Is this potential Yankees blockbuster trade a good idea?
The whispers about the Yankees and Athletics potentially coming together on a trade for right-handed pitcher Sonny Gray and first baseman Yonder Alonso has picked up steam over the past 24 hours.
According to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, scouts for the Oakland A’s were in Charleston, South Carolina on Monday night to vet some of the exciting young talent playing for the Yankees Single-A team.
For those unfamiliar with the faces plying their trade for the RiverDogs — the brightest names include 2016 first round draft pick Blake Rutherford, 19-year-old outfielder Estevan Florial, infielder Hu Jun Park and right-handed pitcher Freicer Perez.
A blockbuster trade centered around Gray and Alonso would certainly cost the Yankees a handful of these guys. Though many believe potential 5-tool player Blake Rutherford is untouchable, it will be interesting to see if general manager Brian Cashman feels the same.
More from Yankees News
- Diamondbacks outfielder’s comment on Carlos Rodón’s IG raises eyebrows
- Aaron Judge Time interview scared Yankees as much as it scared you
- Why weren’t Yankees in on Kodai Senga now that we know the price?
- Baseball Reference proves Yankees’ Aaron Judge lives rent free in Boston
- Yankees’ Clay Holmes trade just became even bigger disaster for Pirates
After all, one would think that two-thirds of the big league outfield is tied up for the foreseeable future by Aaron Judge and Clint Frazier. Throw in Aaron Hicks and a healthy Dustin Fowler, and well, it’s hard to see where the 19-year-old Rutherford, who is still refining out his power stroke, would fit in.
The 27-year-old Gray has been solid this season — 5-4, 3.72 ERA, 1.157 WHIP and a 79:26 K:BB ratio. After a disastrous 2016 campaign which saw the former AL All-Star go 5-11 with a 5.69 ERA in only 22 starts due to injury, the Yanks need to think long and hard if they honestly feel Gray’s best days are still in front of him.
With the news that semi-effective starter Michael Pineda will miss the remainder of the season with a torn right UCL, presumably ending his Yankee tenure, Gray would slot in nicely behind Masahiro Tanaka, potentially giving the club an upper echelon 1-2 punch.
Again though, as talented as the top of the rotation could be, it comes with a litany of injury concern.
As for the first base situation, recently acquired rookie Garrett Cooper put together his first three-hit game on Monday night against the Twins. Unfortunately, if you follow the Yankees, then you know manager Joe Girardi is at times reluctant to play his inexperienced guys.
Even at the current pace in which fellow rookie Clint Frazier is absolutely mashing the ball, we still don’t know if he’ll start over veterans Jacoby Ellsbury or Brett Gardner on a day to day basis.
As for Alonso, he fits the Yankees’ iota — he’s cheap, about to become a free agent at season’s end and has a left-handed swing made for the short porch at the Stadium.
But he’s been slumping badly since coming back from the All-Star break — as his batting average now sits at .269. Even still, it’s a whole lot better than the collective .208 average by Yankee first baseman.
A quick word of caution to all the Alonso believers — his career high in dingers before this season was nine, way back in 2012 as a member of the Padres. This very well could be a career year and that’s all.
Next: Is there another Frazier coming to town?
With Greg Bird set to miss at least the next six weeks due to surgery on his injured right ankle, if Alonso were to be acquired, it would be a nice audition to see the value he brings to the table for the future. It also doesn’t hurt that his brother-in-law is Orioles superstar Manny Machado. Maybe, just maybe, the two would like to play together one day soon.