With the Yankees rotation the way it is, it is clear they are going to trade for at least one starting pitcher in the next month before the single July 31 deadline. Yesterday, Conrad wrote a fantastic article on the potential pitchers the Yankees could acquire in the coming weeks. Today, I am going to look at a few of the Yankees top trade chips and why the Yankees may or may not want to trade them for pitching help.
The current top Yankee prospect, Garcia has been all kinds of incredible this season. Just last night, he threw 5 no-hit innings with 2 walks and 9 strikeouts. For an idea of how great his stuff is, check this out:
That is an unreal curveball, and his curve averages 2,900 RPM. That spin rate would place him in the top 15 if he were in MLB. Just 20 years old, he is also young for a player dominating AA the way he is. This season, he has pitched to a 2.78 ERA and has a K/9 of over 15. Last week, he tied Adam Warren of all people for the Yankee minor league record with 15 strikeouts in a game. The 5’ 9” righty is clearly getting better, and he has vaulted into the top 50 prospects or so in all of baseball.
The argument against trading a player like this is why trade a SP prospect for a SP? Well, you never know what will happen to a starting pitching prospect. TINSTAPP (There is no such thing as a pitching prospect) was developed for a reason because there is risk for all pitching prospects. Especially because Garcia is only 5’ 9”, there is concern if he can hold up over an entire season or how well his fastball will play coming from that height. Having said all that, Garcia is the type of prospect you only move for an ace caliber pitcher like Scherzer or someone with multiple years of team control left. If Cashman moves Garcia, you know it’s because it is for a starter that he loves.
A top 100 prospect going into the season, Florial has struggled with injuries and only played in 15 games so far. He is still shaking off the rust performance-wise, but all the tools that make him such an exciting player are still there. MLB Pipeline rates him as well above average with power, speed, fielding, and throwing. It is the hit tool that lags behind with Florial, but if he can get some bat consistency his potential is an All-Star caliber center fielder.
Florial is currently in High A Ball which means he has a ways to go before being ready for the big league team. With the Yankees current roster and window that makes him more expendable in a trade. Although I love high-tooled prospects, there is a chance Florial never figures out how to hit and cannot make a major league roster as more than a fourth outfielder. With that in mind, I would be willing to include Florial in any deal for an upper-tier starting pitcher such as Marcus Stroman or Matt Boyd.
The reason I wrote about Frazier after Florial is to draw a comparison between the two. Florial is a better defender and has such exciting tools, but at just 24, Frazier has shown that he can excel against major league pitching. The only reason Frazier is not on the team right now is because of a roster crunch and not because of performance issues. There are not that many 24 year olds who can hit to a 120 wRC+ the way Frazier has this season. The bat is immensely valuable and you hope he can figure out his defensive woes.
Defensive and attitude issues aside, Frazier is an incredibly valuable player and the Yankees should be judicious if they trade him. There have been reports that Frazier will not be dealt for a rental pitcher, and I agree with that. In fact, I would argue Frazier is a more valuable trade chip than Deivi Garcia because he has shown he can perform at the major league level. Don’t let the defense or the Instagram-deleting ways fool you into thinking Frazier should just be dumped elsewhere. He is going to be a really good player for a long time, and if the Yankees trade him, it better be worth it.
The last player I want to highlight is last year’s first round draft pick Anthony Seigler. The switch-hitting switch-throwing catcher was injured to start this year and has only appeared in 10 games thus far. However, in those 10 games he has walked 9 times and struck out only 6 which shows he has an advanced approach at the plate. As Aaron Boone loves to say, he knows how to control the strikezone which makes him valuable and gives optimism to his future success.
The reason I bring up Sieglier is because the Yankees recently traded another first round pick when they sent Blake Rutherford to the White Sox as part of the David Robertson, Todd Frazier, Tommy Kahnle trade. Rutherford was the highlight of that trade package and it shows Cashman is willing to trade guys away a year after they are drafted. Although I doubt Seigler gets traded because he has such little game action since being drafted, he has a lot of value as a prospect and I would not be shocked if he was part of a larger package for a top flight pitcher.
The Yankees have several high-end players they could trade in the next month for starting pitching help. I would not be surprised if one or more of the players on this list are no longer in the Yankees system after July 31. It’s time for NinjaCash to do this thing.