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Yankees acquire Justin Maxwell from the Nationals

Feb 2, 2011, 2:14 PM EST

Justin Maxwell

Last week the Nationals designated Justin Maxwell for assignment to clear room on the 40-man roster for free agent signing Todd Coffey and today they traded the 27-year-old outfielder to the Yankees.

Maxwell once looked like a promising prospect with a good combination of power and speed, smacking 27 homers and swiping 35 bases in 2007 as a 23-year-old at Single-A, but he’s hit just .201 with 83 strikeouts in 219 career at-bats while rarely getting an opportunity to play regularly for the Nationals.

It’ll obviously be even tougher to crack the Yankees’ lineup and Maxwell may not be at full strength yet while coming back from Tommy John elbow surgery in October, but if healthy he’ll likely get a chance to win a bench job during spring training.

UPDATE: Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that the Nationals are getting right-hander Adam Olbrychowski in return for Maxwell, which sounds about right. He was the Yankees’ fifth-round pick in 2007 and projects as a potential middle reliever down the road.

  1. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 2, 2011 at 2:59 PM

    I can’t wait to hear how people roast Cashman over this one.

    Honestly, the Yankees system is heavy on pitchers capable of middle relief but light on OFs in the upper levels, so this seems like a sound move for a guy with upside.

    • uyf1950 - Feb 2, 2011 at 3:22 PM

      Can’t hurt. I also think at some point Cashman is going to try and put together all these odd and end pieces and a spare prospect (catcher or relief guy) for a trade. Just thinking out loud.

  2. BC - Feb 2, 2011 at 3:09 PM

    Eh. Completely low-risk. The guy comes back healthy and hey, you get a serviceable player. If not, no big deal.

  3. dwrek5 - Feb 2, 2011 at 3:10 PM

    This guy was a stud in the Cape League. Reminded me of Alex Rios. Which is why Im just a regular and not a scout… Hope he gets a another chance to break out.

  4. spudchukar - Feb 2, 2011 at 3:36 PM

    Garcia, Colon, and now Maxwell, one more prize acquisition and Cashman is a shoe-in for exec of the year.

    • Jonny 5 - Feb 2, 2011 at 4:24 PM

      He’s just loading up on guys to fill the lower levels. Then Bam! A trade happens.

      Seriously, no one sees this?? Well besides UYF anyway…

    • bigharold - Feb 2, 2011 at 4:46 PM

      Cashman has the AL East right were he want’em. They’re surrounded and don’t even know it.

    • spudchukar - Feb 2, 2011 at 7:31 PM

      Whether or not the new acquisitions play much of a role is a moot point. What should be so glaring to Yanks fans is that these guys are in any conversation. When you are signing the National’s rejects, you know the desperation train has left the station.

      • uyf1950 - Feb 2, 2011 at 8:05 PM

        The fact that these new acquisitions “won’t” play much of a roll is exactly the point. All teams this time of the year sign or trade for fringe players at minimal cost? Isn’t that the point of spring training to may be find that one diamond in the rough that might have been overlooked or discarded just a bit to early.

        I’m curious spudchukar, you have a lot of negative opinions about the Yankees team. Do you actually root for a team any team? Who might it be?

      • spudchukar - Feb 2, 2011 at 9:42 PM

        Happy to inform. Once, in my younger years the Yanks were my second-favorite team. Through the Steinbrenner years the interest wained. Players like Reggie caused me to move away, yet Munson, Mattingly, Nettles and Guidry re-ignited old loyalties. So my allegiance to pinstripes ebbs and flows. I prefer the Rays now due primarily to my minor league days when I lived in Tampa, across the Bay from Al Lang Field, which as you probably know we used to share with the Yanks. I am a born and raised St. Louisan, fortunate to play for parts of 3 years in their organization.
        If I seem hard on boys from the Bronx, it is in reaction to the fans much more than the team. I live in Central Idaho now, high up in the mountains, and have for 30 years, where there are many Yankee fans, plenty of Red Sox fans, alot of Twin, Giant, Dodger, Mariner, and Rockies supporters.
        I live and die Cardinal Red. Regarding other teams my affinities are usually determined by their current players and organizations. The Yankee entitlement attitude, which is reinforced in many blog comments is particularly
        galling, but in the end I am pro-Yankee, and definitely anti-Red Sox, and becoming anti-Phillie as I listen to their fans emulate similar histrionics.
        Currently, I think Yankee fans are whistling past the graveyard, which has been the thrust of my comments. Maybe the recent moves, or lack thereof will all fall in place, but as a relatively unbiased outside observer I think your current situation is considerably more bleak than you are willing to admit.

      • uyf1950 - Feb 2, 2011 at 10:00 PM

        spudchuckar – I’m sure if you’ve read my post you have noticed that as I like to say “I call them like I see them”…and to be honest I don’t see the situation as dire as you or as some others. Do the Yankees have issues? Sure, but so does every other team especially the “so called favorites”. The Red Sox as I’ve mentioned their pitching after Lester and Buchholz is suspect and of course they have NO catcher. The Phillies that everyone seems to think is unbeatable have a huge issue with their offense. I need not go into the others I’m sure you get my point. The good part about the Yankees is they have the resources to “fix” problems unlike some other teams. I may be bias, but more then anything I am a realist, and I see the Yankees glass this season as more then half full. But, of course that’s just my opinion.

  5. baseballstars - Feb 2, 2011 at 6:17 PM

    Not a bad move by the Yankees. Probably will be forgotten about by the time I finish this sentence.

  6. spudchukar - Feb 2, 2011 at 10:26 PM

    I enjoy reading your posts, they are for the most part, intelligent and fair. Optimism is supposed to abound for your chosen fav. Hope springs eternal. I have been critical of the Sox starting staff too. And I have emphasized numerous times, they are foolish to enter the coming year with the catchers they are going to employ. I think the Rays are going to overcome their off-season losses with their emerging talent. They didn’t score many runs last year and still maintained. It is my belief that the AL East will be a 4 horse race, and with the improvement of the O’s, the wild card could come out of the Central. I see 8 quality teams in AL, all capable of making it to the World Series, where they will undoubtedly lose in 6 to the Cards.

    • uyf1950 - Feb 2, 2011 at 10:36 PM

      Personally, I think the Rays are in more trouble then people are willing to admit. Last year I believe they won about 40 games by 1 or 2 run games. This year many of those wins are at risk. Not only because of the loss of Crawford but because of the loss of a good chunk of their bull pen and of course the loss of Soriano. But that’s just my opinion. As for the O’s they have improved but not nearly enough to make the jump to challenge for a wild card spot. What I would call the “Showwalter bump” is a short term thing and unlikely to carry them through 2011. As for the AL Central I would be surprised to see more then one of the teams with more then 90 wins and less then that ain’t gonna be enough to make the playoffs. But again, that’s just my opinion.
      My last comment is more of a question then a comment. Do you really believe the Cardinals will go all the way?

  7. spudchukar - Feb 2, 2011 at 10:59 PM

    Last question first, I think it is possible but its not like I’m going to Vegas with my life savings. I was kind of a Brendan Ryan fan, best defensive short stop I have seen in a long time, and I think the character issue was overblown. He plays hard, which is all I care about. I like the Berkman move, and I’ve always had a favorable opinion of Theriot. But the defense will certainly be taking a step back. Who knows about Lohse, he was so good in 08, but he doesn’t instill alot of confidence. Westbrook encourages. Our division is much, much better, the Brewers are all in, but they can’t catch the ball at all. The Cubs should be better, but they are the Cubs. The Reds really beat up on the rest of the division last year and that will be a lot more difficult. They were only 6-12 against us. Looks like a 3 or 4 horse race here too. The Rockies in the West might be difficult, but honestly only the Phillies really scare me in the NL, lets face it they are loaded, and their offense should rebound somewhat.
    I didn’t mean to imply that I thought the O’s would contend, just not easy to beat up on, therefore making the wild card more difficult. I think more of the Jays than most. I’ll bet Batista goes deep 40 times or more, and they still have moves to make. The loss of Soriano may prove more difficult to overcome than Crawford. Their pen does worry, but I like Brignac and Rodriguez alot, and a bounce back from Zobrist could offset the Crawford departure.
    You are probably correct about the 90 wins in the Central, it is just that I think similar numbers will be posted in the East.

    • uyf1950 - Feb 2, 2011 at 11:16 PM

      I guess we will see about Bautista. I don’t see that. I think 2010 was more of an anomaly. I think he will hit more then 16 like he had been hitting but I don’t see 40 in the cards for him. Also, I know fans were happy to see Wells traded because of his salary but he did provide some much needed offense last year. 31 HR’s ; 44 doubles ; 88 RBI’s ; 50 walks ; .847 OPS and .515 Slg. %. That’s a lot of offense to replace. I actually think the Jays will take a step back this year. But we will see. In any case 2011 should be interesting.

    • uyf1950 - Feb 2, 2011 at 11:18 PM

      I forgot to mention is my reply just now. Much like people like to give Showalter credit for the resurgence of the Orioles. Don’t forget the Jays lost a Manager who many credited with much of their success in 2010.

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