Yankees Stand Strong On Trade Demands From Braves

Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /

If the Atlanta Braves are serious about acquiring Brian McCann from the Yankees, they’ll be forced to deal from their crop of young players.

We know the story by now–the Braves want a reunion with McCann, who previously spent nine seasons with their big league club. But the Yankees, who signed the power hitting catcher back in 2014, aren’t forced to jettison the seven-time All-Star just yet.

So it makes sense that the Yankees are standing firm in their position that if they were to deal from a place of excess (see Gary Sanchez), they want club controlled assets in return.

Enter Mike Foltynewicz and Ender Inciarte.

Now just to clarify, the Yankees aren’t asking for both of these guys, rather just one–in addition to not having to pay another dime of McCann’s remaining $34MM salary (which may be a bit difficult).

Foltynewicz was a first-round pick of the Houston Astros back in 2010. He found his way to Atlanta after being involved in the Evan Gattis trade prior to 2015. The former top 100 prospect, put together his best professional season to date in 2016, amassing a 9-5 ERA with a 4.31 ERA and 111 strikeouts in 123.1 innings pitched.

No, they’re not Earth-shattering numbers, but for a 25-year-old injury free starter that never before surpassed 87 innings at the Major League level, he’s definitely trending in the right direction.

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The 6’4″, 200lb right-hander has a five pitch arsenal that includes a fastball that regularly sits around 95mph. Scouts praise Foltynewicz’s ability to pitch to contact while keeping the ball down in the zone, minimizing his overall risk for allowing the long ball. The fact that he only walked 2.55 batters per 9 innings is another intriguing stat that makes the Yankees brass’ mouth’s water. It appears Foltynewciz’s overall ability would translate very well to Yankee Stadium.

As far as Inciarte is concerned, I don’t quite understand the Yankees’ desire to add another light-hitting speedster to the mix. I get that he’s 26 and left-handed–which could translate to a few more home runs while playing at home, but unless he is the replacement for Brett Gardner right now, Inciarte doesn’t do anything but further add to the Yankees’ logjam of outfielders.

Adding a player who is coming off a season that saw a .291 batting average with 3 home runs and 29 RBI is not the type of addition that will instill confidence in players and fans alike.

The other wrinkle is that Inciarte, who has only been in the big leagues for three seasons, has yet to play over 132 games due to a vast array of injuries. A small sample size for sure, do the Yankees  really need another guy with a propensity for missing extended periods of time?

If the club could somehow cast away Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury then fine, I’d be willing to take a chance on a younger, more explosive option. But this likely won’t likely happen anytime soon.

With the 2016 season still a few weeks away from officially ending, we are in for a lot more of these trade rumors, especially when it comes to McCann and his impending divorce from the Yankees.

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I just hope that if the club does decide to move the 12-year vet, it’s because the piece coming back to New York is one that will benefit the club for years to come. The last thing we need is another question mark.