Saturday, June 23, 2018

Predicting the 2018 MLB Trade Deadline: Yankees Prospects



The New York Yankees have one of the best farm systems in all of Major League Baseball, which is a huge reason why the team has been so successful at the Major League level not only in 2018, but in 2017 as well. Rookies have burst onto the scene like Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Luis Severino, Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar and others, but the scariest part of the whole ordeal is for other teams is that there is another wave of Baby Bombers even behind this core of players. Some of these players may be trade bait at the July 31st trade deadline and some may not, let’s decipher which prospects should be untouchable during this hot stove season and which the Yankees and Brian Cashman should explore trades with to bolster their potential World Series run.

The list of untouchables prospects should be obvious to any Yankees fan that follows their farm system. Torres and Andujar will not be moved, not for Jacob deGrom, not for Noah Syndergaard, and not for Madison Bumgarner. Not for anyone. Those are the obvious players, but if I were Brian Cashman I would also add RHP Albert Abreu, LHP Justus Sheffield and OF Clint Frazier to that list. I know many have clamored for Frazier to be traded for starting pitching but with the impending free agency of Brett Gardner and another prospect we will touch on later, Estevan Florial, so far away I would not feel comfortable moving Frazier unless the deal was just too good to pass up.

Florial is now the team’s top prospect with the promotion of Torres from prospects status, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t move him in the right deal. Would I trade Florial for a rental player? Absolutely not, no, but with no spot open in the foreseeable future in the outfield would I trade him for a young stud like Jacob deGrom? As much as it pains me to say, especially since I would have to watch Florial potentially flourish with that other New York team, I have to say that I would. I would include him in a deal for Noah Syndergaard also, but I may balk at the idea of acquiring Steven Matz using the team’s top and best prospect.


Thairo Estrada is another talented Yankees prospect that just has too many good, young options in front of him to really have a place to play here in New York at the Major League level. Estrada, currently in Triple-A Scranton, is 22-years old and has experience at second base (blocked by Torres), shortstop (blocked by Didi Gregorius) and third base (blocked by Andujar and Brandon Drury), and is ranked as the Yankees 8th best prospect according to MLB.com. If a deal for a starter became available, I have to say I would feel very comfortable in moving him from a position of strength to fill a need.

If I will trade Florial because of no immediate openings in the Yankees outfield you have to think it would make sense to also trade Billy McKinney in the right deal, no? McKinney is Major League ready now and is simply in Triple-A due to the talent logjam that the Yankees are experiencing right now here in the Bronx. If the Yankees could acquire the missing piece they need for a deep October run, maybe a starting pitcher for example, and it came at the expense of McKinney, I would totally be okay with that.

Tyler Wade is a lot like Thairo Estrada in a way. He is young and versatile, but he is sitting in Triple-A because the Yankees simply have too many good options and not enough positions to play them all at. Wade has struggled in both his looks at the Major League level, but he could provide serviceable production to another MLB team, especially a National League team, due to his defensive versatility.

Pinstriped Prospects

The final prospect that I would be okay with moving is RHP Chance Adams. I know I have been beating the drum for Adams for what feels like forever now, and don’t get me wrong I am still high on the guy, but lately I have been accused of being loyal to a fault with the young right-hander. Adams has struggled with his command and control at the Triple-A level after tearing up the lower levels of the minor league system. At the time of this writing Adams had posted a 2-2 record with a 4.96 ERA in Triple-A which has left many scouts to wonder if he could handle pitching on such a huge stage like New York and Yankee Stadium. It has to show you something when Jonathan Loaisiga is making starts in the Bronx right now and not Adams, the team has lost their confidence in him and a trade may be what is best for not only the team, but for Adams as well.

I want to say that making such a post like this is hard for me. As a self-proclaimed “prospect humper” I want to personally hold onto all of the Yankees prospects. That mentality has gotten the Yankees into the situation they are in now, and don’t get me wrong it is a great position to be in, where they have too many great players and not enough positions to play them all in. The Yankees farm system is deep, and they can sustain trading away one or two big pieces for the missing piece to their World Series puzzle in 2018. With the farm system restocked once again with a nice draft and the international free agent signing period opening up in less than two weeks New York should strike while the iron is hot. I am not saying to make a deal just for the sake of making a deal, but I am saying if there is a piece out there that’s available and fits Brian Cashman’s idea of a fair price, I am saying to make the deal and figure out the rest later.

6 comments:

  1. Quintana landed a top 5 prospect +++. Sale landed Moncada, an "aaa/mlb ready" number 1 prospect and a top pitching prospect, #15, in Michael kopech, that pitches in AAA also.

    So you aren't getting anyone remotely good if you start with Florial. He's injured, he's 20 y/o in Tampa High A ball, and strikes out 40% of the time.

    Happ is the best rental SP available. Obv cash would need to see the price-Toronto will probably ask for andujar then frazier, both are silly. But see!
    First, I say present hicks some contract like 5 year 25 million dollar contract, see if he jumps at it. Our CF depth is garbage.

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    1. Quintana had three years remaining on his contract. Sale had three years on his contract. I don't see anyone like that available right now aside from deGrom and Syndergaard, both of which I mentioned specifically in the article. Anyone else, I wouldn't... and especially for a rental.

      Also Dustin Fowler was injured when he was traded, as was James Kaprielian. Mateo wasn't exactly lighting up Triple-A when he was traded, yet it netted the team Sonny Gray, so I am not going to be the one to count out Brian Cashman on the trade market.

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  2. Estrada could fill in at SS if Didi were traded for pitching considering he has 1 yr left of control. In theory the Yankees could get a big name with Didi and say Mckinney and cash. SS could also be filled in 2019 with Machado and with Drury and Estrada as bait the Yankees could land another big arm.
    Frazier should certainly be our every day CF and try and move Hicks if possible. Florial I think is gonna be special so I would hold onto him as long as possible but if the Yankees simply must add him to a package I hope he goes far away as to not hurt us... trade deadline should be interesting this year...

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    2. . I don't think a team looking for a 1.5 year contract from a shortstop has a "young cost controlled front line starter" that is available for trade... Plus, very good starting pitchers are crazy valuable.

      Who do they want back? Acuna. Jiminez. Vlad Jr. Torres. Moncada . Not one year of didi or one year of hicks

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    3. I agree with Daryl, I don't see the Sonny Gray of 2017 out there and available on the market. And I don't think I would be comfortable trading away the team's starting shortstop and who some would consider to be the heart and soul of the clubhouse in the midst of a pennant chase for an unproven prospect.

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