Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Inevitable “Stephen Strasburg to the Yankees” Blog Post

The Washington Nationals made a bit of news this week when the team announced that they would at least be willing to listen to offers on right-handed starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg. Strasburg, a former first overall pick in the MLB Draft, was supposed to be the future and the ace of the Washington Nationals staff but inconsistencies and injuries have forced him closer to mediocre than the God status he was expected to garner inside Nationals Park. With just one year left on his current deal the Nationals may be looking to get whatever they can out of him in a trade so you knew this post was coming, should the New York Yankees be interested?

When I first heard the news I was ecstatic. This seems like the type of deal that Brian Cashman pulls off recently. Cashman stays away from the high priced free agents, pitching wise anyway, and has either built his rotation from within, from Japan or via trade. The first thing that popped into my head when it was announced that Strasburg was said to be available was a similar deal to the deal that brought Nathan Eovaldi to the Bronx. Obviously there would probably need to be better pieces than David Phelps and Martin Prado, whether Strasburg is worth more than Eovaldi with all that team control and 100 MPH fastball or not, but a similar deal nonetheless with Major League talent heading to and from both clubs in the deal. Then I started to do my research.

Strasburg is an injury concern, no one can deny that, and we haven’t been able to see his true potential because of it. Those injury concerns, mixed in with the fact that he will be a free agent at the end of the 2016 season, would likely keep the price for Strasburg down, but only by a little. Washington would still likely command a substantial haul for him, especially after the Tigers snatched the Blue Jays top prospect and others for half a season of David Price. If we’re talking Gary Sanchez and filler for Strasburg then you make the deal, anything more I might not be so sure. The only saving grace for the Yankees would be that they could offer him a qualifying offer at the end of the season since he wasn’t traded during the middle of the season and recoup some of that prospect package back in the 2017 MLB Draft.

Strasburg has missed close to two years of games due to injury in his career, obviously much of that coming from his Tommy John surgery, which has seriously affected his career pitching line. His regular season numbers are straddling the mediocre line and his postseason numbers are worse than that but one thing is important here, his age. Strasburg is just 27-years old and has plenty of time to figure it out, he just has to have the coaching and has to put the work in. Larry Rothschild is the coach, I just worry about whether he will be worth it even if he puts the work in. I’m on the fence, and of course it depends on the deal, but at the end of the day I think I may still want him wearing Yankees pinstripes on Opening Day 2016.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)