The New York Yankees are always connected to top free agents and top trade candidates. And with good reason, Yankee General Manager Brian Cashman has done a phenomenal job stacking the Yankees Farm System. The Yankees farm system is loaded with premium quality talent and a wealth of it. And that gives the Yankees the ability to outbid and acquire anyone they choose. And it is because of that depth that the Yankees 2017 and 2018 trade deadline have already had some very eerily similar moves made. So with the Trade Deadline, tomorrow let’s take a closer look at the moves that have already been made.
The Yankees over the last few days have made two trades. They have acquired the pitching services of Zach Britton (Baltimore Orioles) and JA Happ (Toronto Blue Jays.) Now on the surface, these moves may not seem reminiscent of the moves Cashman made in 2017. So let’s break it down.
Todd Frazier= Giancarlo Stanton
Ok so Giancarlo Stanton was acquired this past offseason, so I’m stretching the timeline a tad bit on this one but follow me here. In 2017 the Yankees acquired third baseman Todd Frazier from the Chicago White Sox in what was a surprise move. In the offseason prior to the 2018 season, the Yankees acquired Giancarlo in a surprise move. Both Frazier and Stanton came to the Yankees with players already occupying the position they played. For Frazier, Chase Headley was playing third. And for Stanton, Aaron Judge manned right field. Obviously, there are differences Headley was moved to first and became a platoon player. But Stanton has been the man moving around the field and spending most of his time at DH. With Judge being sidelined after a HBP, Stanton will start in right a lot more often.
David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle= Zach Britton
When David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle were brought over in the same deal as Frazier they helped to solidify an already strong Yankees bullpen. This season Britton does the same thing. The Yankees already had the best bullpen in baseball. And this move only makes them even better. Being able to shorten games in the playoffs has been the key over the last few seasons. And the addition of Zach Britton gives the Yankees the chance to take what was a potential 6 inning postseason start and make it four.
Jaime Garcia= JA Happ
Jaime was a stop gap and an insurance policy when he was acquired from the Minnesota Twins last season. Garcia provided the Yankees depth if needed. But more importantly, he provided Yankees GM Brian Cashman leverage when Cash called other clubs about other starters. And just like Garcia, I feel that the acquisition of JA Happ is meant to serve the same purpose. Happ will give the Yankees a much more reliable 4th or 5th starter than what they’ve had all season. But ultimately, he is here so that Brian Cashman can continue checking the market for potential deals and not overpay.
I do think that the price the Yankees paid for JA Happ was a little high. Because I believe that Drury could have been leveraged for a higher caliber pitcher. But it was by no means an overpay. Both Brandon Drury and Billy McKinney are very good players. But they both would have faced a potential offseason trade due to the growing need to protect younger players on the forty man roster. So with this trade, Brian Cashman traded away two players without a position on the 25 man roster. And also did not trade any prospects for a player that just a week earlier was said to cost a couple top prospects.
Sonny Gray= ???
So that leaves us with the 2017 deadline deal that brought back Sonny Gray to the New York Yankees. Brian Cashman is a wizard, as we covered in a previous article this week. Cashman has given himself the ability to acquire another starting pitcher if the market develops. He has also provided the Yankees with depth if it doesn’t. Cashman has also cleared up 40 man roster space. And he was able to move guys that he could have potentially lost for nothing and got real value in return. We don’t know yet if another starting pitcher will materialize for the Yankees before Tuesday’s non-wavier trading deadline. But what we do know is that if it is possible to make a deal happen Brian Cashman is the man for the job.
My unEducated Guess
If I had to make a guess as to potential trade acquisition no one would expect a la the 2017 Sonny Gray deal. There are two teams I can see a trade being made with. First would be the Minnesota Twins. The Twins have some starting pitchers that are free agents and they are quickly out of contention in the AL Central. Jake Odorizzi, Lance Lynn, Ervin Santana, and Kyle Gibson can all help the Yankees rotation, However, the man I would love to get from the Twins would be Jose Berrios. He is a young hard-throwing controllable starting pitcher who could greatly benefit from pitching behind Luis Severino.
The other team I would look to would be the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Now I know a report surfaced a few weeks ago stating that the Angels were not looking to move Tyler Skaggs or Andrew Heaney. However, since then the Angels have struggled. They have gone 4-6 over their last 10 games. They also find themselves a full 15 games behind the Houston Astros in the AL West. And 10 games out of the second AL Wildcard spot. Also with the Angels trading defensive stalwart Martin Maldonado to the Astros, that may be a signal the Angels could be open to a deal.
Regardless, I expect Brian “The Wizard” Cashman to make another move. Potentially a move that we don’t even see coming (cough cough deGrom, Bumgarner.) I (half-heartedly) joke of course but Cashman has been able to make more with less seem like a walk in Central Park. So if something else is to be done he is the man to do it.