After losing to the World Series Champion Houston Astros in the 2017 American League Championship Series, the New York Yankees will be looking to switch some things up, making trades in the offseason that will prepare them for the 2018 season. Although the club dispatched the streaky Cleveland Indians in the American League Divisional Series, falling short of a World Series berth has put rebuilding at the forefront of this offseason. But, while it might seem as though general manager Brian Cashman is going to make some big moves in the coming months, he says that he’s not in any rush to do so.
“We have a lot of good players signed, so we’re not in a situation where we have to be pressured into moving fast on anything,” he told MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch a few days ago.
ESPN reports the most likely scenarios with the current team.
“The Yankees will look to re-sign CC Sabathia, but for far less than the $25 million that the big lefty made in 2017. They will talk with Todd Frazier’s representatives, but with Chase Headley already signed for 2018 it is unclear how much they will offer Frazier to play third. The Yankees could look to trade Headley, Starlin Castro and Jacoby Ellsbury.”
Not only is the Yankees organization looking for strong bats to fill out the lineup, the team will also be looking into pitching prospects. Perhaps the biggest pick-up for the team would be 23-year-old Shohei Otani, known as the “Babe Ruth of Japan.” However, the Yankees are going to have to get into the trade game in a big way if they want to see big things happen.
And, don’t forget, the team is also seeking a new manager after the announcement that Joe Girardi wouldn’t be returning for another season. According to the New York Post, top picks for the gig currently include former Yankees players Aaron Boone and Hensley Meulens, Yankees bench coach Rob Thomson, and former Indians manager Eric Wedge. According to Bleacher Report, Carlos Beltran may also land an interview with the organization.
Here are the top 5 trade rumors:
1. Yu Darvish, Los Angeles Dodgers
Darvish, a 31-year-old right-handed pitcher, competed in the 2017 World Series with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but seemed to buckle under pressure. Nonetheless, Darvish is one of the best pitchers in the major leagues. This, of course, translates to a hefty price tag that may put the Yankees out.
According to Sporting News, Darvish may end up heading to Minnesota to pitch for the Twins. Meanwhile, NJ.com predicts he’ll ink a deal with Chicago. The site also notes that a “drop in price” could make him more appealing to the Yankees starting lineup.
- Stats with the Dodgers in 2017: 4-3, 3.44 ERA, 9 starts, 49.2 IP, 61 K.
2. Mike Moustakas, Kansas City Royals
Could it be time for “the moose” to leave Kansas City?
The 29-year-old right-handed batter would be a huge pick-up for New York. He would add some additional depth to the team’s batting lineup and would be great at third base, perhaps moving Chase Headley to DH (he becomes a free agent in 2019). Moustakas would be quite the addition to the team’s batting order, one that would have pitchers shaking in their cleats.
“Since Moustakas is coming off a career year, one in which he blasted 38 homers, drove in 85 runs and slugged .521 with less than 100 strikeouts, it’s fully expected that the 29-year-old slugger will be looking for a deal in the neighborhood of $17-19 million per season for five or six years. While a sweet swinging left-handed stick is certainly something that the Yankees could use in their predominately right-handed lineup, adding Moose seems like a bit of a stretch considering the No. 1 prospect in all of baseball, Gleyber Torres, could be major league ready by mid-July,” writes FanSided’s Mike Calendrillo.
Stats with the Royals in 2017: .272 average, 555 AB, 75 runs, 151 hits, 24 doubles, 38 HR, 85 RBIs, 0 SB, 0 CS, 34 BB, 94 K, 148 games.
3. Mike Minor, Kansas City Royals
Minor would be a great addition to the Yankees bullpen. His name would give the team a bit more confidence when it comes to relief pitching. The 29 year old’s left-handed delivery would be a welcome addition in the Bronx, without a doubt.
“Minor has had a lot of arm issues (he missed 2015-16). But in his first year as a full-time reliever, he appeared in 65 games, handled multiple innings well, was closing by the end of the year, had his fastball tick up to work with his fantastic slider and held lefties to a .423 OPS. A pen with Minor, Aroldis Chapman, Green, David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle and perhaps a rejuvenated Dellin Betances would mean having multiple high-end weapons available daily and would be a force not just in the regular season, but the postseason even more so,” writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
Stats with the Royals in 2017: 6-6, 2.55 ERA, 6 saves, 65 games, 77.2 IP, 57 hits, 23 runs, 22 ER, 5 HR, 22 BB, 88 K
4. Lance Lynn, St. Louis Cardinals
According to NJ.com, Lynn could fill that No. 3 slot behind Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka — if the team doesn’t sign Otani. Rumors that the Yankees would go after Lynn, 30, have been around since the summer. According to the New York Daily News, Lynn would be an option if the Yankees decided against signing Sonny Gray.
“At age 30 the right-hander as bounced back after missing last season due to Tommy John surgery to pitch well _ 8- 6 with a 3.21 ERA in 21 starts. He gets a lot of ground-ball outs and is very tough on right-handed hitters, holding them to a .183 batting average, but has also given up 21 home runs.”
Stats with the Cardinals in 2017: 12-11, 3.03 ERA, 31 starts, 175.1 IP, 172 hits, 66 runs, 59 ER, 13 HR, 68 BB, 167 K.
5. Alex Avila, Chicago Cubs
Avila, who played for the Tigers for several years (2009-2015), is one of the best available catchers. The 30 year old earned $2 million with the Chicago Cubs in 2017. Not only is the free agent “affordable” for for the Yankees, he bats left and has a high on-base percentage (see his stats below).
NJ.com predicts that Avila will sign with New York.
“Avila would be an upgrade as a No. 2 catcher over Austin Romine, who is a good receiver but doesn’t have a strong throwing arm and isn’t much of an offensive threat. Avila is a solid defender, but has a better bat and more power than Romine.”
Stats with the Cubs in 2017: .239 average, 92 AB, 11 runs, 22 hits, 3 HR, 17 RBIs, 35 games.