Yankees Simulation: In preparation for the FanSided Winter Meetings

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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For the second consecutive season, FanSided’s network of MLB blogs will conduct our very own MOCK Winter Meetings. What does that mean for the fate of the Yankees? We’ll find out beginning on Nov. 14th.

Oh to be Yankees general manager Brian Cashman this December in Las Vegas, when he heads to the Winter Meetings with a pocket full of money and a few holes to fill on the 25-man roster.

As we all know, the Yanks stayed below the $197 million luxury tax threshold in 2018, thereby resetting the penalty for next season.

The one thing Bomber fans can agree on is that the club needs to bolster its starting rotation. Although there are a few intriguing names to be had on the market (Patrick Corbin, Dallas Keuchel, Hyun-jin Ryu and others), many come with the always frustrating, qualifying offer.

This year, that number sits at an all-time high of $17.9 million — meaning we shouldn’t be surprised if clubs let their free agents test the market, settling for draft pick compensation outside the first round in lieu of a hefty one-year contract.

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While there are viable arms such as Nathan Eovaldi, Gio Gonzalez or Matt Harvey, that were traded in season and therefore do not come with a QO, the Yankees must decide the most effective strategy for assembling a World Series caliber rotation.

And as far as I’m concerned, a true ace — a legit No. 1, will only be found through trade.

So as faux GM, it’ll be my duty to grease the imaginary wheels and at the very least create a conversation for fans as to why these deals do or do not work. All comments (in good taste) are welcome — and I look forward to some well-thought-out possibilities.

As you can imagine, in speaking with some of the other 29 “GMs,” I’m getting a ton of chatter on top prospects such as Justus Sheffield, Estevan Florial and Thairo Estrada. Only time will tell which (if any) are dealt for immediate help at the big league level.

I’m especially looking forward to the bidding war of star-studded names like Manny Machado, Bryce Harper and Josh Donaldson. Will we get involved in any gargantuan contract offers? Maybe one or two.

Naturally, I’ll be looking to open a few major league roster spots, so it’ll be interesting to see who bites on Sonny Gray, Jacoby Ellsbury and perhaps even Greg Bird. Staying realistic and working as much as I can from the 40-man roster is the goal.

For the sake of this exercise, there is an actual commissioner that must approve all trades — and a player agent that will arbitrate contract offers to free agents according to best fit and of course, overall money and years.

Next. Speculation surrounds Sonny Gray and J.A. Happ. dark

If you missed any of the fun we had running this simulation last winter, here’s a recap of the moves I made on behalf of the Yankees.