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The Yankees And Torii Hunter

In my April 6th post "The Torii Hunter Situation," I didn't mention that Yankees as a potential suitor.  I figured Johnny Damon was cemented as the team's center fielder.  But now Damon says he'd be willing to move to right field for Hunter.  Such a switch could push Gary Sheffield to DH, not a bad thing. 

If Damon's arm is not good enough for center field, I don't know how it would suffice in right.  But let's put that little problem aside for a moment and try to determine whether the Yanks have the goods on the farm to get a deal done.

I think New York most certainly has the players to make this type of trade.  They may see starting pitching as more of a concern, but some combination of these players is likely to be traded this summer.

Philip Hughes - Would the Yanks trade their one bona fide pitching prospect?  If the past is any indication, yes.  The 19 year-old righty ranks as the 12th best pitching prospect in the game, according to Baseball Prospectus. 

Hughes has drawn some Mark Prior comparisons, and that includes the injury proclivities.  PECOTA, however, considers Jake Peavy his #1 comp.  The kid has had his way with the Florida State League so far (high class A ball).  He's got ten scoreless innings under his belt for the Tampa Yankees this year, and could find himself in the Trenton Thunder rotation in a couple of months.  If the Yanks want one of those marquee Marlins, Hughes will be a requirement.  Could they get Hunter without trading Hughes?  Maybe.

Robinson Cano - You know him, you love him.  The Rennie Stennett wannabe burst onto the Major League scene last year with a .297/.320/.458 line in 544 plate appearances.  PECOTA sees a dip to a .726 OPS this year from the 23 year-old second baseman.  That's OK, though some would say that he defense pushes him towards the bottom half of the 2B rankings

Cano's trade value is sky-high, and the Twins have a $5.75MM option for 2007 on Luis Castillo.  Given that a Hunter trade would be a white flag, the Twins would likely ship Castillo elsewhere as well.  Maybe even in the same package.

Jose Tabata - For a team in rebuilding mode, Tabata would be quite a prize to pluck from the Yankees' system.  Tabata is a 17 year-old outfielder for the Charleston RiverDogs (low class A).  He's dominated the South Atlantic League so far with a .390/.395/.537 line in 10 games.  He's a five-tool player with a huge ceiling, though he hasn't been nearly as difficult to strike out this year as he was in the past.  A perfect fit for the Marlins, though he could make a Hunter trade pay off in a big way for the Twins in 2008 and beyond.

Eric Duncan - He makes for an interesting prospect, and the Yankees have been aggressive in promoting him.  The 21 year-old struggled in Double A last year but begins this season at Columbus anyway.  He'll be a corner infielder in the bigs.  Duncan has been involved in trade rumors for a while now, but so far the accelerated schedule hasn't helped his prospect status.      

With major questions in the last two rotation spots, the Yankees are doing to need to make a major deal or two.  To fire off their best bullets to acquire Hunter doesn't make much sense, even if Damon likes the idea.


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I am a Yanks fan and when I read the Damon thing in the newspaper I laughed. But if he is run out into RF everyday I will most likely cry.

How is Hunter's arm? Maybe the yankees sign him after this year as Sheffield's replacement

I don't really know, personally...but this is a really cool article about that.


That was a pretty cool article. I would think Hunter would be a nice addition to right field for the Yankees if he would be willing to make the move. With his range and arm Hunter would be a rather large improvement over sheffield

There is no way Hunter is moving to Right,The Yankees(In Cashman's control)are more likely,in my oppion, to go after a Jose Guillen type then a Hunter-He plays solid Defence with a great arm with more power but that attitude may chase the away.

What are you talking about his attitude?? He got in a fight w/ Morneau cause he didnt step up that wouldnt happen in NY

with the short porch in right field, hunter's defense is kind of a waste in right field...

1 - I don't see them trading Hughes unless it's part of a package for Cabrera (please don't group Willis with Cabrera as "one of those marquee Marlins" - there is one "marquee Marlin").

2 - I think Damon to left makes more sense, with Matsui spending ~2/3 of his time in right. Torre has said that he wants Matsui to DH some too.

- TwinsFan - I think the attitude comment was about Guillen.

- In general I'd rather see Duncan and/or other hitting prospects traded for pitching. Definitely NOT Hughes for Hunter.

If the twins are out of it, Cano + Tabata + another non-Hughes prospect to FLA, Uggla + Duncan to Minn, Willis and Castillo to NY?

That trade bobo actually looks kind of interesting I like Cano and prefer him over Castillo but I would have no problem trading Duncan and Tabata. How about you get rid of the Castillo part and just do Tabata Duncan, Clippard and Cash for Willis

I'd do that if I'm the Yankees but I don't see the Marlins trading Willis without Cano. The Castillo part gets us his replacement (I'm not too high on Duncan).

While I'd still do it as listed the more I read about Tabata the more reluctant I am to trade him. I'll admit I heard the name but didn't know much about him other than that he was young and one of their top prospects. When Rumor wrote "a five-tool player with a huge ceiling", I just assumed that like all other five-tool players with huge ceilings he had horrible strike zone judgment. But after seeing a 15/14 BB/K ratio last year, I'm advocating holding onto him.

I like the strike zone judgment thing, and all the scouting reports mention it. Though it is a very small pro sample.

Ya Tabata could be amazing he is only 17 and is currently tearing up Low-A

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