Whether or not Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is adamant that selling is the proper course of action this week, his mission statement is straightforward – explore all options.
The first option, of course, was to part ways with big ticket items such as closer Aroldis Chapman, which brought back a considerably large haul from the Chicago Cubs. But a second option would be in the opposite direction, a path that has been traveled on several occasions in the Bronx.
Cashman is looking into selling and buying, just in case, and it would not surprise me if the Yankees tried for a big move — at least seeing, for example, if they could land White Sox lefty ace Chris Sale.
Late last July, the Blue Jays and Rangers were third-place teams — Toronto was seven games out, Texas eight — when they each obtained a lefty ace. Both rallied to win their divisions. Toronto, though, had a plus-100 run differential at the time, which suggested it was performing better than its record indicated, and obtained free-agent-to-be David Price.
These Yankees were minus-25 in run differential coming into Monday’s game in Houston, making the Rangers’ add of Cole Hamels the more apt comparison. Texas was minus-44. But Rangers officials felt the Astros and Angels in front of them were vulnerable — as Yankees officials see imperfect teams ahead of them now. Plus, Hamels had four years at $96 million left, so if the Rangers missed the playoffs in 2015, they still had Hamels for years to come, making the trade of big prospects more palatable.
Despite being nicknamed ‘Edward Scissorhands’ for destroying Chicago’s throwback uniforms on Saturday, the southpaw’s craziness doesn’t outweigh his dominance on the mound. The 27-year-old, who started for the American League All-Stars in San Diego this July, has proven on a regular basis to be one of the most consistent arms in baseball.
With a 14-3 record and 3.18 ERA, the price for Sale is already high, as FanRag Sports’ own Jon Heyman reported last weekend that the White Sox have demanded five prospects in return. The deal could make sense to a legitimate playoff contender, such as the Rangers, Dodgers, or Red Sox, who have an influx of talent in their farms along with vulnerable rotations. But for the Yankees, who have straddled the line of mediocrity, a covert negotiation for Sale wouldn’t be out of the ordinary.
Sale is signed through 2017, with two additional club options in 2018 and 2019 for a total of $38 million.