Monday, November 23, 2015

ICYMI: Remember! Not All Trades Are Good.

By: Bryan Van Dusen

We're not even three weeks removed from the end of the World Series, and Brian Cashman has already made a couple of moves to prepare the Yankees for the 2016 season. Sure, those two moves (you know what they were) weren't earth-shattering, however we've heard some rumors that certainly could be.
"Did you hear about so-and-so being traded for so-and-so?"

Okay, "earth-shattering" may be a little melodramatic, but trading Brett Gardner would be a very significant move, and when it comes to anything significant you have to be careful.

On the one hand, dealing away Jose Pirela is certainly not a zero loss, but if Ronald Herrera (the guy the Yankees got back in that deal with the Padres) doesn't pan out the team and it's future won't really be affected.

To a lesser extent, the same could be said about the John Ryan Murphy for Aaron Hicks deal. While Hicks could see quite a few starts next season, even if he doesn't work out the Yankees aren't going to be scrambling in order to repair the situation.

But to trade away Brett Gardner, who has been a key player for the Yankees in six of the last seven years (he missed most of 2012 with an elbow injury, which led to surgery), would be no small loss.

Even last season, which was arguably his worst since becoming a regular with the Bombers, Gardner still had a bWAR of 3.3, and Fangraphs placed a dollar value of $20.4 million on him. So you can say that Brett wasn't as good as any of us hoped, but you can't say he was worthless. And to lose that much production, without getting anything significant back, would most certainly hurt.

So what would be "good"?
No, not Starlin Castro.
Yeah, I know. The rumors surrounding a swap of Gardner for Castro have been shot down. But we can still learn something from them.

First of all, Castro is a shortstop, and the Yankees certainly don't need one of those. While Didi Gregorius wasn't an all-star last season, and likely won't be next year or the year after that or... you get the picture, he's still does a very good job at short.

Secondly, even if Starlin were to move to second base (he did play there for 258 innings last season), I'm not sold that he'd be that much better than the combination of Dustin Ackley and Rob Refsnyder. Castro is likely to improve at the plate next season, as he is only 25 years old. But on that note, Ackley is just 27 while Refsnyder is 24. And it's not out of the realm of possibility that Dustin and Rob would be just as good... if not better.

In fact, the best possible outcome of a Gardner for Castro swap would be the Yankees signing Jason Heyward or Justin Upton to replace Brett in the outfield. And even if that were to happen, I'd still look back at the Gardner/Castro trade and sigh, because no matter the situation you want to get the most you can out of players.

I felt the same way, and said so much, when it came to the Red Sox trade for Craig Kimbrel. I understand that Boston has a very good farm system, and can certainly afford to take the hit it took in that deal, but the fact of the matter is that the Sox still could have gotten more out of the package they sent away for Craig. Especially when you consider that having an elite closer is meaningless if you can't take a lead into the 9th inning anyway.

Look, we're bound to hear more rumors about trades involving Brett Gardner, and it could turn out that Gardner is on the team come Opening Day 2016. But let's not be content with just anything. If Cashman can turn Brett Gardner into Carlos Carrasco, then that would be fantastic, as it makes the 2016 rotation look mighty good (Tanaka, Carrasco, Pineda, Eovaldi, Severino *drool*... and yes, I'm trying to forget that Sabathia would be in there somehow).

A deal involving Brett Gardner has to result in a "win" for the Yankees. After a deal like that, we have to be able to look at the team and clearly see an improvement. We absolutely should not have to wait around for the team to sign a Jason Heyward in order to be happy with it.

Make sure you don't fall into the "any trade would be a good trade" trap.

No comments:

Post a Comment

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