Thursday, January 25, 2018

Ok, Guys. New Plan. Don’t Get Greedy JUST YET! Part 2

Earlier we went over some of the potential trade targets for the New York Yankees at the July 31st trading deadline when I realized that this post was going to be really, REALLY long. In hopes of avoiding some of those “too long, didn’t read” comments that just make a writer and content creator cringe I decided to split this up into two posts, this one covering the National League teams and potential targets. One post, two posts or ten the plan hasn’t changed. Be complacent for now, get greedy later.

National League:

Atlanta Braves:

The Braves have a young and developing core of positional players that they are unlikely to trade if the team once again finds itself at the bottom of the National League East but one thing the team does have is young pitching. The headliner of this young Braves staff is Julio Teheran, and he could be a target for the Yankees in July if the team needs starting pitching help. Teheran does walk a few more batters than you would like, and he has been prone to the home run more than you may be comfortable with as he would be heading into Yankee Stadium, but the right-hander is just 27-years old and would come equipped with all the talent and all the raw essentials a starting pitcher needs that cannot be taught. It is worth mentioning that Teheran did pitch to a 4.49 ERA in what is considered to be a hitter-friendly park down in Atlanta, and that may scare a few away, but there is still enough to like about Teheran to peak the Yankees interest if he were to become available. Teheran is signed for two more seasons and $19 million total with an option for a third season at $12 million so it would take a ton to acquire him, but he might just be worth the cost for the Yankees.

Brandon McCarthy may be another arm that could be on the move, and would be a more realistic and conceivable acquisition for New York due to the fact that McCarthy is a veteran on a young, rebuilding team. McCarthy will make just $11.5 million in 2018 with the Los Angeles Dodgers being on the hook for $4.5 million of that. McCarthy has pitched in the Bronx before and did well, but that was quite a few years ago now. If McCarthy could fill the role of a CC Sabathia though, an innings eater that can keep his team into games and give them a chance to win, he could be a huge pickup for a team sprinting towards the playoffs down the stretch.

New York Mets:

It is very unlikely that those spiteful executives with the New York Mets would ever help the New York Yankees in any way, they basically said as much and proved that last season with the Jay Bruce debacle, but let’s pretend that the two rival New York executives kiss and make up. Would the Mets have anything the Yankees would find useful? Nope. (Well yes, but two can play the whole spiteful game, now can’t we?) Why? Because the Mets suck! I’d take Dominic Smith or some of that pitching though, just saying.

Miami Marlins:

Do the Miami Marlins have anything left that might strike the Yankees fancy? I mean, maybe. The team still has Starlin Castro, although I find it likely that he and his hefty salary is traded before the start of the season along with Christian Yelich, but if Castro is still a Marlin by July I would have zero issue with a reunion. I would even bet that you might be able to get Mr. December Derek Jeter to pay down some of his salary to facilitate a trade. It is just what Jeter does for his former club, allegedly.

Philadelphia Phillies:

The Phillies are an interesting team because they have been rebuilding for what feels like forever. I truly believe that the team is on the cusp of competing again either this season or next, but with the Washington Nationals presumed stranglehold on the division and the impending free agency of Bryce Harper and others the Phillies may decide that 2019 is the season they “go for it.” If that is their line of thinking, then the Yankees could potentially take a waiver on some of their bullpen arms including a veteran like Luis Garcia. Garcia is 30-years old and on a team friendly contract, but Philadelphia likely doesn’t know if the 2017 version of Garcia (2.65 ERA and 1.22 WHIP) is what the team has to look forward to in 2018 or if the four years prior (ERA around 5.00 with a WHIP pushing 2.00) are more of an indicator of the future. With a strong first half on a team that is struggling the Phillies may roll the dice and trade him in hopes of getting something good before a hypothetical fall off. If Garcia was pitching in July like he had last season with the Phillies that is a roll of the dice I would be willing to take if I were the Yankees, sometimes pitchers just figure it out later on in their careers than others. You never know.

Milwaukee Brewers:

I have given up on the notion that the Milwaukee Brewers will trade Travis Shaw or sign Mike Moustakas to a one-year deal unfortunately, but honestly, he is probably the only piece that the Brew Crew have that could likely interest New York. The Brewers have a ton of outfielders and the team presumably needs to trade at least one or two of them, but the Yankees have an outfield logjam of their own to deal with. If it isn’t Travis Shaw I don’t see the Yankees and Brewers matching up very well in a trade this July.  

Pittsburgh Pirates:

The Pittsburgh Pirates are reloading and re-tooling for the 2018 season the only way that this organization knows how, by rebuilding. Excuse the little tongue-in-cheek moment for me there but I have to admit that I have thoroughly enjoyed watching the Pittsburgh Pirates become relevant again and I absolute hate the fact that the team is likely going to fall back into mediocrity again starting in 2018.  The Pirates loss, well if we are being honest the Pirates fan base’s loss, can very well be the Yankees gain before the July 31st trading deadline. As of right now, but honestly not for long, Josh Harrison is in a Pittsburgh uniform and he is not happy about it after the trades that sent centerpieces Gerrit Cole and Andrew McCutchen to the Houston Astros and San Francisco Giants respectively. Everything that can be said about Harrison and how he can match up with the Yankees needs either at second base or third base have already been well-documented all over the Yankees blogosphere so I won’t reiterate all that here. He is a fit and it is probably the money that is keeping him from wearing pinstripes and shaving as we speak, but the money won’t be an obstacle in July when almost half his contract has already been paid by Pittsburgh. Harrison hits free agency after the season which could give the Yankees a huge boost for the 2018 season while also giving Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar a year to learn and breathe easy before both take over full-time responsibilities in 2019.

Half the Pirates 40-man roster is compiled up of former Yankees anyway, what’s a few more. By half I mean Francisco Cervelli, Ivan Nova, Nik Turley, and George Kontos. If I had written this a little earlier we could have added Johnny Barbato to that list as well, plus countless in their minor league system that are not on their 40-man roster.

St. Louis Cardinals:

The St. Louis Cardinals are expected to compete in 2018 so why are they on the list? Because when you’re a small market team you have to trade from your strengths to fill in the gaps with your weaknesses since you are not afforded the same luxuries as other GREEDY teams I know and love. The Cardinals have a strong farm system that is loaded down with starting pitchers which means that the likes of Michael Wacha could be moved at the deadline for a bat. Wacha comes with two seasons of team control, his final two seasons of arbitration, and could be an impact arm for any team down the stretch if traded. Is it unlikely that the Cardinals move Wacha? Yeah, probably, but it isn’t completely out of the realm of possibilities either in my opinion. The team actively tried to move Lance Lynn last trade deadline for the same reasons, although I will admit that Lynn was one-year away from free agency where Wacha is two which is a huge difference in the thought process, and I wouldn’t put it past them to have to try it again here in 2018 if they are close enough to competing.

Cincinnati Reds:

Rebuild time in Cincinnati! What does a team trade when they rebuild, you ask? Veterans. What veterans do the Reds have that could interest the Yankees you ask? Joey Votto is about the only one left. I guess if the Yankees needed another option at first base in the wake of a Greg Bird injury they could be interested in Votto, and don’t get me wrong I would love to have that monster, yet patient, bat in the Yankees lineup, but I doubt that the Reds first baseman would want to waive his no-trade clause to come to the Bronx. Maybe he is a ring chaser, I don’t know for sure, but I just don’t get that vibe from him whatsoever. Votto has six-years left on his deal though at $25 million a season plus a $20 million team option in 2024 making any deal with the Yankees, at least this season, unlikely.

San Diego Padres:

The Padres have a pair of former Yankees on their team that could be moved at the July 31st trade deadline, reunion time? I can’t see Chase Headley staying on the Padres roster all season long due to his contract and could be moved in July along with ultra-versatile Jose Pirela. Pirela is more likely to stay than Headley because of his age and contract but I have seen GM AJ Preller do some weird things in recent seasons out in San Diego, so you never know.

Clayton Richard does not have impressive stats for what San Diego considers to be their ace, but he has been durable and effective at times nonetheless. With two years remaining on his deal worth just $3 million annually the left-hander may just pique the interest of the Yankees if they are looking for a solid 4th or 5th starter, nothing more. For that price the Yankees could easily put him in their bullpen at some point down the stretch as well and get true value out of him, assuming San Diego makes him available.

San Diego also has Carter Capps and his weird, and borderline illegal, pitching motion but the right-hander underwent thoracic outlet surgery in October and has yet to live up to the hype that followed him in 2016 with the Miami Marlins. He would be an interesting one to keep an eye on though if New York were to need a bullpen arm down the stretch this season.

San Francisco Giants:

The San Francisco Giants don’t want, nor do they need, Jacoby Ellsbury but does the team have anything that the Yankees need? I mentioned earlier this offseason trying to pry Joe Panik away from San Francisco, but that was with a shiny new toy like Clint Frazier dangled in their face. Now that the Giants don’t need an outfielder after acquiring Andrew McCutchen from the Pittsburgh Pirates and after signing Austin Jackson to a free-agent contract that possibility may have passed. New York could dangle someone like Jordan Montgomery in their face, assuming that one of Justus Sheffield or Chance Adams are ready by July, but I find it unlikely now that the Giants will move Panik in any move here in 2018.

Mark Melancon reunion? Maybe. Melancon does come with a hefty price tag of $15 million in 2018 and $19 million in each of the 2019 and 2020 seasons but the interesting aspect of his contract is the opt-out clause written into it that the right-hander can exercise after the 2018 season. Do the Yankees roll the dice if Melancon were to say that he intends to opt-out after the season publicly? Maybe, because an arm like Melancon’s for a prorated $15 million would be an awesome, yet very greedy, addition to a team marching towards the postseason.

Colorado Rockies:

The Rockies, under no circumstances, are trading Nolan Arenado this season. Next season, before he hits free agency in 2020, is a possibility but right now it just isn’t. Get that thought out of your head. What could happen though is that the Rockies could start moving some of their “super bullpen” the organization has amassed this offseason if the team begins the season struggling out of the gate. Wade Davis, Mike Dunn, Bryan Shaw, Adam Ottavino, and Jake McGee look great on paper, but it will, and always has, come down to the starters in Colorado. If the starters struggle, the team struggles. Period. If the team struggles expect to see a move or two made to bring in some youth.

Also, I saw the idea of the Yankees acquiring Ian Desmond floated around earlier this offseason as a third base option. I, personally, am not a fan of this deal but the Yankees may be. Who knows? Stay tuned for that one.

Arizona Diamondbacks:

Just say no to Zack Grienke. Paul Goldschmidt would be nice, but this isn’t MLB The Show. Brandon Drury and Patrick Corbin were linked to the Yankees earlier this offseason in a potential trade and could be again in July if second base and starting pitching were still needs for New York, although Corbin would be a true rental as he prepares for free agency in 2019.

All of these players could be available depending on whether their teams are deemed contenders or sellers at the July 31st trade deadline. It is entirely possible that some of these teams will be in contention and trying to add pieces with the addition of the second Wild Card spot in each league. This is all based on how these teams project to be and stack up on paper. The game isn’t played on paper and you can’t predict baseball, no one knows that more than me, so keep that in mind before filling my inbox and Twitter with hate mail. I know my “trade proposal sucks” so I intentionally left my trade proposals out of this, but you would have to think one of Justus Sheffield, Chance Adams and Albert Abreu would be available in July as all three names have at least been discussed or asked for this winter as well as Clint Frazier, Mr. Red Thunder.

Not trading for Gerrit Cole and putting all their prospect eggs in one basket may have been the best thing the Yankees could have done this offseason. Sure, the Astros look better with Cole and look like a strong foe this season, but the games aren’t won and lost in December and January. They aren’t won and lost in July either but what happens in July usually has a big bearing on what happens in October. It isn’t always the best team that wins the World Series, sometimes it is the deepest and the hottest. With my plan the Yankees can be all three, and that is when you truly GET GREEDY.

Leave comments below in the comments section and @GreedyStripes on Twitter with your thoughts. Thank you in advance.

Daniel Burch

Owner of the Complacent Pinstripes


  1. Ok, Daniel, I have the patience of Jobe! I will not even contemplate trading anymore young top kids. We have a team now that can get the job done, as everyone keeps saying; "Injuries happen every year" we saw a team or two go down the tubes last year and every year from said injuries. We need guys that can play the OF and others for the IF etc. Clint, Gleyber, Estevan and our 6 deep pitchers (Not now on 25 man) should be off limits.
    We have a good mix of kids and pro's, leave it alone. Unless we can get another (Dope free) Roger Clemens.
    Sorry, don't mess with my last Gold Ring! LOL

    1. I am trying to get you that gold ring, Reed. I am not saying mortgage the future by any means. Just giving examples of targets that the Yankees COULD be interested in. Most of which are rentals which means top prospects would be off limits in any of those trades.

    2. Fine with me, good show Daniel!

  2. I had a longggggg bunch of words typed, hit Publish and it was gone!
    Didn't make a difference, come to think of wasn't important anyhow.
    So , I am going to go outside and hunt down that Fox that has the "Bosses" dogs barking this time of the night. Hay, it is a fair fight, the fox can see better than I can at night.


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