Yankees: If you’re gonna trade prospects, go for the big one

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports /

The Yankees are following the master plan adopted by Brian Cashman to let the prospects develop for a full year in the minors and then reevaluate after the season before trades are made. But there’s one prospect who can yield the most in return who doesn’t need any further development.

The Yankees continue to fly under the radar when it comes to planning for trades that may occur before the July deadline. Brian Cashman insists that unless a team knocks him over with an offer he can’t refuse, he’s not going to sit by the phone nor will he burn the digital lines up himself.

So, let me ask you something. What if the Dodgers called, dangling the name Clayton Kershaw out there. Or the Pirates called offering Gerrit Cole. Or maybe the Diamondbacks looking to trade Zack Greinke. The straight up price for any of these premier pitchers? You guessed it – Gleyber Torres.

Would you take the deal? You couldn’t just dismiss it, could you? I doubt it. And if you are looking to solve problem number one in one swift move, you could do it by adding any of these number one starters to the Yankees rotation.

The league is onto Mr. Slick

To get quality, you have to give quality. Cashman may have pulled off a couple of slick deals last summer with the Cubs and Indians, both of whom were going all in to get to the World Series, but the league is onto him, and it’s unlikely it can happen again.

The point is that superior pitching, while rare, is always available. You just have to know where to look to find it. And you also must be prepared to give up something to get it.

Besides, the Yankees don’t need any more prospects. Their cup runneth over. What they need are legitimate major league players who are in the 25-29 age bracket with their best years still ahead of them.

Money doesn’t matter; the Yankees can print that after this season. Losing Torres shouldn’t even matter as they have a stable of infielders on the way who can and will have long and fruitful careers. Will any of them be Gleyber Torres? Of course not. But at the same time, there’s enough talent there in Tyler Wade, Jorge Mateo, and Miguel Andujar, without counting others, to put a bona fide infield out there for years to come.

But if you go that route, ask yourself if Luis Severino will ever be Clayton Kershaw, Corey Kluber, or any number one starter in the big leagues today.

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The Mets once traded both Tom Seaver and Nolan Ryan. In 1973, the Texas Rangers traded future Hall of Famer Ferguson Jenkins to the Cubs. The Seattle Mariners traded away another Hall of Famer, Randy Johnson, to the Astros. And CC Sabathia almost singlehandedly won a pennant for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2008 after he was let go by the Cleveland Indians.

And we haven’t even mentioned Chris Sale. The point is that superior pitching, while rare, is always available. You just have to know where to look to find it. And you also must be prepared to give up something to get it.

Get in or get out

Should the Yankees trade Torres? Probably not. But if they decide that he’s the price for a number one, I wouldn’t be the first in line to knock the deal. You do what you gotta do.

And why give up three or four top prospects to make the same deal when you can surrender just one?

We’re just talking here because it’s more likely that the Yankees will stick to the plan and not trade anyone until the season is over and they can see what they’ve got.

But if they decide to go all in this season, like the Cubs and Indians did last year, why not go for broke as those teams did last year and not look back.

After all, Gleyber Torres has already been traded once in his young career. Why not a second time?