Prospects the Yankees Can Afford to Part With This Offseason
By Phil Akre
Before the 2016 trade deadline, the thought of trading Mateo would have seemed ludicrous. He is considered the fastest player in the minor leagues and his bat has improved as he’s grown through the minor leagues.
But now, the Yankees have Didi Gregorius entrenched at the position after his breakout 2016 campaign and with three years of team control remaining. Behind him, super prospect Gleyber Torres is waiting in the wings to take over. Torres will be there sooner or later, as he is just 19 years old and already looking to start 2017 in Double-A Trenton.
Behind him, super prospect Gleyber Torres is waiting in the wings to take over. Torres will be there sooner rather later, as he is just 19 years old and already looking to start 2017 at Double-A Trenton after hitting .270/.354/.421 with 11 home runs and 21 steals in 547 plate appearances in High-A last year. He looks set to grab a big league job as early as 2018.
So where does this leave Mateo? Well, he may be the odd man out. Sure, he could transfer over to second base, or even center field. Does that mean Gregorius is traded? It’d be difficult to trade an established player such as Gregorius to make room for the unproven prospect.
Besides Gregorius and Torres, the Yankees have Kyle Holder, Tyler Wade, Wilkerman Garcia, Hoy Jun Park, and a ton of other high-upside youngsters who play short.
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There are whispers around the organization that Mateo earned his ticket out of town this winter with the murky incident that earned him a two-week suspension in 2016, possibly because he complained about not being promoted to Double-A at midseason.