The Pirates traded Josh Bell to the Nationals, which makes way more sense than the Yankees.
Luke Voit, your job is officially safe.
While Taillon still makes perfect sense as a Yankees target (if the Pirates choose to value him properly as a recovering third starter rather than an automatic ace), the package deal with Bell never made much sense, and would’ve involved the departure of Voit elsewhere (even if Brian Cashman attempted to categorically deny such things).
Taillon is still on the table, but Bell has since departed on Christmas Eve, heading to the Washington Nationals in exchange for two pitching prospects.
Great! Now we can stop rationalizing his potential acquisition.
Based on the value Bell brought in a trade with the Nats, we can estimate the cost of a potential Yankees deal, which would’ve undoubtedly come with a Cashman Tax.
Washington surrendered two top-10 prospects in pitchers Eddy Yean and Wil Crowe from a relatively weak farm system. In Yankees speak? That’s probably either Deivi Garcia or Clarke Schmidt, along with Miguel Yajure — because Nos. 8 and 10 would obviously become Nos. 2 and 15 if we were involved.
Nothing about this potential target made sense from the get go, with Bell’s 1.5-year slump occurring exactly in tandem with Voit’s surge — and, of course, our slugging first baseman is very much still under cheap control.
But…a high hard-hit rate and a short porch…you could’ve seen Cashman buying low here, if the Pirates had let him.
This should indicate, however, that Taillon is still on the table. After all, when the Yanks were connected to both men, it was later shrugged off as something we had asked about that hadn’t been offered.
Now? Bell’s gone. Clearly, the Pirates were closer to pulling the trigger here than they indicated in the aftermath of the first leak. Keep pushing.
For a discount, that is.