Those expecting the New York Yankees to go out and make a big time trade this year can now forget it. With the non-waiver trade deadline now come and gone, the Yankees probably did the smartest thing, keeping their small crop of top minor league talent in tact, which making a couple of small moves that can be seen as band aids for the rest of this season.
The Yankees made a rare swap with the Boston Red Sox for back-up infielders, with the Bombers getting Stephen Drew and the Sox getting Kelly Johnson in return. New York then dealt minor league catcher Pete O'Brien to Arizona for infielder Martin Prado. In response to these moves the Yankees also released Brian Roberts, designating him for assignment.
Both Drew and Prado are not going to set the world on fire, but they can stabilize the Yankees to get through the rest of this season with a couple of hard working grinders.
Drew is a guy that the Yankees tried to sign in the off-season but were unsuccessful. In fact a lot of people wanted to sign Drew this year, but were unsuccessful as he didn't sign with Boston until late May, because he didn't accept his qualifying offer from Boston last winter.
Drew is not a great player, but because he was on last year's World Series champion Red Sox team, he garnered a lot of interest. While he isn't hitting this year, .176 with four homers and 11 RBI, perhaps he can be more productive on a team that's still alive for the playoffs.
Drew will play mostly second base for New York, and could be a candidate to replace Derek Jeter next year, that is if the Yankees don't go after Troy Tulowitzki in the off-season.
As for Prado, he used to be a pretty good average hitter for the Atlanta Braves, before he left for Arizona last season. He is still putting up decent numbers, hitting .270 with five homers, four triples and 42 RBI. Prado will be slotted into right field, with the Yankees uncertain about Ichiro Suzuki's health on a day in, day out basis.
Prado has two years and $22 million left on his contract; so if he is successful down the stretch here for the Yankees, Prado could be here for a while.
But the big thing here is the Yankees save their system. They do not go out to acquire a Cole Hamels or Cliff Lee, instead playing their chips close to the vest. Perhaps the front office is understanding that this team is not good enough to compete for the World Series this year. At the very least they will fight for the division title.