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Yankees pass on another ace

Going into the trade deadline, I was expecting the price tag on Mike Clevinger to be massive. He’s 29, has three years of control left, and is a consensus top 10 pitcher in baseball. I figured that the asking price would start with a premium young big leaguer (Gleyber Torres) or a blue chip sure fire prospect (Jasson Dominguez.)

As it turns out, Clevinger went for way less that. The Padres surrendered six pieces, which seems like a lot on paper. However, they hung on to their top seven prospects, so what did they really give up? A few lottery tickets. Maybe one of them will hit. Maybe not.

The asking price

Yesterday, Andy Martino reported that the Indians were asking for two of the following:

Clint Frazier
Deivi Garcia
Clarke Schmidt

I am absolutely stunned that Brian Cashman didn’t jump all over this.

The pieces

Clint Frazier: Bat-first corner outfielder. Bat-first outfielders are the biggest commodity in the game. They are always available and around. Not a premium position by any means.

Deivi Garcia: His ceiling is probably a number three starter. Solid repertoire and poise, but he’s 5’9.

Clark Schmidt: Has already had Tommy John Surgery and hasn’t pitched a game in the majors. Like Garcia, his ceiling is probably around a number three starter.

The logic

You have one solid bat and two guys that hopefully turn into number threes, and you can’t give up even two of these for a top ten pitcher in baseball?!

I truly hope that Garcia and Schmidt can somehow turn into aces and lead the Yankees to the promised land. But who are we kidding? Other than one and a half good seasons from Luis Severino, the Yankees haven’t developed anything of substance on the starting pitching side in over 25 years.  (Please spare me the Jordan Montgomery/Andy Pettitte comparisons.)

The playoffs

The Yankees could’ve rolled into the ALDS with arguably the best staff in the American League:


Instead, they’ll be an arm short, just like last year.

Bullpen game? Happ? Something else?

Garcia, Schmidt and Frazier are nice pieces. However there is a very good chance that none of these three will even be on the postseason roster. The Yankees could’ve acquired a top 10 pitcher for the next three pennant races. Instead, they’ll head to the playoffs an arm short.

To be fair, this wasn’t supposed to be an issue. Cole and Severino were supposed to provide the vaunted one-two punch that we needed. It’s not Cashman’s fault that Sevy is out for the year. However, it is his fault for not replacing him on the cheap when he had a chance.