting .339 with 11 homers (Baseball Reference). The Yankees currently have little use for Phil Hughes as he is inconsistent and the Yankees have options behind him. Since Michael Pineda is about to be called up and after Ivan Nova’s impressive outing this past weekend, the Yankees should be optimistic about their ability to replace Hughes. It is also highly unlikely that they will be able to re-sign him after this season as they want to remain under $189 million. If there is one position the Yankees have depth in their farm system, it is the outfield. With Zolio Almonte, Mason Williams, Slade Heathcott, Ramon Flores, and Tyler Austin in the minors, the Yankees can afford to give one up in order to improve the major league team.


2. Trade for James Russell

The Yankees have an immediate need for a left hand specialist. Currently Boone Logan is not getting the job. This is evident by his last outing against the Rays where he surrendered two runs, which broke the tie. Although he has a relative low ERA, 2.29 from Baseball Reference, he has allowed 10 of the last 28 inherited runners to score. If the Yankees want to make the playoffs, their bullpen cannot lose any of the leads they gain because of their paltry offense. One possible candidate for the job is James Russell from the  Chicago Cubs. James Russell is having a solid season for the Cubs, 2.22 ERA from Baseball Reference. Along with dominating lefties, he is reliable against righties. However, he will not be cheap as he is under contract until 2015. They could possibly trade a prospect like 2B Angelo Gumbs or a pitcher like Rafeal DePaula or Brett Marshall.


3. Trade for Michael Young

Along with a need for a first baseman, the Yankees have needs on the left side of the infield. Although Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez may be returning within a month, they cannot be expected to play a lot of games. The Yankees are entering a difficult part of their schedule and need someone other than David Adams manning the hot corner. Michael Young is having an okay season batting .282 with only four home runs (Baseball Reference). He would not be an expensive addition. They can possibly trade Joba Chamberlain for Young. Joba’s value has major fall this season and he will probably not be re-signed this offseason. The Phillies are currently experiencing problems in their bullpen and Joba may be able to return to his dominant form with a change of scenery.

MLB: Colorado Rockies at Milwaukee Brewers

4. Trade for Yovani Gallardo

Although the Yankees have a decent depth in the rotation, the Yankees can always use more solid pitching. The Yankees could possibly trade for Gallardo without giving up much of their farm. Yovanni has started the season slowly but recently has rebounded and has been known has a second half pitcher. Gallardo could be a solid number three starter behind CC and Kuroda. The last four years he has won double digit games while maintaing an ERA below 3.85, Baseball Reference. The addition of Gallardo would better prepare the Yankees for a playoff run. The Yankees could use him next year as well with the probable loss of Kuroda and Andy. Yovanni will come cheap for the Yankees. If the Yankees are able to get him for Hughes, DePaula/Marshall, one of their talented outfielders/ a lower level prospect.


5. Call up Gary Sanchez

Even though he is extremely young and only in class A, he could definitely improve the Yankees catching situation. Before the season, he was voted the top Yankee prospect, MLB.com rated him as the 36 best prospect, and Baseball America said he was the 57th best prospect. After a dominant beginning of the season, he has recently cooled down. He is currently batting .270 with 11 homers and 48 RBI. He is known for his batting, which the Yankees desperately need from their catching position. If not the majors, he should definitely be promoted to AA.

2013 NBA Mock Draft Lottery Selections (1-14)

By: Evan

1.) Cleveland Cavaliers- SF Otto Porter Georgetown

Otto Porter
Otto Porter

Why: After LeBron James left in the summer of 2010, the Cavs have tried to fill the position with role players who have not panned out. The list includes CJ Miles and newly acquired Marresse Speights, who are solid role players but not capable starters. Porter is super fundamental player who lacks a real significant weakness in his game, but could use improvement in all areas. With the addition of Porter the Cavs can develop one of the youngest and most promising starting lineups in the NBA.

Pro Comparisons: Best Case Scenario: Paul George Worst Case Scenario: Tayshaun Prince

2013-2014 Projected Starters:

PG Kyrie Irving (21)

SG Dion Waiters (21)

SF Otto Porter (20)

PF Tristan Thompson (22)

C    Anderson Varejao (30)


2.) Orlando Magic- SG Ben Mclemore Kansas

Ben Mclemore
Ben Mclemore

Why: The Orlando Magic is in desperate need of a young scorer. Ding Ding Ding. I found the answer in 6’6 Ben Mclemore, the sharpshooter from Kansas. While the Magic do need a young point guard to run the show, there have been trade rumors with the Clippers about the flagrantly underused and extremely gifted Eric Bledsoe in exchange for Arron Affalo. If this trade were to happen the Magic would upgrade at two critical positions in rebuilding phase.

Pro Comparisons: Best Case Scenario: Ray Allen Worst Case: More athletic Kyle Korver

2013-2014 Projected Starters:

PG: Eric Bledsoe (Pending Trade) (23)

SG: Ben Mclemore (20)

SF: Tobias Harris (20)

PF: Glen Davis (27)

C: Nikola Vucevic (22)


3.) Washington Wizards- PF/SF Anthony Bennett UNLV

Anthony Bennett
Anthony Bennett

Why: In my opinion, Anthony Bennett is the most talented player and the best player in this draft. He has an NBA body at 6’7 240 and 7’1 wingspan. In simple terms the man is huge. He can take smaller players in the post and step out and make jumpers against bigs. But herein lies the problem, many people worry about where Bennett will play, the 3 or the 4 also known as a tweener. But John Wall has been quoted as saying “We need a 4 who can pick and pop”. Bennett fits right in. The Wizards also need to appease Wall, who is a Restricted Free Agent who wants a max contract, so listening to your franchise player might be a good thing.

Pro Comparisons: Best Case Scenario: Mix of Larry Johnson/ Zach Randolph Worst Case Scenario: Poor Man’s Shawn Kemp

2013-2014 Projected Starting Lineup:

PG: John Wall (22)

SG: Bradley Beal (19-about to be 20)

SF: Trevor Ariza (27)

PF: Anthony Bennett (20)

C: Nene (30)


4.) Charlotte Bobcats- SG Victor Oladipo Indiana

Victor Oladipo
Victor Oladipo

Why: The Bobcats need help about everywhere but Oladipo is a step in the right direction. Oladipo can defend with the best and his offense has improved significantly but it still needs work. Oladipo is a great athlete who uses his speed to drive and finish near the rim. Most importantly he is a team-oriented player who sees winning as the only option, a similar attitude to the owner of the lowly Bobcats, Michael Jordan.

Pro Comparison: Best Case Scenario: Poor man’s Dwyane Wade Worst Case Scenario: Tony Allen


2013-2014 Projected Starting Lineup:

PG: Kemba Walker (23)

SG: Victor Oladipo (21)

SF: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (19)

PF: Byron Mullens (24)

C: Bismack Biyombo (20)


5.) Phoenix Suns- C Nerlens Noel Kentucky

Nerlens Noel
Nerlens Noel

Why: Frankly the Suns are looking forward to the loaded 2014 draft to find a franchise player. Noel is a project who needs to recover from a torn ACL and the Suns are known for their medical staff. Noel might not even play this season but could contribute in 2014-2015 and provide a defensive presence in the paint.

Pro Comparison: Best Case Scenario: Tyson Chandler Worst Case Scenario: Larry Sanders


2013-2014 Projected Starting Lineup

PG: Goran Dragic (27)

SG: PJ Tucker (28)

SF: Jared Dudley (27)

PF: Luis Scola (33)

C: Marcin Gortat (29)


6.) New Orleans Pelicans- PG Trey Burke Michigan

Trey Burke
Trey Burke

Why: The Pelicans are young, but they need a scoring PG and a team leader. Burke is exactly that. While he is small, he plays with a chip on his shoulder and is not afraid to lead. He can score off the pick and roll, the cornerstone of the NBA and with Anthony Davis the duo could be lethal.

Pro Comparison: Best Case Scenario Poor man’s Chris Paul Worst Case Scenario: Mike Conley Jr.

2013-2014 Projected Lineup

PG: Trey Burke (20)

SG: Austin Rivers (20)

SF: Eric Gordon (24)

PF: Anthony Davis (20)

C: Robin Lopez (25)

7.) Sacramento Kings- SF Shabazz Muhammad UCLA

Shabazz Muhammed
Shabazz Muhammad

Why: Shabazz has already visited the Kings twice for workouts and the Kings need perimeter scoring. While Shabazz is a great scorer, his other abilities are limited making him a little one-dimensional. He has also had some character issues including a false birth certificate which said he was 19 not 20. But in this draft scoring is hard to come by and Shabazz fits.

Pro Comparisons: Best Case Scenario: Poor man’s James Harden Worst Case Scenario: Manu Ginobili (Not 2013 Final edition)


Projected Starting Lineup 2013-2014

PG: Isaiah Thomas (24)

SG: Tyreke Evans  (23)

SF: Shabazz Muhammad (20)

PF: Jason Thompson (26)

C: DeMarcus Cousins (22)


8.) Detroit Pistons- PG/SG CJ McCollum Lehigh

CJ Mccollum
CJ McCollum

Why: The Pistons need to decide who there PG of the future is and CJ is the answer. McCollum can shoot from anywhere and can create off the dribble. You might remember CJ from the monumental upset of Duke in the 2012 NCAA Draft. The only worrisome aspect of CJ’s game is the level of competition played at Lehigh. I personally don’t believe that where you go to school has a factor on your promise as an NBA player, case and point Damian Lillard.

Pro Comparisons: Best Case Scenario Poor man’s Stephen Curry Worst Case Scenario: J.R Smith

Projected Starting Lineup 2013-2014

PG: Jose Calderon (31)

SG: Brandon Knight  (21)

SF: Kyle Singler (25)

PF: Greg Monroe (23)

C: Andre Drummond (19)


9.) Minnesota Timberwolves- SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Georgia

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Why: Minnesota needs perimeter shooting to stretch the opposing defenses. Kentavious has the range to do so. He is also very quick and can create for himself off the dribble. Playing with Kevin Love will take the pressure off Kentavious to be the lead scorer and allow him to flourish as a secondary option.

Pro Comparisons: Best Case Scenario: Klay Thompson Worst Case Scenario: Jamal Crawford

Projected Starting Lineup 2013-2014

PG: Ricky Rubio (22)

SG: Luke Ridnour  (32)

SF: Derrick Williams (22)

PF: Kevin Love (24)

C: Nikola Pekovic (27)


10.) Portland Trail Blazers- C Steven Adams Pittsburgh

Steven Adams
Steven Adams

Why: Portland needs a fundamental, defensive center just like Adams who can protect the rim. While Adams needs to develop a respectable post game, he is a good solid value pick in an average draft.

Pro Comparisons: Best Case Scenario: Omer Asik Worst Case Scenario: Fab Melo

Projected Starting Lineup 2013-2014

PG: Damian Lillard (22)

SG: Wesley Matthews (26)

SF: Nicolas Batum (24)

PF: LaMarcus Aldridge (27)

C: Steven Adams (19)

11.) Philadelphia 76ers- C Cody Zeller

Cody Zeller

Why: The Sixers were one of the most disappointing teams in the NBA last season. This disappointment stemmed from the loss of Andrew Bynum to season-ending knee surgery. Zeller is athletic enough to run the floor well and he can also score from the outside. He could also play a little pick and pop with rising star Jrue Holliday, forming a dynamic 1-2 punch for Philly’s home squad. The one glaring weakness in Zeller’s game is his defense as he was pounded by bigger and stronger players in college. With some more muscle, Zeller could be the steal of this draft.

Pro Comparisons: Best Case Scenario: LaMarcus Aldridge Worst Case Scenario: Andray Blatche

Projected Starting Lineup 2013-2014

PG: Jrue Holliday (23)

SG: Evan Turner (24)

SF: Thaddeus Young (25)

PF: Cody Zeller (20)

C: Spencer Hawes (25)

12. Oklahoma City Thunder- C Alex Len Maryland

Alex Len

Why: Alex Len has the highest possibility of either being picked #1 or falling out of the lottery. He has a tremendous upside, some post moves and is a tremendous presence on the glass. The Thunder’s glaring weakness last season was post scoring as Kendrick Perkins is clearly inept and deserves the amnesty clause this summer. While Len would aid some of the Thunder’s problems, he needs to establish a go to move in the post as well as a right hand move. GM Scott Presti has been great on his draft selections and Len at 12 is about as good as it gets in this draft.

Pro Comparison: Best Case Scenario: Roy Hibbert Worst Case Scenario: Zydrunas Ilgauskas

2013-2014 Projected Starting Lineup:

PG: Russell Westbrook (24)

SG: Jeremy Lamb (21)

SF: Kevin Durant (24)

PF: Serge Ibaka (23)

C: Alex Len (20)

13. Dallas Mavericks- SF Sergey Karasev

Sergey Karasev

Why: There is an extremely high chance this pick gets traded to a rebuilding team as owner Mark Cuban wants to empty cap space to land a big time free agent. If they keep the pick this could be a Euro-stash pick, where the player stays in his current league and then his contract rights can be purchased. Karasev is very young at 19 and has a nice ceiling, but he still needs time to develop in Russia.

Pro Comparison: Best Case Scenario: Toni Kukoc Worst Case Scenario: Mirza Teletovic

2013-2014 Projected Starting Lineup

PG: Darren Collison (25)

SG: OJ Mayo(Pending FA)/Jared Cunnigham

SF: Vince Carter (36)

PF: Dirk Nowitzki (35)

C: Bernard James (28)

14. Utah Jazz- PG Michael Carter-Williams

Michael Carter-Williams

Why: The Utah Jazz desperately need a young point guard of the future to lead the franchise. MCW is an extremely gifted athlete, standing 6 feet 6 inches tall with extremely long arms and tremendous court vision who could lead he Jazz for years to come. Michael desperately needs to work on developing a consistent jump shot to succeed in the NBA, but with time he could become an solid to all-star caliber PG.

Pro Comparison: Best Case Scenario: Taller Rajon Rondo Worst Case Scenario: Shaun Livingston

2013-2014 Projected Starting Lineup

PG: Michael Carter Williams (21)

SG: Gordon Hayward (23)

SF: Marvin Williams (27)

PF: Derrick Favors (21)

C: Enes Kanter (21)

Other potential players that could be selected in the lottery:

Shane Larkin PG Miami

Kelly Olynk C Gonzaga

Dennis Schroeder PG Germany