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.
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.