Yankees Trade Proposal Lands $5.5 Million Ace for Spencer Jones, Top Prospects

Brian Cashman

Getty New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman has been looking for pitching depth, and a trade with the Miami Marlins for Jesús Luzardo might be the solution

The New York Yankees are off to a good start in the 2024 season, but questions about the starting rotation that lingered during the offseason have largely remained unaddressed, particularly with franchise ace Gerrit Cole starting the season on the 60-day injured list.

It’s no secret that the Yankees have been after a blockbuster frontline starter acquisition. They were in trade discussions with the Chicago White Sox for Dylan Cease before he ultimately went to the San Diego Padres, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported. And they made a $72 million offer to free agent Jordan Montgomery before he joined the Arizona Diamondbacks, according to Jon Heyman of the New York Post.

Now, the team might be interested in acquiring 26-year-old southpaw Jesús Luzardo from the Miami Marlins, who is on the trade block, per The Athletic. Projecting the kind of deal that might land Luzardo in New York, Zachary Rymer of Bleacher Report projected they would trade top prospects Spencer Jones, Roderick Arias and Everson Pereira to the Marlins.

The New York Yankees Have Been Unwilling to Part With Prospect Spencer Jones in Trade Talks for a Pitcher

“Despite loads of interest, the Yankees refused to part with Jones over the winter,” Rymer noted. “Yet it’s hard to imagine them getting Luzardo without doing so. With Jasson Domínguez still recovering from Tommy John surgery, the 6’6”, 235-pound Jones is easily the most attractive prospect in New York’s system right now.”

Jones was at the center of initial trade discussions for Cease, and the Yankees refused to part with him even as recently as last month, as reported by Nightengale. And it seems unlikely the Yankees would be more desperate to acquire a starter now, given that they pitched for a top-five ERA as a team so far.

Ultimately, Jones might be untouchable in virtually any trade discussions. He has been a “main attraction” in Double-A this season, The Trentonian reported, and he slashed an outstanding .444/.583/.722 in 18 Spring Training at bats this year

The New York Yankees Have Been Searching for a Pitcher Like Jesús Luzardo

But if that fortune changes and they do get more desperate for a starter, perhaps if Cole gets some bad news during his recovery, Luzardo would answer their rotation questions in a big way.

“The Yankees are off to a 6-1 start, but that’s more so despite their rotation than because of it,” Rymer noted. “This is where Luzardo would fit in, and he would further help the Yankees’ rotation do something it’s currently struggling to do. At 18.7 percent, its strikeout rate is the fourth-lowest in MLB.”

In six big-league seasons, the 26-year-old Luzardo has a career 4.19 ERA in 79 career starts. In 2023, that ERA figure was 3.58 in 32 starts and so far this season, he has racked up 13 strikeouts in two starts. Perhaps most appealing for a Yankees team that is pushing up against significant tax consequences for its payroll is the fact that Luzardo is under club control until 2027 and currently owed a mere $5.5 million this season

Despite his relatively affordable price for 2024, Luzardo has the kind of talent that is projected to earn a six-year, $90 million deal, according to The Athletic.

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