MLB Trade Rumors 2014: New York Yankees Should Trade for These Players to Win World Series
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Another spring, another start of a glorious major league baseball season, and for the New York Yankees, it's another chance at grabbing that elusive 28th World Series ring.
And the Yankees are banking big—literally—on their new acquisitions after spending nearly $500 million on big time free agents like Japanese pitching sensation Masahiro Tanaka, superstar catcher Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury and slugger Carlos Beltran. No strangers to spending big on free agents, New York is pulling out all the stops during Derek Jeter's final season as they aim to send their future Hall of Fame captain out on a high note.
But the beauty of baseball's lack of a salary cap is that teams can add on to their payroll as high as they want. And that means the Yankees may not be done yet when it comes to rebuilding and adding to their 2014 roster. As we take a brief peak ahead at the 2014 offseason, quite a few big-name stars are potentially up for grabs with their contracts running out this season. Some of them may opt to stay with their teams, and others might test the free agent waters, where the Yankees are masters of that sea, being able to outspend virtually every team out there. And that opens the door for the Yankees to potentially add some major players to their roster just in time for the playoffs.
It's been the Yankees' calling card in playoff seasons past to make a major move around the middle of the season, like the addition of superstar pitcher David Cone in 1995 and the acquisition of slugger Cecil Fielder during their 1996 World Series title year. Don't count the Yankees out when it comes to the possibility of pulling off a big trade this season prior to the playoffs that could tilt the World Series odds in their favor.
Let's take a look at some of the big names out there that New York could target in their hopes of capturing World Series Title No. 28:
Pitching is what the late 1990s Yankees were built around when they were in the middle of an impressive baseball dynasty, and if New York fancies getting their 28th World Series ring, the arms race is the perfect place to start building a title team around. One of the best places to start is Lee, who has been one of baseball's best pitchers for years. Last season, Lee went 14-8 for Philadelphia with a 2.87 ERA and 222 strikeouts. And Lee has proven to be a formidable nemesis for the Yankees in the postseason, having opposed them in the 2009 World Series and being instrumental in ousting them in the 2010 ALCS. If there is one pitcher the Yankees should have on their wish list, it's Lee.
Due to hit free agency after the season, Ramirez won't come cheap, but he provides a suitable replacement for the retiring Derek Jeter at the shortstop position. The 31-year-old Dominican Republic-born baseball star hit .345 with 20 home runs and 63 RBIs last season, and is projected to be a major player early on for most fantasy baseball stats this season. He was hurt for past of last season, but when he's healthy, there's nobody better at playing shortstop in MLB than Ramirez. The Yankees, never shy about breaking the bank, could offer this potential AL MVP candidate a nice contract; all will depend on how well he plays this year, and whether the Dodgers are willing to part with him.
If the Yankees are looking to move on past Alex Rodriguez at third base, then Headley's definitely one name they should be thinking about. Headley had a monstrous year in 2012 as one of the best third basemen in the majors, winning both the Gold Glove and the Silver Slugger awards after hitting for .286 with 31 homers and 115 RBIs. He had a down year last year thanks in part to a torn meniscus. The key will be seeing how he rebounds this season, his walk year, before he hits the market, as a strong 2014 season could drastically impact how much Headley will command in free agency. If the price is too high for the San Diego Padres to pay, they might be willing to deal him this season for the right package.
Arguably the best pitcher in baseball right now, Scherzer should be tops on the Yankees' wish list of potential free agents (and the list of any team serious about pursuing a World Series title). The stats from th American League (AL) Cy Young-winning campaign last season speak for themselves: a 21-3 win-loss record, 2.90 ERA and 290 strikeouts. Add that to his effectiveness in the postseason, and he's an absolute must-have for New York. With Scherzer turning down Detroit's latest contract offer, there may be a serious danger that the Tigers could lose Scherzer for nothing. And that could create an opportunity for New York to slide in and see if there is a chance to trade for this star.
Anytime the Yankees can stick it to the Boston Red Sox, it's a good day. But even putting the bitter venom of their historic rivalry aside for the moment, any team would have to jump at the opportunity to get Lester, a two-time World Series champion with Boston who has been one of baseball's most consistent pitchers for years. In the postseason, where it counts the most, Lester holds a solid 6-4 record with a 2.11 ERA and 68 strikeouts. It's that kind of steadiness during the crucible that is the playoffs that the Yankees should be coveting.
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