Derek Jeter and the Marlins could help the Yankees with this trade.
Look, Marlins, the Yankees took the Giancarlo Stanton contract to help your rebuild prosper, and it’s already paid dividends with a way-too-early 2020 playoff appearance (and series win!).
You scratch our back, we’ll scratch yours?
Objectively, Miami arrived on the scene earlier than anticipated in the shortened ’20 season, and though they have formed a competitive nucleus, the team will probably find itself overmatched once the parameters stretch back over 100 games.
This team has an offensive core mostly concentrated in the infield, from the pesky Jon Berti and Brian Anderson to whiz kids like Jazz Chisholm. They’ve also got a surplus of viable arms. Sixto Sanchez and Sandy Alcantara have already leap-frogged Pablo Lopez, and recent top picks like Braxton Garrett and Max Meyer are waiting in the wings.
So what if the Yankees strike while the iron is hot and attempt to poach 2017 first-rounder Trevor Rogers, whose 2020 debut was a bit less than overwhelmingly positive?
Debuts aren’t everything, but Rogers fell out of favor quickly in 2020, posting a 6.11 ERA in seven starts (while striking out 39 in just 28.0 innings pitched). Freshly 23, he’ll have to fend off the advances of Garrett, Nick Neidert, and even Meyer himself, as Spring Training approaches, and will be dogged with questions about a potential bullpen role, especially since he was unable to translate strikeout success to run prevention.
Miami has already proven they’re willing to deal MLB-ready starters, even as the rebuild ends — and this would be far less egregious than the Zac Gallen deal, which netted Chisholm from the Arizona Diamondbacks.
What can the Yankees present to both Don Mattingly and Derek Jeter that might appease them? Well, what about a fellow top pitching prospect and instant offense?
Only two years ago, Andújar was viewed as a top-tier hitter without patience and a long-term position — or, at least, not a comfortable one. 2019 was a lost season for the Rookie of the Year contender after shoulder surgery, but the Yankees saw flashes of the old Miggy in limited duty in ’20.
That duty was, however, limited mostly because the team seemed to grow tired of his antics throughout the year, trying him in the outfield and almost exclusively relegating him to the dreaded Alternate Site.
He can no longer be the centerpiece of any deal for a difference-maker, but the Marlins remain unsettled in both left and right field, and could use some offensive insurance in case Lewis Brinson’s bat never catches up with his pedigree.
Perhaps Andújar, paired with top 10 pitching prospect Yoendrys Gomez can get this done? That clears two 40-man spots for the Yankees, replaces Rogers for 2022 if not ’21, and gives the Marlins a wild card bat that Jeter has likely spied on in recent years. Would former Yankees lieutenant Kim Ng be intrigued, too?
It’s imperfect, but it’s intriguing.