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MLB Trade Rumors: Chicago White Sox Scout New York Yankees Catching Prospects

July 28th, 2014 at 8:04 PM
By Michael Moraitis

Things between the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox are starting to pick up a bit with a potential deal that would send starting pitcher John Danks to the Bronx.

It has been reported numerous times that general manager Brian Cashman is trying to acquire Danks, and now the next step in the process seems to be taking place as the White Sox are sending scouts to watch the Yanks' abundance of catchers in the system, per Jayson Stark of ESPN.

The White Sox had scouts watching the Yankees' system, particularly the minor league catching surplus, in the past few days. It is yet one more indication the Yankees are focused on John Danksin their search for another starting pitcher. Danks' $14.25 million salary the next two years wouldn't be as big an issue for the Yankees as it is for other clubs. But what might be a factor is that these are two teams that have had a lot of trouble matching up in recent years. In the past decade, the only significant trade the Yankees and White Sox have made was the deal that sent Nick Swisher to the Bronx — six years ago.

The catching surplus mentioned by Stark that will interest the White Sox is in the form of guys like prospects Gary Sanchez and Peter O'Brien, as well as players who have seen the big show in John Ryan Murphy and Francisco Cervelli.

Murphy's track record is limited to 40 big league games in his career. In 2014 alone, Murphy flashed some promise in 24 contests while hitting to a .286 average with one homer and eight RBI. He also did a great job handling a pitching staff that was in total disarray due to injuries.

Cervelli has had his injury woes during his time in pinstripes, most recently spending 60 days on the disabled list a short time into the season. Since then Cervelli squeezed back into the lineup and is tearing the cover off the ball lately.

Sanchez and O'Brien have never sniffed a major league game in their respective careers. Neither plays a particularly good catcher defensively and that has caused both of their stocks to take a hit. Sanchez lost even more value when he ran into disciplinary problems with his Double-A club this season and had to be suspended.

Meanwhile, O'Brien has crushed 31 homers between Single and Double-A, but he doesn't hit to a great average. The good news about Sanchez is that his bat has picked up as the season moves along and he's now looking like the player the Yanks thought they were getting.

For a guy like Danks, the Bombers have plenty of catchers in the minors and the bigs to pull off a deal. After all, how much could it really take to land a pitcher who has lost velocity over the past few seasons and is pitching to 4.40 ERA this campaign? Danks is also scheduled to make over $30 million through 2016.

 

What's the Deal?

Danks' numbers simply aren't good enough for the Yanks to waste any kind of young talent on the left-hander. Since his surgery in 2012, his velocity hasn't been the same and he hasn't had a respectable season since 2010.

When combined with the money he's owed, there are many reasons why New York should avoid this trade. O'Brien and Sanchez have their faults, but that doesn't mean you trade them away for an expensive question mark like Danks. I would be even less inclined to trade Murphy for him.

Cervelli is the name that comes to mind if the deal must be done. Cervelli has been injury prone during his time in the Bronx and his stock may never be higher than it is now. Granted, he's had a hot bat for the Yanks lately, but how long will that last?

Unless you think Cervelli has turned some kind of corner in his career, swapping the Venezuelan for Danks wouldn't be the end of the world, and the fan-favorite Murphy can take his rightful place as the backup catcher to Brian McCann.

Bear in mind, that's if the deal had to be done. Make this writer GM and the Yanks say no thanks to Danks. His numbers aren't indicative of his being a better pitcher than anyone New York has now. Because of this, Cashman is not in desperation mode and won't end up wasting players to bring over a disaster waiting to happen.

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Tags: Baseball, Chicago White Sox, Francisco Cervelli, Gary Sanchez, John Danks, John Ryan Murphy, MLB, New York, New York Yankees, Peter O'Brien

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