It sounds crazy, but what if the Yankees go all out at the trade deadline?
Let’s preface this by saying we’re not advocating for such a trade, but in a campaign as uncertain as 2020, we’re also not going to rule out New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman making an unprecedented splash.
The Bombers need pitching, and the latest rumors suggest Cashman will be targeting a lot of that leading up to the Aug. 31 deadline. But what if the Yankees GM decides to explore the idea of a blockbuster trade that involves pitching, hitting and defense?
The Colorado Rockies just endured a slide, losing 12 of their last 15, which might be hard to rebound from when you consider the rest of their schedule features tilts against the Diamondbacks, Padres, Dodgers and Athletics. Would they be interested in selling? If so, would the Yankees ask them about a Nolan Arenado-Kyle Freeland package?
After all, the Yankees were the favorite in Vegas to acquire Arenado in the offseason!
This offseason featured a lot of drama between Arenado and the organization, and it’s unclear where the two stand at this point. What we do know is that the uncertainty that 2020 brought definitely made teams hesitant about making deals and bringing more money onto their books.
There’s long been buzz about the Yankees trading for Arenado, but the presence of Gio Urshela has perhaps changed all of that chatter. Then again, now the Yankees could put together an enticing package that features Urshela and Clint Frazier (for starters). Urshela is under club control through 2023 and Frazier is through 2024.
The Rockies aren’t exactly big spenders, so that would give them two offensive cornerstones for the foreseeable future and free up a lot of money to spend elsewhere (Arenado signed a $260 million deal in Feb. of 2019 and has an opt-out clause after 2021). Assuming the relationship remains the same, he’s likely going to exercise that and explore free agency.
But what if he lands in New York? He’d be much less inclined to opt out given he’ll be on a winning team and become one of the faces of the most famous sports franchise in the world. Just a thought!
As for Freeland, he’s a lefty, which is what the Yankees need right now, and has proven to be solid at Coors Field (4.17 ERA in 248 innings pitched). That’s the most hitter-friendly park in the league, so if he can keep it together under those conditions, Yankee Stadium shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Aside from his disastrous 2019 campaign, he’s been pretty good, maintaining a 3.34 ERA in 72 games (67 starts) in 2017, 2018 and 2020.
While this sounds great, it’s likely a pipe dream. As we said, Urshela and Frazier would only begin the talks in this potential package. Deivi Garcia would likely have to be included (or Clarke Schmidt, but fans wouldn’t be happy about that). Then you have to consider a couple more top prospects (Luis Gil, Oswald Peraza, Estevan Florial?) to make this a reality.
Would fans like to see this or is it too much for the Yankees to surrender at the moment? Another factor to consider is if this would mess too much with team chemistry/locker room dynamic. There are a lot of things to consider here, but the good news is that we likely don’t have to stress because such a deal isn’t likely …
…but maybe it becomes more of a reality in the offseason.