All it took was for DJ LeMahieu to sign on the dotted line for the New York Yankees to get down and dirty on the free agent and trade markets. Right after they re-signed their MVP, the Yankees brought in Corey Kluber on a one-year deal and there are other reports suggesting a reliever or two could be on the way.
What else? Oh man, wouldn’t you like to know! Well, it seems as if general manager Brian Cashman has (maybe?) answered the calls from Yankee fans. According to the latest rumors, the Bombers have been in talks with the Cincinnati Reds in regards to ace Luis Castillo.
What’s even better than that? The rumored starting framework for a potential deal between the two sides. Per Venezuelan reporter Ricardo Gibbon, Clint Frazier and Miguel Andújar would be “key pieces” in any potential trade for Castillo.
We’re not sure what else the Yankees would have to cough up — though we imagine a few more significant pieces would have to be included — but this is a tremendous start if Cashman is serious about making this move. While the fans love Frazier, he’s probably of the few players the team can afford to part with. As for Andújar, he doesn’t really have a place on the roster.
If those are the Reds’ desired targets, there’s no reason why these talks shouldn’t continue with full steam ahead. While the loss of Frazier may seem significant to some, don’t forget the Yankees can still bring back Brett Gardner and are likely banking on a rebound season from Mike Tauchman. The addition of Greg Allen, though not that inspiring, certainly helps too.
Frazier, 26, no doubt has intriguing potential, but the Yankees need pitching right now, and if there’s one hitter they can afford to move without it affecting the identity or morale of the team/clubhouse, it’s probably him, solely because he’s played in just 162 games since debuting four years ago.
And again, though the addition of Kluber is promising, there’s no way we can prognosticate his performance in 2021. He’s made just eight starts since the beginning of 2019 and is coming off a fairly serious shoulder ailment. The upside is there and extremely promising, but far from guaranteed. The same goes for Luis Severino. He’s expected back in June or July, but he’s coming off Tommy John surgery and it’d be irresponsible to assume he’s going to quickly return to ace form.
Making a trade for Castillo would be a true championship move, even though it’ll likely cost the Yankees two more top prospects (Clarke Schmidt, Luis Gil, Alexander Vizcaino, Oswald Peraza?). The premier opportunity to win a championship is now with much of the American League getting weaker this offseason.
Just a week ago, everything seemed gloomy in Yankee Land. Now? Well, things are looking extremely promising.