Here we go. As June begins, so do the hot stove rumors, and as usual, the Yankees are one of the first names brought up. Two separate reports yesterday had the Yankees interested in making a move to bolster their starting rotation, which has had its fair share of struggles so far this season.
First, it was CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman, stating that of the starters that could be available at the deadline, the Yankees would prefer Cubs starter Matt Garza to all of them. His list included not only Garza, but fellow Cub Ryan Dempster, as well as Brewers Shaun Marcum and Zack Greinke. According to Heyman, Garza would be at the top of that list because he has a history of pitching successfully in the American League East.
Later last night, Josh Norris of the Trentonian came out with a report of his own, stating that the Yankees and Nationals have “talked” about a trade involving Nats starter Edwin Jackson and Yankees IF Eduardo Nunez. Per Norris, the potential trade for Jackson could cost the Yankees Nunez, Tampa SP Nik Turley, and a Charleston outfielder.
So let’s evaluate a few things here. The biggest obstacle with any deal for Garza is the exact reasons the Yankees like him. The Cubs know that he’s had success in the American League East. The Cubs also know that the Boston Red Sox are interested. To go out and get Garza is going to cost the Yankees. I’ve heard that Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances are at the top of the Cubs’ wish list. If true, they would have to base the deal around Betances — I would not give up Manny Banuelos, and with how Betances has looked this season, I would sell high while you still can, but it would also depend on what else the Cubs would want for Garza. I’d say a fair package would be to offer Betances and a lower-level prospect like Cito Culver or Angelo Gumbs.
Next, let’s look at the potential of that trade with the Nationals. For a rental player, you’d be giving up Nunez, who has a major league bat and is working on the glove. You’d be adding in Nik Turley, a former 50th round pick who has scrapped his way through the system and has been likened a bit to Andy Pettitte. And on top of that, you’d be throwing in a Charleston outfielder — which means either Mason Williams or Tyler Austin, since I can’t imagine anyone wanting Ben Gamel or Kelvin de Leon. When Norris asked a Yankees official yesterday, the official commented that he hadn’t heard about the deal, but “wouldn’t be surprised” based on the Yankees feelings about Jackson. Let’s just hope those feelings to revert to the losing strategies of the early-2000’s and have the Yankees give up three good, young talents for a four month rental.