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TAMPA, FL. APRIL 11: during the Florida State League game between the St. Lucie Mets (Mets) and Tampa Tarpons (Yankees) on April 11, 2019 at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, FL. (Mark LoMoglio/ Tampa Tarpons)

The marginally less painful potential Deivi Garcia trades

Here’s a disclaimer. Unless we’re talking Max Scherzer – which will never happen – I will be devastated to see Deivi Garcia go. There’s a reason why he’s been called a mini Pedro since he was a kid. He is truly a special talent.

Deivi Garcia is the youngest player in AAA after soaring through two levels of the Yankee farm system to get there. In 76 innings pitched Deivi is sporting a ratio of 14.6 K’s/9 and a 3.17 ERA. The downside though has been his walk rate. Deivi has 4.5 BB’s/9 but even with that high walk rate, it didn’t stop Deivi from dazzling us by kicking off a combined no-hitter in Tampa. Moments like that show, despite some command issues, he has all the talent in the world to blaze out of self-made quandaries.

The Deivi Garcia hype train is not just coming from run-of-the-mill fans like me either. The experts are jumping on the bandwagon too. When Keith Law released released his top mid-season prospects list, here’s what he had to say about Garcia:

“There’s a ton of deception in his delivery — from behind the plate, I can’t pick the ball up until the last possible second from his hand — and he pitches in the strike zone with the confidence of a big leaguer,” Law writes. “I can’t put a huge ceiling on a kid this small, but I like him as much as I can like a pitcher this size and weight.”


Deivi Garcia is great. We know that. Here is something else to consider about the Yankees in 2019 though. They are something special and seem to win against all odds. Case in point with how they have performed in J.A. Happ‘s starts. In those games the team is 13-6. This is crazy considering Happ has greatly under performed in the first half.

To really understand how special overcoming Happ has been, you have to take into account Happ’s struggles. He’s got a 4.86 ERA, an even higher 5.11 FIP, 9.5 Hits/9, 2.9 home runs/9 and only has 7.6 K’s/9. Happ is averaging more hits than strikeouts and that is just no bueno. Statcast really paints of picture of his poor efforts as well.

This begs the question of what would happen if the Yankees had a solid pitcher? When you look at how the Yankees keep winning despite Happ, you’re seeing that they don’t need a Scherzer to really put themselves over – although, yeah, that’d be really sick if they were able to purge him from the depths of everyone’s fantasies. A good to great pitcher can suffice.

This is where Deivi comes in. (And it does pain me to even think of trading him but this is a kid EVERYONE will be asking for.) He can haul in the key arm that puts the team over. We’ve seen the last three world champions give up a piece of their soul to win a title. The Cubs traded the Yanks Gleyber Torres for Chappie. That resulted in a ring. The Astros traded away Daz Cameron as well as a few other top prospects and reeled in Justin Verlander. They got a ring too. The Red Sox traded away Yoan Moncada and were able to land Chris Sale. We saw them get a ring at the behest of the Yankees.

If I figured all this out, I’m guessing Brian Cashman did long before I did. By trading away Deivi the Yanks could anchor their rotation and thus, go to the promised land this year. Yeah, it’ll hurt to see him go, because I have all the faith in the world we’ll all be saying Deivi’s name a few years down the line, but ask the Boston Red Sox or Chicago Cubs how much they miss Moncada and Torres? They’re probably still shining up them rings.


If trading Deivi will hurt, we better see somebody pretty damn good put on the pinstripes. It has to be somebody with a proven track record and isn’t to be looked at as a “savvy move” the way everyone saw with Sonny Gray. My list of potential and somewhat realistic suitors worthy of Deivi’s greatness is a small one for me.

I actually just leave it at two.


On the outset Noah Syndergaard is not having a Noah Syndergaard year. At times he’s looked more like the Thor who falls into disgusting shape after watching his friends melt away at the snap of a finger. Here is his full 2019 line:

119.2, 4.36 ERA, 3.67 FIP, 94 ERA+ 8.9 K’s per 9, 2.3 BB’s per 9, 8.7 Hits per 9

Other times he has looked like the God of Thunder he has billed himself as. Just look at one of his more recent lines against a surging San Francisco Giants team.

7 IP, 1 ER, 8 K’s, 1 BB

Now look, I get it’s a long shot. The Mets wouldn’t even trade the Yankees Jay Bruce. The thing is, times are different in Queens. Brodie Van Wagenen can sell a bloody stool to a failing kidney and convince the thing that this is the magic potion that will bring it back to life. He might be able to sell the Wilpons – the quintessential failing kidney – on such a deal if it starts with Deivi Garcia, Clint Frazier and Estevan Florial.

Brodie isn’t stupid. He’s seen the dumpster fire that he has built. This is the kind of move that can spare him for now. He’ll feels less foolish after trading Jared Kelenic for beans, the Wilpons  can come off feeling like they fleeced Brian Cashman if they recieve a haul and the Yankees have the first legitimate front line starter in pinstripes since CC in 2009.

“BuT tHaT’S tOo MuCh”, they’ll say on Twitter.

Is it though? Let’s go back to that Cubs trade. Don’t let the 20/20 vision of knowing what happens to some of these guys in their career blur the fact that, at the time, they were valuable trade pieces.

Yankees trade: Aroldis Chapman

Cubs trade: Gleyber Torres (34th best prospect by Baseball Prospectus in 2016, #1 prospect in their system)

Bill McKinney (#4 ranked prospect in the Cubs system)

Adam Warren: The Yankees really like him and always bring him back.

Rashad Crawford: He wasn’t a top prospect but at the top PinstripedProspects.com claimed he was “riding a hot streak.”

That’s a hell of a haul for a rental. On top of this, the Yankees ended up getting back Aroldis Chapman. In this case, the Yankees wouldn’t be watching Thor fly back home immediately after. He’d be under control by the team until at least 2022. That’s massive considering how good Syndergaard has been.

These are Thor’s career numbers coming into this season:

518.1 IP, 2.93 ERA, 2.55 FIP, 132 ERA+ 9.9 K’s per 9, 2.0 BB’s per 9, .7 home runs per 9

Syndergaard’s K’s/9 here is elite. It’s a tick under Chris Sale who is the all-time K’s p/9 leader with 11.0. Now here’s where that 9.9 K’s/9 stands next to greats like Randy Johnson, Nolan Ryan, Sandy Koufax, Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens:

Johnson: 10.6

Ryan: 9.5

Koufax: 9.3

Martinez: 10.0

Roger Clemens: 8.6

Even though this is a down year by Syndergaard’s standards, he’s still no slouch. In fact, what he’s going through now might just be a slow first half. Especially if you’re using statcast to compare his 2018 and 2019


Of course, if you’re looking at a more true ERA in SIERA*, well, you can argue that the year Syndergaard has put on  might be the true him. He has a 4.12 SIERA and a 4.36 ERA.

SIERA: Skill-Interactive Earned Run Average estimates ERA through walk rate, strikeout rate and ground ball rate, eliminating the effects of park, defense and luck. It adds little value and has been retired from the Baseball Prospectus statistical offerings as of 2011. See Lost in the SIERA Madre for more explanation. 


It’s tough to imagine a trade involving the Yankees and the Mets. I just wrote a lot there and the Waste-My-Breath potential is great. The same can be said for Trevor Bauer – and that’s not even counting the fact that the Indians are still in it.

Cleveland sports has been shaky lately. The Indians have under performed for the most part, Lebron went off to greener – or in this case, more purple and yellow – pastures and the Browns are looking to be the one constant over the next few years. So yeah, if you’re going to trade Trevor Bauer to the hated Yankees, you’re going to have to go all out. Remember how much of a blood feud this was back in the early 90’s? Ricky Vaughn striking out the vile and powerful Clu Haywood and essentially solidifying the division has been the closest thing to a World Series for a while.

Knowing all this, you can’t just come out with Clint Frazier and Thairo Estrada and go “Here Cleveland.” If they’re going to essentially give up on this season by dumping Bauer, it’s going to have to be like the type of deal I mentioned with Syndergaard. In some ways, that wouldn’t be much different of a deal than we saw between Houston and Detroit.

Detroit trades:

Justin Verlander

Houston trades:

Franklin Perez (#3 prospect in their system)

Daz Cameron (#9 Prospect)

Jake Rogers (#11 prospect)

The guys we’d be giving up would have to start with Deivi Garcia. There were reports saying the Indians liked Clint Frazier so he’s probably out the door as well if this happens. Florial, another guy the Indians were linked to, could also potentially be in the package. With this deal, you’re getting two guys high in the Yankee farm as well as a major league ready guy. That might not even get it done if Bauer is truly on the table and the Yankees may have to shell out more.

On the outset, it sounds like a lot. Maybe it is. Think of this though. Games 1 & 2 between the Twins and the Yankees this week wasn’t a measure of how much better the Twins were than the Yankees. It was just a matter of Yankee pitching imploding. You really got the feeling in the latter innings when our bullpen was in – not counting Chappie – that this is a team you can easily shut down with good arms.

Imagine these are playoff games. Same scenario. Same starters except, replace CC or German with Bauer. Let me know who wins that game? The money probably goes to the New York Yankees. Bauer could have a lackluster outing of 5 innings of 3 run ball and still, the Yankees have a good chance of keeping them back with their bullpen whilst still scoring more runs off theirs.

Reasons against trading Deivi Garcia and the kids

If the Yankees stick with Deivi Garcia and Clint – which I think they will – it’s because the analytics will tell you there isn’t that much of a difference between a guy like Robbie Ray, Noah Syndergaard and Trevor Bauer. Ray would cost you much less than those two simply because he doesn’t have their name.

It’s true that Bauer would by and large be the best starter in the Yankee rotation but as we learned from the Tunnel Nerds, they don’t value perceptions. Bauer eats innings (144.2 IP) and has a tremendous K rate (10.58 K’s per 9) but in the end, the damn nerds aren’t too worried about things like that. If you’re a believer in SIERA being a truer form of ERA well, take a look at this:


Robbie Ray: 4.03

Trevor Bauer: 4.13

Noah Syndergaard: 4.12

Maybe the Yankees get Ray and Title 28 happens. Maybe this is another “Savvy” move by the Yanks that backfires the way Sonny Gray did.