While Brian has definitely shown a potentially unhealthy love for the depth of our minor leagues (pitching, anyway), it's time to be realistic and trade away some of those kids while their value is high and before they potentially get exposed. Some of the kids I would trade -
Phil Coke (26, AA)- One of the few lefties in the Yankee organization, Coke is 9-4 with a 2.60 ERA.
Eric Wordekemper (25, AA) - Righty reliever has a 3-2 record and a 3.67 ERA. 41.2 IP, 47 H and 35 K's put him in the lower echelon of our pitching prospects.
Kei Igawa (29, AAA) - Prospect? I dunno, but he ain't making the big club any time soon! 9-5, 3.80 ERA, 101 H and 90 K's in 113 IP...someone should be willing to take a chance on him.
Steven Jackson (26, AAA) - Another righty reliever, 1-3, 5.14 so far this year. 70 K's in 61 ip should give some value.
Alan Horne (25, AAA) - Having spent some time on the DL this year, last year's AA pitcher of the year has certainly done well enough in his limited time at SWB to be a valuable trade chip (2-2, 4.35, 31 ip, 33H, 24K's)
JB Cox (24, AAA) - An extremely effective reliever, Cox' numbers justify a call-up. For the year he is 3-3, 3.32, 38 IP, 32 H and 18K's. His low K rate is what makes him trade bait in my book.
Ian Kennedy (24, AAA) - While Ikky struggled mightily in the Bigs, he is young enough and dominant enough in the minors to insure that the bloom is nowhere near off this rose. While I believe Kennedy will be a very effective major league pitcher, I do not believe it will be at the front of the rotation.
Any/All AAA position players - The only one I'd like to hold on to is Alberto Gonzalez. Keeping him, however, would not create a deal breaker.
Any/All AA position players not named Jackson - There are some real prospects in this group like PJ Pillittere , Edwar Gonzalez and Jose Tabata, but you've got to give to get, right?
I am far less familiar with lower level players, but I would definitely keep Jesus off the table.
Many people have said (with a high degree of smug, I might add) that the Yanks will not make a major move, and that anything Cash does will be considered tweaking the roster. I disagree. Consider, for example, the following trade -
Ian Kennedy, JB Cox, Kei Igawa, Cody Ehlers, Erik Wordekemper and Steven Jackson to the Pirates for Jason Bay and Damaso Marte.
(UPDATE - In reviewing the above trade I determined I was probably a little light. Swap out Ehlers and add Gardner to really get this done)
In Kennedy, Igawa, Cox and Jackson the Pirates would be getting MLB ready or near ready pitching. Ehlers is a decent lefty 1B prospect who is much like a John Olerud type with gap power and a plus plate discipline.
While we would certainly be giving up some young talent, the return would be 2 things the Yanks sorely need - a very effective lefty out of the 'pen, and a power hitting corner outfielder. Bay is only 29, and is under team control through 2009. With Abreu headed for free agency after this season, Bay would fill a need not just for this year, but going forward as well.
This is the kind of trade I can see Cashman making - something that adds not just for now but potentially for years to come.
I agree that making one of the 'old-type' Yankee trades of a kid for an aging veteran (Tony Armas Jr for Mike Stanley comes to mind) should be avoided at ALL costs. A smart trade that utilizes our minor league depth and addresses a long-term need, however, needs to be made.