Here`s a list of Yankees needs in order:
- Right handed hitting outfielder
- Another starter
- A catcher that can actually hit
- Lefty reliever
The outfielder I think is the most needed position. Damon will probably play DH for a while before moving back to LF which means we have to deal with a Gardner/Melky/Abreu outfield a little longer. When Damon moves back to LF then at DH we have a Betemit/Sexson platoon. While that's better its still just a band-aid fix. Jason Bay and Xavier Nady seem like the most realistic targets. Bay is clearly the better player. However, it may be tough to get him without giving up Jackson or Hughes which I definitely wouldn't want to do. How about Kennedy+Ohlendorf for Nady+Marte. This also solves the below problem of the left-handed reliever.
However, losing Kennedy makes it impossible to replace Ponson if he immediately struggles. So if the above deal is made a corresponding move for another pitcher is needed. Apparently the Yankees are targeting Jarrod Washburn. If the above trade doesn't get made then the Yankees should aim higher. However, if it does then Washburn would easily take over for Ponson by giving up very little. If the above move doesn't get made then I would rather just bring up Kennedy than take on Washburn's contract. They probably will want a little more than just Igawa but its really just a salary dump so Igawa+Gardner for Washburn?
If the above two trades are made then this isn't a major problem. The Yankees can deal with poor offense from catcher (usually a weak position anyway) and centerfield if their stars start hitting and they get another bat. I think they`re going to have to swallow poor offense from Jose Molina and hope he gets hot and his defense holds up.
The left-handed reliever thing isn't a big deal with the bullpen playing the way it is. Brian Bruney is also coming back. However, its a nice thing to have. The first trade solves this problem and Marte would fill the hole nicely.
So if I were Brian Cashman I`d do these trades:
Trade 1) Ian Kennedy and Ross Ohlendorf to Pirates for Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte.
Trade 2) Kei Igawa and Brett Gardner to Mariners for Jarrod Washburn
So here's the Yankees new roster: