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Yankees Trade Deadline: What to Expect When You’re Expecting

With less than 10 days until the trade deadline, the New York Yankees continue to hover above .500, but are seven games back in the AL East and 3.5 games behind the Orioles for the second wild card spot.

This is the time that Brian Cashman usually pulls a rabbit out of his hat by acquiring a player who helps take the Yankees on another playoff ride.

That’s why I titled this article “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.”

Sure, the piece mimics the title from a mediocre, year-old movie, starring a beautiful cast consisting of Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez and Brooklyn Decker. But this rom-com truly depicts the puzzling question that most Yankee fans are dealing with.

The Yankees have to make a blockbuster trade, right?

Back in 2006, the Yankees made a splash by bringing in Bobby Abreu in a seven-player deal. Cashman traded for Xavier Nady and Ivan Rodriguez in 2008. In 2010, New York brought in Lance Berkman and Kerry Wood to bolster the lineup and bullpen. Last season, with a week remaining before the deadline, Cashman traded for Ichiro Suzuki to aid an ailing outfield.

History shows that when the Yankees have needed late-season help, Cashman has managed to give his team the necessary boost.

But this season, the Yankees need more than a boost.

Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez have both suffered setbacks in their rehab; Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis are both out for the season. Curtis Granderson should be back soon, but it is doubtful he will contribute quickly to the lineup after breaking his hand yet again.

If the Yankees want to grab a postseason spot, they will need to bring in more bats. There are plenty of players out there that could revive the lineup: Alex Rios, Michael Young and Jonathan Lucroy are names that come to mind as guys who could be dealt.

But here’s the million-dollar question: What’s the cost?

Now I’m going to say something that most Yankee fans don’t want to hear. This team is old and ailing and the stars are only getting older. Sure, the pitching staff and Robinson Cano may be keeping New York in contention for a playoff spot, but I’m not putting any money on a deep playoff run.

I’m not pronouncing New York as a seller, but more like a cautious buyer. What do I mean by that? Bringing in a Rios or Young might not be worth what New York would send back. Buy at a bargain; sell if the offer is too sweet to pass up.

It’s a tough thing to swallow, especially for someone who was born into the Jeter, Rivera, Pettitte and Posada era, but the Yankees need to start moving out with the old and in with the youth. 

Maybe it means trading Robinson Cano for some blue-chip prospects or swapping a starter like Phil Hughes for a young hitter. The Yankees also have a plethora of bullpen arms that could be shopped around. The good news is there are plenty of options out there.

Does Cashman believe a player or two now is worth a couple prospects for the future? Or will selling now lead to a brighter future?  It all depends on how Cashman sees his team right now.

What should we expect when we’re expecting?

Yankee fans expect championships, not just playoff appearances. Maybe playing it safe this year could help bring our lofty expectations to a more rapid reality. I’m not suggesting the Yankees won’t do anythingI’m just warning you that they might not do much.

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Yankees Acquire Infielder Reid Brignac from Colorado

According to a report from Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the New York Yankees have acquired infielder Reid Brignac from the Colorado Rockies. Brignac, a utility infielder, was designated for assignment by the Rockies earlier in the week. According to NBC Sports, Heyman later tweeted that the Rockies will receive $75,000 in return. 

Brignac has been in the majors for six seasons, five in Tampa Bay. In his first season in Colorado, he hit .250 with a .294 OBP, with one home run and six RBI.

Brignac‘s best quality is that he is a guy who can play almost everywhere on the diamond. He primarily plays at second base or shortstop, but has also played in left field, right field and third base. With Derek Jeter, Eduardo Nunez, Kevin Youkilis and Alex Rodriguez all on the disabled list, Brignac could be used in numerous situations to give the healthy players a much-needed rest.

This is another nice move by GM Brian Cashman. Brignac adds depth at three of the four infield positions and can even play in the outfield if necessary.

Brignac is the second player the Yankees have acquired from the Rockies this season, the first being Chris Nelson. It is unknown when Brignac will join the Yankees.

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Chicago Cubs Season Preview: Can the Cubs Compete in 2013?

One of the new advertising billboards for the Chicago Cubs is a simple saying: “Not if. When.” Although this is a clever campaign that will give fans hope, there should probably be a question mark at the end of the second sentence. 

Despite losing over 100 games in 2012, there is plenty of optimism in Wrigleyville. Second-year GM Theo Epstein has replenished the team’s minor league system by bringing in prospects Albert Almora, Javier Baez and Jorge Soler, who could all be up in the majors in a couple of years.

These prospects, along with the young nucleus of shortstop Starlin Castro and first baseman Anthony Rizzo, have Cubs fans buzzing about the future. 

Despite all of the optimism surrounding the team in the future, the Cubs are still one of the worst teams in the National League and no longer have the Houston Astros to be the cellar dwellers in the division.

This season preview will examine the Cubs roster this season and predict whether the Cubs can be more competitive than expected in 2013.



The Cubs offense was one of the worst in the majors last season, ranking 28th with 613 runs scored. The Cubs also ranked in the lower half of the league with only 137 home runs. The Cubs struggled to get on base, ranking 30th in the league with a .302 on-base percentage, a big reason for the team’s 101 losses in 2012.

The Cubs lineup is extremely thin. The team’s best hitters are Castro, Rizzo and an aging Alfonso Soriano, who could be trade bait in July if he plays as well as he did last season.

The Cubs have gaping holes in the outfield. David DeJesus, who hit only .263 and drove in 50 runs in 2012, will start the season in center field. The Cubs may also go with a platoon in right field with Nate Schierholtz and Scott Hairston.

Darwin Barney is a great defensive second baseman but needs to develop at the plate. Barney hit only .254 with seven home runs and 44 RBI. He isn’t a power hitter, but he must find a way to get on base more often.  

The Cubs also have issues at third base and catcher. Luis Valbuena struggled mightily in 90 games with the Cubs and neither Ian Stewart nor Brent Lillibridge are capable of being everyday players.

Behind the plate, Welington Castillo will get the chance to start. Castillo showed some pop in his bat with a .418 slugging percentage. In 52 games, Castillo hit five homers and drove in 22 runs, which could project to about 15 home runs and 60 RBI in a full season, production the Cubs would gladly take. If Castillo doesn’t pan out, the Cubs may have to go back to the drawing board at catcher.

The focus of Chicago’s offense will be on Castro and Rizzo. Castro started the season with a batting average over .330 but fell off in the second half of the season. Rizzo showed promise in his debut, but his sample size is too small to determine whether he will be a star at the major league level.

Chicago’s offense must improve while Epstein’s coveted prospects continue seasoning in the minors. Castro and Rizzo will need to have breakout seasons, or else the Cubs offense could be set back once again.



The Cubs rotation has a lot of No. 3 and 4 starters but nobody with the electric stuff of an ace. Jeff Samardzija has shown signs of being the ace the Cubs desperately need but hasn’t shown the consistency of a No. 1 starter.

The Cubs will also be without their best pitcher, Matt Garza, for the start of the season. Garza will start the season on the disabled list but should return before the end of April. 

Edwin Jackson, Scott Baker and Scott Feldman all were acquired this offseason by Epstein. Baker will also start the season on the DL as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. Jackson and Feldman could add depth to the rotation. Jackson had a below-average season, going 10-11 with a 4.03 ERA. Feldman, who had an ERA over five in 2012, could be a sleeper for the Cubs. He won 17 games with the Rangers in 2009.

Travis Wood and Carlos Villanueva will round out the rotation while Garza and Baker get healthy. Wood was awful in 2012, posting a 6-12 record with a 4.27 ERA. Villanueva was in the bullpen last season and will probably be knocked out of the rotation once Garza and Baker return.

The Cubs rotation will hinge on Samardzija and a healthy Garza in 2013. Jackson could be a nice third starter, but Baker, Wood and Feldman are all major question marks.

The Cubs won’t score a ton of runs, so the pitching will be relied upon to shut down opponents.



The Cubs bullpen is one of the worst in the majors mainly because nobody knows who will close out games. Carlos Marmol is brilliant one day and horrible the next. James Russell was given a chance as the closer but failed. The Cubs did sign Japanese pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa—who may overthrow Marmol as the closer, but has not thrown a pitch in MLB.

It will be interesting to see how manager Dale Sveum handles the closer spot. Marmol‘s only consistency is that he is inconsistent, which spells disaster for a closer. Fujikawa should take over the ninth inning duties. If he succeeds, he’ll be a big part of Chicago’s turnaround.



The Chicago Cubs are a team that isn’t ready to win right now.

The lineup struggles to get on base and lacks much power or depth. Castro and Rizzo will need to carry the offense while the team’s prospects develop. Another 100 RBI from Soriano certainly wouldn’t hurt either.

The rotation isn’t good enough to carry an offensively challenged team to the playoffs. Samardzija could emerge as an ace, but outside of him and Garza, the rotation has plenty of question marks.

The bullpen is just as troubling. If both Marmol and Fujikawa struggle, the team may lose more games in the later innings than they did last year.

The Chicago Cubs are a team that could be very good in three or four years. They have the potential stars in place with Castro, Rizzo and Samardzija, along with the prospects who could take them to the next level. Epstein still needs to bring in better depth before this team can be competitive.

The Cubs will finish last in the NL Central with about 65 to 75 wins. If things go well, they could contend with Pittsburgh or Milwaukee for third place in the division.

“When” isn’t here just yet, but it doesn’t seem to be too far away.

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