MLB Trade Talks: Marlon Byrd, Ty Wigginton and Cliff Lee on Yankees Radar?

Shashwat BaxiCorrespondent IJune 23, 2010

SEATTLE - JUNE 02:  Starting pitcher Cliff Lee #36 of the Seattle Mariners pitches against the Minnesota Twins at Safeco Field on June 2, 2010 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Even with the New York Yankees on top of the AL East and currently holding the best record in all of Major League Baseball, there are still a plethora of trade rumors and debates taking place in the Bronx.

With the main areas of concern being the bullpen, bench, and outfield, everyone seems to have their own opinion on what the Bronx Bombers should do in their quest for their 28th World Series Championship.

Over the weekend, after the Yankees took two of three from the Mets, the Bronx was abuzz with potential mid-season trades that the Bombers could execute. There are three main players that many radio personalities, sports writers, and fans seemed to be talking about.

Ty Wigginton, Infielder, Baltimore Orioles

Wigginton, 32, has batted .274 with 13 home runs and 39 RBI for the O's this season. He is currently in the middle of his 2nd year of a two-year contract worth $6 million.

Wigginton is a good player and can play most of the infield positions and even some left field if needed. However, Ramiro Pena and Kevin Russo are already in place as the back-up infielders with the Yankees.

If the Yankees decide that they need a veteran, or right-handed batter, then Wigginton may be their man. He would probably jump at the chance to move onto a championship contender, especially when he is currently on the worst team in baseball.

It's hard to say what it would take for the Yankees to get a player like Wigginton, but you can't think it would cost too many top prospects or cash. The Orioles are in need of young talent and Wigginton will probably not re-sign with the O's after his contract expires at the end of this season.

The main questions would be whether or not Baltimore would be willing to deal with their divisional rivals and whether the Yankees are looking for another infielder to add to their bench.

Marlon Byrd, Outfielder, Chicago Cubs

So far this season, Byrd has been batting .320 with 83 hits including 9 home runs and 34 RBI.

Also at 32 years old, Byrd is in the first year of a 3-year deal with the Cubs. The contract is worth $15 million over that span.

Byrd would provide a talented outfielder for the Yankees, who could easily start in place of Granderson at center field when facing left-handed pitchers. The problem with trading for Byrd, is that he would presumably come with a hefty price tag.

The Cubs will probably fall completely out of the NL Central race in the coming weeks, but that won't help the Yankees ability to bargain with the North-Siders. Byrd will still be owed $12 million on his contract and new Cubs owner Tom Ricketts won't be giving him up for cheap.

A trade for Byrd would likely take many more prospects and an exorbitant amount of money. It may not make sense to make the move for an expensive fourth outfielder, especially if it comes at such a steep price.

At this point, it's really just a bunch of rumblings and grumblings about the possibility of Byrd coming to the Yankees. There is no real need or desire for Byrd to come to the Yankees, but it's an interesting thought.

Is a young, starting outfielder going to want to leave Chicago for New York, just to platoon in the outfield with Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner? Probably not.

Cliff Lee, Starting Pitcher, Seattle Mariners

This season, Lee is 5-3 with an ERA of 2.55. In 10 games, Lee has struck out 67 hitters while only allowing 4 walks.

Lee is the most coveted player in the MLB right now, especially after his performance for the Phillies in the 2009 season and playoffs. With the Mariners continuing to flounder in the AL West, many teams are looking to deal with the M's for their stud ace.

The 31-year old pitcher is set to make $9 million dollars this season and would only be a rental for the Yankees, as his contract is set to expire at the end of this season. The Yankees have the money to make the move, but they would need to find room for Lee in the rotation.

This move probably doesn't make too much sense either, especially with the way the Yankees' starting rotation has been pitching this season. Unless they want to move someone to the bullpen, there are no spots open for Lee to fill. The Yankees already have CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte as left-handed starters, combined with Javier Vazquez, AJ Burnett, and Phil Hughes as their right-handers.


The debate will continue and will probably include a list of other players before the trade deadline. It's hard to say if any of these players really make much sense based on their contracts, salaries, and positions.

Before Brian Cashman goes and makes any of these moves, he has to remember that the New York Yankees still are the best team in baseball. Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada have been battling injuries, while Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira have been having slow seasons. Yet, the Yankees continue to win games.

Who knows what will happen in the coming weeks and months?

It's the Yankees. Anything is possible.