Rumor: New York Yankees Are Scouting Guys Like Aramis Ramirez, John Grabow, and… no way… Alfonso Soriano?

When the Chicago Cubs closed out their four-game series in Washington, there were a few extra hands on deck to see the Cubs’ incredible comeback. Namely, three New York Yankee scouts were taking in the game, looking for hitting and relief help, according to Bruce Levine.

He speculates that the Yankees are looking to add some pop in the designated hitter spot, and guys like Aramis Ramirez or Alfonso Soriano could fit the bill.

Although the Yankees already have a solid base in their everyday lineup, Ramirez or Soriano could add some punch as a designated hitter. Soriano has around $65 million left on his contract that runs through 2014. The Cubs would likely step up and share a good portion of that contract obligation if they found an interested party.

Soriano, a former Yankees second baseman, likely would jump at the chance to return to the playoffs, and being the DH would save his legs and make him a stronger hitter over the next three seasons.

While it’s certainly true that Soriano could be more productive as a DH than a left fielder (and he could avoid all those pesky “horrible, nightmarish plays” in the field), it’s hard to imagine the Yankees being willing to take on Soriano for more than a season or two, and at a reduced rate. That means the Cubs would have to kick in enough salary to cover not only years three and four remaining on Soriano’s deal, but would also probably have to split the cost of this and next year. While we may hope the Cubs do that, it’s just not likely.

As for Ramirez, he’s said he’d use his no-trade rights to veto a trade; or alternatively, would require a trading team to pick up his $16 million 2012 option. In either case, putting together a deal for Ramirez, even with the Yankees, would be tough.

Levine notes that the Yankees are also looking for bullpen depth, and might be considering a veteran like John Grabow. Although he hasn’t been terrible productive overall this year, Grabow has absolutely dominated lefties. The Cubs would gladly toss Grabow the Yankees’ way for very little, and would probably throw in some salary to boot.

For more on Soriano, Ramirez and Grabow as trade candidates, as well as every other tradable Cub, make sure to check out our 2011 Cubs trade deadline cheat sheet. There’s a whole lot of information and analysis in there.


Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

51 responses to “Rumor: New York Yankees Are Scouting Guys Like Aramis Ramirez, John Grabow, and… no way… Alfonso Soriano?”

  1. Jelly

    If the Cubs got someone to take Soriano, I don’t think I’d be able to do anything but laugh maniacally for days on end.

    1. Joe

      same here. It’d probably be the best day of the entire season. So good that it would make everyone go mad.

  2. MichiganGoat

    Ramirez would also benefit from being a DH. I think the Yankees would pick up his option to get him and they way he’s been hitting I’m sure they are considering him. Question is who would we get? I believe the Yanks haven’t been happy with B. Gardner (young, MLB ready, speed, + defense) and have some quality prospects.

    1. Jeff

      Except Gardner had been tearing it up in the leadoff spot after Jeter went down. I think the Yankees are going to be hesitant to move him going forward. He had a terrible April, a pretty good May, but absolutely killed it in June. While he has struggled in July since Jeter’s return, the Yankees don’t usually trade guys that are helping their big league club.

  3. die hard

    Soriano would hit a ton if a DH….put Campana in center and lead off…..Byrd to left field and trade Fukudome and put Colvin in right…. we have pitchers in minors….so find a way to unload Big Z and Dempster…let Garza anchor staff next year …make Carpenter and Wells 2 and 3….and audition 7-10 kids for next 2 spots…

    1. CubFan Paul

      wtf@that suggestion Die Hard ..i thought we were trying to win games..

      1. Jelly

        This isn’t as crazy as the suggestion made to stop selling beer at Wrigley. But those are some absolutely terrible suggestions. There is no way Campana has any potential to be anything other than an extra outfielder. Also, what pitchers in the minors? If we had pitchers in the minors, wouldn’t we have given them a shot by now, as opposed to Davis/Ro-Lo/Ortiz/Russell/Coleman (Man, that’s got to be the worst five-man rotation ever)?

        1. CubFan Paul

          Die Hard doesn’t watch very many games..

          1. EQ

            Die Hard needs to go back to the Christmas Party and fight international terrorists with the dad from Family Matters cause he sure isn’t watching baseball.

            1. Jeff

              Yippie-ki-yay, MotherF*******!!!!

        2. cubs

          DONT pre-determine Campana as an extra outfielder !! He hasnt been given a legit shot EVERYDAY for say 2 weeks to see what he can do at leadoff, with his speed, willing to bunt to get on base I would like to see 14 games straight Campana leading off and great defense (speedy)

          1. Jeff

            Great defense like that noodle armed throw from shallow center that cost the Cubs a game a couple of weeks ago? Contact guys aren’t supposed to strike out every 5.5 at bats. You can keep all that and his “20 point batting average improvement for ground balls and bunts”, and the bunting into double plays that will come with it. I would rather have an outfielder with actual major league skills, rather than just the legs.

            1. hardtop

              not necessarily defending campana as a major leauge starter but his obp was in the 380′s in the minors… i think? its probably reasonable to at least hope that he could evolve into having a 340 or so in the majors. you guys are more number savy than i, but that seems a touch low for a leadoff guy, but not terrible. considering he’s in the low 300′s in the majors, it might be a stretch to think he could get to 340 in 14 days starting, but who knows.

              1. hardtop

                and he definitely does not appear to have an arm….

            2. MichiganGoat

              Speed has to be the greatest mystical stat, speed DOES NOT EQUAL good fielding, good baserunning, or the ability to bunt. It helps, but if speed was so important teams would draft track stars.

              1. TWC

                BUT! If you DO enough speed you’ll FEEL like you’re the best at everything, including fielding, baserunning, and bunting.

                And it’s all about confidence, isn’t it, MG?

                1. MichiganGoat

                  Right you are, right you are… Enough speed and you could be the first 50/50 man.

  4. RY34

    the cubs could never get so lucky to find a team dumb enough to take soriano. he is ours for the rest of his miserable contract.

  5. Toosh

    Oh, to get rid of Soriano. The thought puts a smile on my face.

  6. die hard

    Campana adds a dose of small ball which we need to score while Quade fiddles until 3 run homer….would argue for DeWitt to start at third next yr if Ramirez gone….no more free agents for 3 yrs so we can see what minors yields…look at Pirates 5 yr plan success…pitchers would last longer if we had more speed to put pressure on other team…Campana is only one with speed..

  7. chris margetis

    If Soriano could somehow be shipped out, I would argue for Campana being given a legit shot at CF and lead off (Jackson could move into LF). If he was just “fast” I wouldn’t say this, but if you have noticed in the last few weeks, many of the Cubs late wins or potential wins have been with him getting on via some chopper and wreaking havoc on the bases. That’s what crazy speed does and that little fucker has CRAZY speed. His D will be very good eventually based on that speed. I know the Cub plan is for Szczur to patrol CF at some point, so why not let Campana give it a whirl until he’s ready?

    1. TWC

      Why not? Perhaps his barely .300 OBP? Maybe because he strikes out in 20% of his ABs? Possibly because only walks in 5% of his plate appearances?

      Cubs fans tend to get boners over scrappy hustlers, but that doesn’t mean they’re rooting for actual starters. See Sam Fuld: The Greatest Cub in the History of the Universe. Or not.

      1. EQ

        He’s also a rookie and very young… I think by “give him a try” there’s a lot of implied things he needs to get better at, like taking walks and being more selective. He could get better at those things.. speed can make up for some things though. The goal is just find ways to teach him how to get on base.. if he can’t figure those things out, then keep him on the bench as a pinch runner in late inning situations.

        1. CubFan Paul

          Campana should be in the minors, probably AA .. “implied things he needs to get better at, like taking walks and being more selective. ..theres no room in the big leagues for a guy who’s the 28th man on a 25 man roster ..he should be “learning” and getting regular at-bats in the minors

      2. Hogie

        I would say small sample size, but his strikeout and walk ratios weren’t much different in the minors either. If he was given a shot due to trades, put him in the 8th spot. I’m hoping even our pitching staff could sacrifice that speed over if he did get on. If with regular at bats he could hit over 300 (like he has done the past couple in the minors), then maybe give him a shot at the 1 spot.

      3. Michigan Goat

        You beat me to it TWC, you beautiful bastard. Agreed on the NAMBLA love for undersized scrappy, great white hope type players (sad but true) see: Theroit, Fontenot, Hoffpauir, Fox, Murton, and Bobby F’in Hill. Campy (a good nickname cause he is so kid like- but Q should have stopped there) is just another in that line.

        1. Ol'CharlieBrown

          You guys really are right about that. Reed Johnson could be added to that list as well in my opinion.

          My theory is, because the Cubs players generally don’t play well enough to win us over with their game winning performance, so instead some players find a way to win us over with their show of hustle and effort. In a way, it’s sad to think that we have nothing else to cheer about except a guy who’s willing to dive and get his uniform dirty simply because we don’t have much talent to cheer for. Don’t get me wrong, I’d hope any fan for any team would cheer for a guy who hustles and gives 100%, but they also usually have more to cheer about than just that lol.

  8. EQ

    with his speed, you can easily add about 20pts to his batting average just by beating out the choppers, bunt singles, etc. I’m all for giving Campana a shot to lead off. We rarely have that kind of speed available, let’s use him..

    I would argue that we still need some sort of thumper in the lineup though.. with Ramirez, Pena, and Soriano gone, who the heck’s gonna drive in runs???

  9. chris margetis

    The whole point of giving someone a shot, is that that do improve on the other things. How many guys come up from the minors that don’t have to improve on anything? No one says he’s full time major league ready, but until you test the theory you’ll never know. Plus, I’ll never put myself in the category of a guy who likes scrappers, never thought Sam Fuld should be an everyday player. The difference here again is the insane speed. Sam Fuld DOES NOT have that. Campana’s speed is that of about 4-5 guys in the majors. EVERY ball he hits to to the left side of the infield that isn’t scortched will be an infield single. Granted, he has to hit it that way, but there aren’t many who have that capability.

    1. TWC

      I’m not arguing against giving him a shot, especially on our thin team. But for his sake, I’d think that batting #7, #8 would be a better spot.

      Speed alone isn’t enough to stay on an ML roster. Who was that dude that bounced around the majors a few years back? We had him for a few months… youtube video exists of him jumping over a car? Can’t remember now…. He was stupid fast, but couldn’t hit.

      1. Ol'CharlieBrown

        I think the fella you speak of is Joey Gathright. He was really fast. Equal to Campana, possibly even faster, from what I remember. He was all over the place too. He made his debut with us on April 6th of the 2009 season and was traded on May 8th lol. At least he made it a month, eh?

  10. chris margetis

    Uh, I think that guy is on our AAA club. That said, he still isn’t as fast as Campana (whom I refuse to refer to as Campy). I’d don’t want to get to specific on where he hits in the order, I just think his speed makes a difference regardless. Provided that speed gets on base of course.

    1. Hogie

      Perez is another sick-fast guy who can’t hit, but TWC is thinking of Joey Gathright. The difference is that those two couldn’t hit in the minors either, Campana has hit well over 300 in AA and a limited time in AAA. He still swung at everything at both stops though.

      1. TWC

        Joey Gathright, that’s the guy. I knew there was a G in his name somewhere.

        I don’t know much about Campana — esp. his minors career — but watching the few dozen games I’ve seen him in, he screams ‘late-inning replacement’ to me.

        1. Matt

          Only if you’re going to use him right. Why exactly wasn’t he pinch-running for Soto, and pinch hitting instead? He could’ve stole second with no outs instead of 2 outs. Q got lucky on that one.

          1. hardtop

            par for quade. like having a pitcher whos struggled through the game, yet somehow made it to 80 some pitches, and then sending him to the plate with a man on third and 2 outs, when your team is down a run… only to pull him the next inning after facing one maybe two batters. i honestly dont know what was watching, all his time in baseball, becasue he wasnt paying attention to what the managers were doing.

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