Top Five Arms Under 25 the Yankees Should Target This Offseason
Anyone who tells me that the Oakland Athletics have no reason to trade Sean Manaea this winter have not been paying attention to how Billy Beane does business the last few years. Oakland’s GM simply can’t stop himself from wheeling and dealing. With the lack of starting pitching on the market, look for both Manaea and Sonny Gray to both be shopped aggressively and bring back huge returns for the A’s.
Manaea may not have the ace upside of Gray, but he just finished a very solid rookie campaign, pitching to a 3.86 ERA and 4.08 FIP in 144.2 innings, striking out 20.9% of the batters he faced while walking 6.2%.
The 24-year-old has three potential plus offerings: a fastball that average 92.3 mph, a mid-80’s change, and a sweeping swing-and-miss slider. He struggled with his control at times in the minors, but made great strides this season in limiting free passes.
One red flag is Manaea’s injury history. The combination of a serious hip and shoulder injury knocked Manaea out of contention for being the number one overall pick in the 2013 June amateur draft. He fell all the way to the Kansas City Royals at number 34 and immediately went under the knife to fix both issues.
He also missed time with groin and abdominal injuries in 2015 and dealt with a sore back this September. Any pitcher you acquire is going to have some degree of injury risk, but the Yankees should be particularly wary about surrendering multiple top prospects for a guy with a laundry list of issues as long as Manaea’s.