Yankees: 3 NYY trade targets you probably haven’t considered
By Adam Weinrib
The Yankees might have to think outside the box and trade for unexpected rotation targets this offseason. What about these?
The New York Yankees are entering an offseason where they should have a financial advantage over the rest of the league while insisting that advantage doesn’t exist.
It’s an interesting predicament.
If New York isn’t willing or able to flex its financial muscles, they could always explore one of Brian Cashman’s favorite activities: an unexpected trade!
Though the surprise names on the market aren’t quite as prominent this time around (Remember when Cash struck for Curtis Granderson? Good times.), there are still a few pitching options languishing on moderate-to-good teams that have largely been ignored.
The free agent market is going to fall somewhere between embarrassingly cheap (Brad Hand) and strangely expensive (Drew Smyly), but the mid-range pitching market could be wide open enough for Cashman to ply his trade in a few spots most people aren’t expecting. Allow us to pitch three options that could patch up the rotation at a relatively low cost.
3. Zach Plesac
The Yankees should be on the phone to the Indians about Francisco Lindor — oh, and Zach Plesac, too.
Remember two months ago when it was de rigueur to assume that both Zach Plesac and Mike Clevinger had played themselves out of Cleveland, never again to be accepted by that locker room?
Well, the Tribe dealt Clev to the west coast, where he unfortunately tore his UCL and has been forced to undergo Tommy John surgery. But Plesac was seen as the true insolent one in the COVID-related drama this summer, and yet he hasn’t really faced vocal consequences since returning to the team.
We advocated that the Yankees might have to consider him as a buy-low candidate this August, but it’s much more likely they attempt to pry him free now that the fervor has died down a bit and Triston McKenzie has emerged as yet another excellent young option for Cleveland’s always-transitioning rotation.
Lost in the drama and Shane Bieber’s emergence, Plesac posted a ridiculous 2.1 WAR and 2.28 ERA in eight starts, whiffing 57 in 55.1 innings pitched while keeping the ball on the ground. We’re going to continue to speculate about Matt Blake importing some ex-Blake disciples until it actually gets done, and Plesac should still be available at a similar discount to his August rate if The Land keeps participating in this mass sell-off.
Now that the shine of Plesac’s insubordination is a little bit muted, would Cashman explore something here?