I fully suspect that the Yanks are going to make a trade or two now. Teixeira's presence allows them to make the best deal available for at least one player from the group of Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui , [Xavier] Nady and [Nick] Swisher.
Damon, Matsui and Nady are all free agents after the season, and all but Nady have no-trade protection. My suspicion is that the Yanks would want to retain Damon the most for 2009 because of his leadoff skills. All things being equal they would move Matsui since they are trying to improve on defense, and he provides the worst fielding option of this quartet. [...]
The Yanks have some surplus set-up relief to spice up a trade and I do not think it is inconceivable that they could try to do a huge trade that would include [Chien-Ming] Wang, who is two years from free agency. The Yanks would have to know for sure that Andy Pettitte is returning plus, possibly, know that they could get another starter they like.
If they are able to find trades, I think they should concentrate on trying to add two elements: 1) Multi-dimensional players. The Yanks have a wonderful looking starting lineup. But their depth is still hardly inspiring. So they can use a few do-everything kind of guys such as the Angels' Chone Figgins or the Braves' Martin Prado to rest regulars and provide insurance against injuries. 2) The Yanks should emphasize positional prospects. They are really lacking in that area in the upper reaches of their system. For example, the Braves have had a tough time completing deals this winter. They have liked both Nady and Swisher in the past; in fact they tried to obtain Swisher this winter before the Yanks did. Atlanta has three well-regarded minor league center fielders in Jason Heyward, Jordan Schafer and Gorkys Hernandez. Could the Yanks turn a regular outfielder into one of those prospects?
That's a lot of speculating, but it's also something that had occurred to me after the Yanks signed Teixeira, acutally, even before that signing I thought there might be a desire by the Yanks to move one of those guys. I'm very surprised to see Wang included in trade speculation, and I wonder if this is real or not. Starting pitching is now a strength for the Yanks, so why would they want to deplete it so soon after spending one trillion dollars to add Sabathia and Burnett. That being said, Wang is intriguing as an extreme groundball pitcher, but he's not the ace the Braves seek.
I would be satisfied with either Swisher or Nady, but probably not for the price we'd pay. The Braves reportedly like Swisher. His versitility is valuable as he can play any outfield position and first base, but you have to hope that last year's poorer showing at the plate is an anomoly that he can bounce back from.
We were reportedly in on Nady at last year's trade deadline, but he's not as versitile and his success and power have been more recent additions to his major league pedigree, and there should be a question as to whether he can continue that kind of production. Nady would also be a one year rental.
I would probably prefer Swisher, and if we could nab Wang that would go a long way towards filling the holes in our roster. The question is will the Yankees bite on our "available" players -- Prado, Gorkys, Jo-Jo, Boyer. The Yankees are smart trading partners and usually get good value in return when they acquire prospects.