July 31st, Baseball's Real Super Bowl

Mike GreenfieldCorrespondent IJuly 22, 2008

  The non-waiver trade deadline of July 31st is just eight days away, and the trading period is already clearly underway with C.C. Sabathia and switching uniforms, leagues as a matter of fact. One team that has kept quiet during this period of time has been the New York Yankees. You have heard about New York possibly acquiring players like Xavier Nady, Jason Bay, Jarrod Washburn, and Matt Holliday, but none of those players are sporting the pinstripes yet. With the uncertainty surrounding Hideki Matsui and Jorge Posada, New York is looking and tempted to not add a lefty bat, but a righty bat who plays the corner outfield. Yes, that does not quite make the list slim of potential future New York Yankees, but the question is will New York even acquire a righty bat who plays the corner outfield. Here is the long list of potential New York Yankees who fit that bill, and are being shopped:

  • Matt Holliday(COL)
  • Jason Bay(PIT)
  • Emil Brown(OAK)
  • Jonny Gomes(TB)
  • Jay Payton(BAL)
  • Marcus Thames(DET)
  • Juan Rivera(LAA)
  • Matt Kemp(LAD)
  • Moises Alou(NYM)
  • Cody Ross(FLA)
  • Wily Mo Pena(WAS)
  • Matt Murton(OAK)
  • Xavier Nady(PIT)

  As made evident by New York recently by not making a great attempt to acquire a superstar caliber player like Johan Santana or C.C. Sabathia, New York is extremely hesitant to trade their top young player such as Phil Hughes or Ian Kennedy, New York will not be targeting a very expensive corner outfielder like Matt Holliday or Jason Bay. Jonny Gomes and Jay Payton are long shot to be in the Bronx by the end of July because they won't trade those guys inside their division, and Tampa Bay is in a pennant race. Moises Alou most likely will be out for the rest of the season so he obviously will not be going anywhere. Detroit, Los Angeles of Anaheim, and Los Angeles are still in the thick of things, so they won't be selling away players of these caliber before July 31st. Washington and Pittsburgh are clearly not going anywhere this year so those are two possible trade partners for New York. The only team left is Oakland, the most interesting team in baseball. Yes, Oakland is definitely in the chase for the pennant, but GM Billy Beane's theory is that no matter where you are in the race, always be ina  rebuilding mode. With Beane and the A's already unloading Rich Harden, Chad Gaudin, and Joe Blanton July 17th and before, it obviously means that this year is no different. Oakland is definitely a possible place where New York can find their answer for the corner outfield, with Emil Brown and Matt Murton on the block. So now, we have a short list:

  • Emil Brown
  • Matt Murton
  • Wily Mo Pena
  • Xavier Nady

Which of these, or any of these guys will be wearing gray and pinstripes by the end of July?

Another issue that New York is targeting on the trade market is starting pitching. Even though Darrell Rasner pitched well tonight, even though Sidney Ponson has been what all New York hoped for when they signed him, and even though New York is anticipating the returns of Chien-Ming Wang, Ian Kennedy, Phil Hughes, and yes, seriously yes, Mr. Amber Alert Carl Pavano before the regular season concludes, that is just not going to cut for New York, even though they have been less aggressive on the trade front recently. Sorry Sidney and Darrell, watch out for someone who might take your spot in the rotation. Here is the long list of starting pitchers, who are could be future Bronx Bombers:

  • A.J. Burnett(TOR)
  • Erik Bedard(SEA)
  • Brad Penny(LAD)
  • Derek Lowe(LAD)
  • Greg Maddux(SD)
  • Edwin Jackson(TB)
  • Jason Hammel(TB)
  • Rich Hill(CHC)
  • Daniel Cabrera(BAL)
  • Livan Hernandez(MIN)
  • Boof Bonser(MIN)
  • Paul Byrd(CLE)
  • Vicente Padilla(TEX)
  • Claudio Vargas(NYM)
  • Adam Eaton(PHI)
  • Anthony Reyes(STL)

Los Angeles, Tampa Bay, Chicago, Minnesota, Texas, New York, Philly, and St. Louis are in the thick of pennant races, so take their targets off the list automatically, no matter if you suck like Adam Eaton or Boof Bonser. Toronto is not really in the thick of the pennant race, but they won't trade Burnett to a division rival like New York. Bedard will be on the DL until August so scratch him off, the O's won't trade Daniel Cabrera to New York because of the same reason why Toronto won't trade Burnett to the Bronx. That leaves you with two potential trading partners, and two potential Bronx Bomber's as well in Greg Maddux. Will one of these crafty veterans be in New York before or on July 31st?

Like all players in major league baseball, the likes of Matt Holliday and Greg Maddux will have to wait to see.