Thursday, February 22, 2018

Do You Choose Trade Number 1, Trade Number 2, Or Trade Number 3?


The acquisition of Brandon Drury has not only created many possibilities for this season, but it also creates many opportunities for the future. Brandon's only 25 years old, and won't be eligible for free agency until after the 2021 season. And although his numbers don't suggest he's a long-time solution (.275/.323/.453 with an OPS+ of 95 in his last 269 games for Arizona), his youth and the hype surrounding him (Brian Cashman has been chasing Drury for a while now) makes it a definite possibility.

Look at it this way... Didi Gregorius hit .241/.314/.368 with an OPS+ of 88 in 183 games for the Diamondbacks before being traded to the Yankees, and now we're happy to have him as the regular shortstop for the team, at least through 2019 when he's scheduled to hit free agency.

So where do the Yankees go from here? Cashman has been after another starter this entire offseason, and I see a great opportunity to make it happen now. Let's look at the possibilities...


1. Brian Cashman can trade Miguel Andujar in a package for a starting pitcher, while Drury handles third base this season. However, I don't think Brandon isn't good enough to keep the Yankees from going after Manny Machado in the offseason.

2. If Cashman and Company aren't convinced Drury is good enough, they can hold onto Andujar to take over third base. In that case trade Clint Frazier in a package for a starter. Then, in the offseason, let Brett Gardner go and bring in Bryce Harper to play left field.

3. Nobody knows how good a pitcher the Yankees could get in a trade including Andujar or Frazier. However, a trade including Andujar and Frazier could surely net the Yankees an incredible return. So perhaps that's the way to go. In this case, the Yankees could go with Drury at third base regularly and sign Harper, or sign both Harper and Machado.

As for what I would choose...

First of all, let me say that I would rather see the Yankees sign Bryce Harper than Manny Machado. It's not that I don't like Manny, but Bryce is clearly the better hitter. Not to mention that another big lefty bat to hit around righties Judge, Stanton, and Sanchez would be great. And can you imagine how many home runs Harper could hit at Yankee Stadium?

So you can eliminate scenario 1.

Although Didi Gregorius has been a big hit for the Yankees, I don't have the confidence in Brandon Drury doing the same thing. I'll fully admit that I could be wrong here, after all Drury does make very good contact, but keeping Miguel Andujar around would be ideal.

And I'll go ahead and say this now... signing both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper would be insane. It would be hard enough having Harper signed for the next 12+ years, along with having Giancarlo Stanton signed for another eight (assuming Stanton doesn't opt-out). But throw in another guy signed for 8+ years? No thank you.

So you can eliminate scenario 2.

Yes, and it's not the first time I've said it... put Clint Frazier in a package along with Chance Adams and trade for a good/young starter. You might think that's not enough for somebody like Michael Fulmer, but after reading that Cashman was offering Frazier and Nick Solak for Gerrit Cole, as well as seeing some recent trades, I think it very well could be. Even if he traded for a guy that's not a future ace, but a top of the rotation guy under team control for a while, that would be great. Especially having Luis Severino around through 2022, Masahiro Tanaka signed through 2020, Sonny Gray being around at least through 2019, and prospects like Justus Sheffield and Albert Abreu.

So to reiterate, trade Clint Frazier, Chance Adams, and whatever smaller pieces (maybe flip Drury, as teams love guys that have as much MLB experience as Brandon does at such a young age) for a starter. Which could be done right now, instead of waiting to see what things look like at the trade deadline when so many other teams will be hunting for pitching. And in the offseason decline the team option for Brett Gardner, and sign Bryce Harper.

You think the current lineup looks like a monster? Check this out...

1. Gleyber Torres - 2B
2. Aaron Judge - RF
3. *Bryce Harper - LF
4. Giancarlo Stanton - DH
5. Gary Sanchez - C
6. *Greg Bird - 1B
7. *Didi Gregorius - SS
8. #Miguel Andujar - 3B
9. Aaron Hicks - CF (note: *Estevan Florial could make his MLB debut in 2019)
* - denotes left-handed hitter
# - denotes switch-hitter

And by being able to juggle Judge, Harper, and Stanton at designated hitter, you can keep them healthy longer (especially in regards to Harper and Stanton who would be under contract for a while longer).

Just for the heck of it, the possible starting rotation...

1. Luis Severino
2. Masahiro Tanaka
3. Sonny Gray
4. Michael Fulmer (or somebody like him)
5. Justus Sheffield

And there's still Jordan Montgomery hanging around, while Albert Abreu could make his MLB debut next season.

I'd love to hear what you have to say in the comments or on Twitter. Which scenario from above do you like? Or maybe it's none of those, as you would pass on trading for a pitcher while keeping both Frazier and Andujar instead of signing either Machado or Harper?

4 comments:

  1. Honestly, I don't see how you can tie up more than a half-billion dollars in two outfielders when the day will eventually come that guys like Judge, Sanchez, Severino, and others will have to be paid. Hal Steinbrenner is still a bean counter and that will never change. Trade Stanton to the Dodgers next off-season, then maybe signing Harper makes sense but I'd prefer to stand pat with Stanton and upgrade other areas. We have good young outfielders to work with Stanton and Judge and by all accounts, Estevan Florial is going to be a stud. Pay the money to Machado. Pay the money to a frontline starter, but I'll pass on Harper.

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    1. I would not trade Stanton and sign Harper. No way. We have Stanton on, essentially, a 9 year contract for $22 million a year. Why give that up to sign Harper on a 12+ year contract for at least $35 million a year?

      I wouldn't feel comfortable spending big on a free agent pitcher, either. Hitters are bad enough when it comes to the end of their contracts bein albatrosses, but it seems that pitchers would be worse. Better off trading for younger guys in that area.

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    2. I agree with not trading Stanton. I mean first and foremost the guy still has a NTC, and actually wants to be here, but that deal is a steal if he performs like he has in the past. Not just in 2017 either, production like that makes the deal absolutely highway robbery.

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  2. Look like most feel, trading Stanton is a bad move...I concur!
    Back in the day, a guy as tall as Judge/Stanton would be playing 1st base, not the outfield! Be the answer to many of our problems if either one could play 1st, but then again having one DH a lot of the time will save them for the post season and we do have "The Bird-man" at 1st now.

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