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Trade Analysis: Sheffield to the Tigers
by Tony Aubry, BaseballEvolution.com
November 14, 2006

On Friday, the Yankees kicked off their off-season by trading away their whining slugger, Gary Sheffield, to Detroit for three young arms. Detroit needed a veteran bat, which is what they got, and the Yankees needed fresh arms, which is what they got.

Out of the three prospects, Humberto Sanchez really stands out. Humberto is 23, and like Wang, he appears to be an extreme ground ball pitcher.  But Sanchez also appears that heíll strike out many more batters per nine than Wang will. Last year, in AA and AAA, Humberto pitched 123 innings and struck out 129 while only walking 47. And oh yeah, he only gave up 4 HR! It looks like there will be an extra spot open in the rotation now that Wright is gone (Weíll discuss that later on). However, I donít think that Sanchez is quite ready yet. I say this because when he made the jump from AA to AAA, his ERA shot up 2.10 runs and his K:BB ratio went from 3:1 to 2:1. Despite this, the Yankees now have two of the top 15 pitching prospects in all of baseball according to Scout.com.

The other two pitchers, Kevin Whelan and Anthony Claggett, are relief pitchers who the Yankees are hoping to make an impact as soon as possible. Last year in AA, Claggett pitched 59 innings, while only giving up 6 ER. He also struck out 58 while only walking 20. Whelan, on the other hand, is pretty far away from big leagues. He hasnít gotten past A-ball yet, but he has been successful so far. Last year he gave up 16 ER in 54 IP while striking out 11.5 per 9.

The other trade the Yankees made was on Sunday, and it involved finally getting rid of the workhorse Jaret Wright.  This time they received Chris Britton in return, and he, unlike the other three young pitchers recently acquired, has pitched in the MLB. I do think Britton can be useful out of the pen, but I really doubt youíll see him pitching in the 7th inning or later. In 53.2 IP, he gave up 20 ER. That is good, but not great at all. Britton will be turning 24 in about a month or so, so the Yankees will be adding some youth to the pen, and now that he is out of Camden Yards, which is a hitterís paradise, he might just put up better numbers.

So far the Yankees have had a pretty good off-season, but the big moves have yet to been made.


Disagree with something? Got something to add? Wanna bring up something totally new? Tony resides in Queens, New York and can be reached at tony@baseballevolution.com.

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