Friday, December 15, 2017

Is Jabari Blash a Part of a Bigger Plan/Deal for New York?


When the New York Yankees traded away Chase Headley and Bryan Mitchell to the San Diego Padres for outfielder Jabari Blash I think most thought that this was simply a salary dump for the Bronx Bombers. The Yankees sent $500,000 in cash considerations along with Mitchell, Headley and the former Yankees third baseman’s $13 million in salary but I don’t think this was simply a salary dump. Why would Cashman take on ANOTHER outfielder, especially an outfielder that is 28-years old and hasn’t excelled at the Major League level to date? I think Blash is part of a much bigger plan and deal and I am wondering if that bigger plan and deal has anything to do with the Chicago White Sox and their presumable acquisition of Orioles third baseman Manny Machado.  

George A. King III reported this week that the Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos would never trade Manny Machado to the New York Yankees, but the Chicago White Sox owner and GM would. The White Sox have been one of the most aggressive suitors for Machado’s services despite being in the middle of a total rebuild. This deal doesn’t make sense for the White Sox as Machado is just one year away from free agency unless one of two things happens, Machado signs an extension, or the White Sox ultimately flip Machado either now or in July before the trade deadline for prospects to speed up the rebuild. I am personally leaning towards the latter being more likely than the former, you have to think Machado wants to hit the free agent market at just 26-years old, and with that thought process and the Yankees need for a third baseman the stars may be aligning.  

Why does it make sense for the Yankees? I mean, besides the obvious as Machado is an incredible talent. Machado is still under a team friendly deal that will pay him an estimated $17.3 million in his final year of arbitration according to Baseball Reference and their estimations. Adding Machado, CC Sabathia for $10 - $12 million on a one-year deal, and Gleyber Torres to second base and the Yankees can still get under the luxury tax threshold while calling it an offseason before Christmas. Not bad for a team that couldn’t seemingly find a suitable manager just a few weeks ago.  

Blash would be just one of the many prospects the Yankees could trade to the White Sox if they were to acquire and then flip Machado to the Bronx. Clint Frazier could be another. I am not an expert on the Chicago White Sox and I am not sure of their needs, but you have to think they will at least ask for Frazier, Chance Adams, Justus Sheffield and others. If the White Sox give up some of their elite prospects to acquire Machado, and they would likely have to give up at least one, then the Yankees would have to compensate them for that in the deal. Would Frazier, Blash and Adams be enough? That’s a good question, I would hope so. I know one thing though, Machado won’t come cheap like Giancarlo Stanton did.   


The kicker here? The Yankees could conceivably trade Machado in July for even better prospects then they will theoretically and hypothetically give up to the Chicago White Sox in a deal while sliding Miguel Andujar into the third base position. This screams Aroldis Chapman all over again and if it happens, especially if the Yankees then turned around and signed Machado via free agency next winter, I will be the first person in line to kiss the feet of Yankees GM Brian Cashman. Something is brewing here; the Yankees didn’t just acquire Blash because they liked him. Stay tuned. 

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