Ever since the New York Yankees lost Mark Teixeira, there have been plenty of rumors connecting the Pirates to the Yankees. Most of those rumors seem to be of the message board type. One team has a need, the other team has a strength in that area, so they match up. In this case, the Pirates have a strength, the Yankees have a need, and baseball doesn’t make sense unless the Pirates deal from their strength to help the Yankees fill their need, regardless of what they get in return.
Earlier today Joel Sherman of the New York Post connected the two teams based on the strength of the Pirates and the need of the Yankees. The deal sounded like something that would come from a Yankees message board, suggesting that the Pirates would be interested in David Aardsma to support Jason Grilli at the back of the bullpen. That doesn’t make much sense for two reasons. One is that the Pirates have placed a high value on Garrett Jones, and they dealt a first round compensation pick for Gaby Sanchez. The second is that the Pirates don’t have a history of paying for relievers. So any deal sending one of their high valued first basemen for a reliever doesn’t make sense.
Jon Heyman added to the speculation tonight with the following Tweet:
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) March 23, 2013
I’m not sure where Heyman gets that Sanchez is available. It’s pretty clear that the Pirates plan on platooning Jones and Sanchez this year. They’re both hitting well this Spring, but that doesn’t mean one or the other would be available. It just means that the platoon could work out as planned.
This seems to be more of the same thinking. The Yankees need a player. The Pirates have two players at that position with value. So the rumors say that the two sides are a match for a deal, regardless of whether it would make sense for the Pirates to deal one of their players.
I’m not sold that the Pirates are dealing either of their first basemen to the Yankees. We’ve seen the asking price for Jones. We saw what the Pirates were willing to give up for Sanchez. Unless the Yankees are offering top prospects, I can’t see a deal happening. All of these rumors seem to be coming from the perspective of the Yankees needs, while acting as if the only reason the Pirates would ever have depth is to trade it away when the Yankees need a player.