What the Yankees Could Use from the Arizona Diamondbacks
The Yankees have a history of making trades with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Perhaps now would be time to take a look at what they have to offer.
The Postseason is in full swing, but for us Yankees fans, we’re already thinking ahead to free agency, the winter meetings, and of course Spring Training.
So as the season of speculation unfolds upon us, I’ll begin taking a look at the other 29 teams in Major League Baseball and determine the parameters for one potential trade, and one free agent signing that the Yankees and the club of the day could link up on.
Trading With the Diamondbacks
The long and short of it would be for me to pick out Zach Greinke or Paul Goldschmidt to swing a deal for but in the vein of trying to keep some semblance of reality–both have their reasons for being unfit in New York.
For Greinke it’s his social anxiety, limited no-trade clause, and huge contract–Goldschmidt would be a welcome addition, but the Yankees would have to give away a ton to acquire him, and besides, the organization is stoked to see the type of numbers Greg Bird can put up for an entire season.
You for one may enjoy the play of AJ Pollock, and while I think he’ll rebound nicely in 2017 after only suiting up for 12 games this season due to that horrific elbow injury, he’s 28.
Pollock’s really only had one outstanding campaign–in 2015 he hit .315, with 20 HR, 76 RBI, made the NL All-Star team and won a Gold Glove Award. With the Yankees’ plethora of outfield options, both in the majors and minors, I’m leaving him in the desert.
Also, I’m sorry to break it to you, but if you were hoping I’d select Shelby Miller, you got another thing coming. Miller may still have a teeny tiny bit of potential left inside that 6.15 ERA, 3-12 record, but I want nothing to do with another young inexperienced question mark for the rotation. The Yankees need stable arms to eat up innings and win games. Miller does neither of those.
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That’s why the guy I’m looking to pilfer from the D’backs is none other than third baseman Jake Lamb.
This left-handed hitting slugger reached career high’s in home runs (29) and RBI (91) this season. His .249 BA would be directly improved if he can cut down on a few of those 154 strikeouts.
I know that he’s not exactly most sure-handed infielder, having made 20 errors in 2016, but he’s got a rocket for an arm, and his solid range allows him to get to balls most third baseman otherwise wouldn’t, hence his 251 assists (third-most by a 3B).
At 26, this kid is still two years away from entering his professional prime–which is exactly the time he first becomes arbitration eligible.
So what would a low-cost power hitter, capable of abusing the short right field porch at Yankee Stadium cost?
Well, the Diamondbacks have their second baseman of the future in Jean Segura, but Chris Owings at shortstop is not the answer. Why not send them Jorge Mateo–who is still a ways off from contributing at the big league level (and not showing signs of being any better than Didi Gregorius or Gleyber Torres).
If the D’backs are hesitant on signing off on this deal, I’d offer up the likes of Kyle Higashioka, who at 28-years-old, put together an impressive 21 HR, 81 RBI campaign through two different levels of Minor League ball in ’16.
If Higashioka’s power is for real, he could easily compete with Wellington Castillo for the starting catcher position. Besides, now would be the ideal time for the Yankees to cash in on the career Minor Leaguer, he’s never going to play ahead of Gary Sanchez.
Signing a Former D’back
The only name that even remotely peaked my interest was Rickie Weeks.
At 34, Weeks’ best days are behind him, but as a late-inning bat and part-time player, he managed to hit nine home runs and drive in 27 in 205 plate appearances. He basically has the same skill-set as that of Rob Refsnyder, but with a lot more power.
While I’d take a flyer on him–in the neighborhood of one year, $2MM the Yankees will probably be reluctant because they’ll likely give Refsnyder one last chance to carve out a formidable bench role.