1. The 2014 team, as currently structured, couldn't bring home herpes from a trip to Buffalo.
2. To fulfill the team's prime objective - having anyone watching YES in August - Brian Cashman must trade for a starting pitcher.
It's pointless to speculate the identify of that lucky fellow. But we all know his resume: He will be 31 to 34, have bounced from team to team, is having a good year, and his current employer hears "tick-tick-tick" every time he steps to the mound. The GM desperately hopes to dump him before the music stops. When the Yankees call, ready to bleed money and prospects, his prayers have been answered.
Two years ago, we traded for Ichiro. Last year, we grabbed Sori. Alas, they were mere outfielders, in the clear throes of decline. A pitcher experiencing that momentary upswing doesn't come cheap.
So let's not think about who we'll get. Who will we surrender? And let's understand one point that the Yankee-covering Gammonites might overlook: Other teams are not stupid. Whenever we get some thirty-something buzzard who peaked in 2006, it's quickly hailed as a slam dunk steal. Later, we start to wonder. If this is a pitcher, we won't get away with sending Abe Almonte. They will demand blood. What do we have to give?
1. One of our many catchers. We have a division full of catchers, and somebody must go. I believe that I speak for the Yankiverse in saying that Frankie Cervelli and Austin Romine deserve better new digs. Neither seems to have a future with the Yankees. Both have been passed by John Ryan Murphy. The only problem: Other teams are not stupid. They will want Murphy or Gary Sanchez, who is still our best prospect. I think Murphy is most likely to go. We'd still have a backup to McCann - whom we can't trade - plus a long-term plan with Sanchez. This will really hurt. But it almost has to be Murphy.
2. One of our few, homegrown bullpen lugnuts. I'm talking about Dellin Betances and Adam Warren. In both cases, they are pitchers who might have much more to offer. Once freed from the shackles of New York - and with new pitching coaches - either might become a starter. Cashman might refuse to trade either man, because are critical to the 2014 bullpen. The problem: Other teams are not stupid. I cannot see a front-line starter coming, unless we give up a major leaguer with a future upside. We don't have enough hot pitchers in our system. My guess: They would want Betances.
3. A rarity: A Yankee prospect who is having a good year. Pete O'Brien comes to mind. He's become the most exciting prospect in our system, nearly leading the minors in HRs. He strikes out too much, and he doesn't have a position. Still, it's been three years since a Yankee prospect actually created a buzz. (Jesus Montero was the last.) It could be O'Brien, or the injury-prone Slade Heathcott (if he hits over the next month), or Ramon Flores, an interestingly un-hyped OF at Scranton. He turned 22 in March. Lately, he's been on a tear, lifting his average to .256. The numbers don't grab you. But if he keeps hitting, somebody's going to want him. And we all know the Yankees view the outfield as an old folks home.
Don't mean to be the Grinch here. Yesterday, the Redsock Nation was buzzing about a trade for Gioncarlo Stanton. Fine. Trouble is, other teams are not stupid. The trade deadline isn't Christmas, folks. It's gets messy.