Monday, January 15, 2018

The Yankees Are One Trade Away From Calling It An Offseason


The New York Yankees are one of the best teams in the American League on paper right now, so I stand behind my thought process that the team doesn’t necessarily “need” to do anything else this offseason. Much of the team that was one win away from the World Series in 2017 is back and while the Astros probably got better with the acquisition of Gerrit Cole, it is debatable whether the team is better suited for a World Series run than the Yankees are currently. That’s another topic for another blog post though, instead I’d rather focus my efforts on one trade that, albeit an unpopular trade I am sure amongst most Yankees fans, could basically end the heavy lifting for the Yankees this offseason, at least on the trade front. The San Francisco Giants presumably need two outfielders and the Yankees have two to spare while San Francisco has a middle infielder that may strike the Yankees fancy for a season or two. Is it time for “Let’s make a deal?”

The Yankees need either a second baseman or a third baseman this offseason with Gleyber Torres waiting in the wings to take on either position full time later on in the year. The Giants second baseman currently is Joe Panik while their third baseman is a familiar foe in Evan Longoria. Now I don’t know about you, but I personally want absolutely nothing to do with Longoria in pinstripes leaving me with just one option, Panik. Who is Joe Panik? Panik is a proven second baseman with postseason and World Series experience at just 27-years old. Panik is a left-handed bat that would benefit from the short porch in Yankee Stadium, a solid defender in the middle infield that would fit in well with Didi Gregorius defensively, and a cost-effective piece for a Yankees team still looking to get under the $197 million luxury tax threshold.

Panik just agreed to a deal with the Giants worth $3.45 million through arbitration giving the Yankees a nice chunk of money to spend elsewhere on the free agent or trade market. How so? Because one of those two outfielders the Giants need that the Yankees will be giving them is Jacoby Ellsbury. The Yankees already reportedly have $22 million to play with this offseason while still remaining under the luxury tax “cap” and trading away at least half of Ellsbury’s salary would give New York a lot of wiggle room to make moves, maybe even enough wiggle room to land a Yu Darvish or another top-tiered free agent.

The other outfielder the Yankees would send to San Francisco, I know you’re dying to know and I know you probably already have a sneaking suspicion. It is Clint Frazier. As much as I would like it to be Brett Gardner I just can’t see the Giants taking on that much salary for two aging and identical players. The Yankees are going to have to sweeten the pot to get anyone to take Ellsbury and Frazier is that sweetener, in my opinion. The Giants already have Miguel Gomez, who made his MLB debut last season and is the team’s 22nd best prospect according to MLB.com, ready to take over at the position in place of Panik as well as vastly improving their outfield situation with the trade.

Is giving up basically Clint Frazier for Joe Panik and cash considerations a “loss” for the Yankees? Some may think so, yes, but one must also remember that the money saved will or could lead the Yankees in another direction. Is Jacoby Ellsbury and Clint Frazier worth Yu Darvish, Alex Cobb or Jake Arrieta and Joe Panik? 100 times out of 100, yes. At least in my opinion. It is all about giving something to get something and that’s what the Yankees are doing here with this trade. You trade from a position of strength or depth to fill a gap, that’s how the 1995 – 2000’s Dynasty Yankees did it and that is how this team can do it as well.

And before you jump all over me let’s take a look at the stat line for Joe Panik while remembering that Panik plays half his games in the very pitcher-friendly AT&T Park. Just because Panik is left-handed and just because Barry Bonds made it look easy to hit home runs out of that stadium it doesn’t mean that it is. Panik will benefit from the dimensions at Yankee Stadium and the Yankees team as a whole would benefit from having another left-handed bat in the lineup day in and day out. Anyway, I’m rambling so here are his stats with the Giants


Year Age G PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
201423732873182102118033.305.343.368.711104
20152410043259119272837342.312.378.455.833129
201625127526671112171062547.239.315.379.69588
201726138573601472851053454.288.347.421.768104
4 Yr4 Yr438181821745986162917012176.282.345.408.753105
162 162 162672801703261163465.282.345.408.753105
:

As you can see, thanks to Baseball Reference, Panik is a very solid second baseman. Oh, and did I mention that Panik was born in Yonkers, New York? That has to count for something, right? Panik would be under contract through the 2020 season through arbitration and could give the Yankees comparable production to Starlin Castro for a fraction of the cost, while again also potentially bringing in a Yu Darvish type player as well.


I know, my trade proposal sucks so what’s yours? And do you think the Giants would go for it? Leave it all below in the comments section. Thanks in advance. 

13 comments:

  1. Hi let's brainstorm... we need first base back.up right...what about Red Thunder...wait and see how he pans out with that and maybe spell Gardy ... maybe try second base tooo.. Hicks possible but older.. Tylers not as good. . Give others time in minors to help eligibility. Pitching yes but hope Ellsbury comes good or we get a good deal on pitching Cobb or others.. otherwise we waste millions next year as taxed 50 percent not 20

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    1. Rob Charles/Brown Spee....Oh, hell you know to whom this is addressed!

      I know not where to begin, so I'll dive into the deep end...
      An infielder can play outfield (most of the time) but outfielders to the infield...not so much! Good athletes are able to make the move from out to infield. First base is a call away to the Farm if need be, but Frazier can do the job as a part time player, I believe...2nd base you can forget!
      Tyler is a completely different player that Clint, it would be nice to have them both as back-ups...at minimum!
      We have an 7 man rotation now, so that is set. BP is set also, even if we have to replace Dellion or anyone else we have arms to do it...pitching is not a need, more like a want.

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    2. The first base situation is why we need, well not need... but would like, a guy like Todd Frazier. Chase Headley was basically the backup first baseman before he was traded. Brian McCann was before him.

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  2. Reading a few other sites one of the "so called experts" had, as the greatest baseball hitters/players of all time.
    #2-Babe Ruth
    #4 Ted Williams
    #6 Lou Gehrig
    #11 "Hammering" Hank Aaron
    #24 A-Rod
    Stats show #1 Hank Aaron, #2 A-Rod #3 Babe Ruth??/352

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  3. It's a great proposal-I'd be all in on Panik.

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  4. I agree with Reed. Anything else the Yankees do now is a want, not a need. I know it's not optimal to start a season with rookies at two key positions like 2b and 3b, but we're so deep everywhere else that it shouldn't matter. Isn't this what we've always discussed here? Stop blocking younger players? Anybody we acquire does just that.

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  5. Well the Pirates threw a monkey wrench into this didn't they? Don't worry, I have a Plan B

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  6. I'm with Daniel. Get Greedy. Boston is not going to roll over and hand the division to the Yankees. I know that he hasn't signed yet, but it is inevitable that they'll sign J.D. Martinez. They have two great relievers coming back from injury (Carson Smith and Tyler Thornburg) that will improve their bullpen behind Craig Kimbrel. Boston doesn't care that we'll be trying to work in two rookies at the same time or that every starter in the Yankees rotation has a question mark. Casey Stern is right, "Prospects are Cool. Parades are Cooler." Get Greedy and get me Panik or Shaw!

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    1. Good points Scott. I would love to see Panik in New York. I guess my point is not to make a deal unless it financially allows us to sign either Darvish or Cobb. I don't want to pay the price to trade for a pitcher, I would rather just sign one. If the Giants aren't willing to take Ellsbury and half his salary in a trade, then move on. How about Frazier, Betances, and Ellsbury with half his salary for Panik? You can even throw in an Estrada or Wade to replace Panik at 2b. Then use the money saved to sign a pitcher.

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    2. I'd rather trade for a starter than sign a 31 year old to a 7+ year deal, or even a 30 year old to a 5+ year deal.

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    3. I just don't like the price tag people are asking for in trade. I wouldn't mind including Frazier as the centerpiece, but when people start including people like Andujar, Adams, Acevedo, etc., I say forget it.

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    4. That's totally understandable. Depending on the trade adding two or more of those names wouldn't be terrible, but the thought of losing all of them is not easy to swallow.

      If the price isn't nice, whether it by trade or free agency, then it would be best to pass entirely.

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    5. Amen, play the best we have...worry about what other teams do or add is not the way one becomes a winner.
      IF we don't Need them, why trade for them...we need an All-Star at every spot...no we don't?

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