Yankees Are Interested in Vincent Velasquez and Marcell Ozuna?
According to George King III of The New York Post, the Yankees have expressed interest in Houston Astros 23-year old right hander Vincent Velasquez.
However, despite the fact that Velasquez would give the Yankees exactly what they need – a starting pitcher with team control beyond 2018 – King reports that a source ‘with knowledge of the situation’ indicated that the Yankees could potentially be planning to acquire the 6’3″ 205 lb pitcher and ship him over to the Miami Marlins for prized outfielder Marcell Ozuna.
The Astros and Yankees have been linked to a potential Andrew Miller deal, as Houston covets a dominant closer and the Yanks believe Dellin Betances could certainly take over as the every day closer if they move Miller.
So should the Yankees actually part ways with the 2015 American League Reliever of the Year in Andrew Miller, the Astros would almost certainly be willing to deal Vincent Velasquez.
Though Cashman remained adamant that he’s ‘open to anything’, I’m not so sure I would be comfortable dealing Andrew Miller.
For starters, Miller is signed to a team friendly deal with three years and $27 million remaining with the Yankees. Also, the Yankees biggest strength in 2015 was their bullpen, and by the looks of their off-season moves thus far, the Yankees will continue to need a dominant bullpen if they want to compete in 2016, especially after dealing Adam Warren to the Cubs in order to acquire Starlin Castro on Tuesday evening, and especially after Dave Dombrowski robbed Jerry Dipoto and flipped Wade Miley for Carson Smith and Roenis Elias, giving the rival Red Sox a dominant bullpen of their own.
Velasquez was drafted by the Astros in the second-round of the 2010 draft out of Garey High School in Southern California. Similar to Nathan Eovalidi, the 23-year old Velazquez throws gas and can reach upwards of 95 mph with his heater and 85 mph on his slider that he uses as his put-away pitch. He also has a curveball and change-up in his repertoire.
Marcell Ozuna on the other hand is a 25-year-old right-handed hitter who slashed .259/.308/.383 with 10 home runs, 44 RBI and a .691 OPS in 2015. Ozuna and his agent Scott Boras are apparently unhappy with Marlins organization after they elected to send him to Triple-A for 33 games in the middle of the 2015 season.
According to earlier reports, the Marlins have expressed interest in Yankees pitchers Bryan Mitchell and Adam Warren, but not only is Warren now a member of the Chicago Cubs, but both pitchers probably wouldn’t have been enough to land Ozuna in the first place, who is poised to breakout as he approaches his prime.
There are simply too many moving parts here for me to feel comfortable. The Yankees addressed their need for a young right-handed bat when they acquired Starlin Castro from the Cubs on Tuesday, so I don’t really see a need for Ozuna unless one of Brett Gardner or Jacoby Ellsbury are headed out-of-town. I also would behoove the Yankees not to take away from their bullpen, which is undoubtedly their biggest strength unless it’ll give them something they really need, which is controlled starting pitching!
What do you think Yankee fans? Let us know in the comments below!
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