The Rockies are a disaster — more so after trading Nolan Arenado. Who can the Yankees poach?
Brian Cashman made it fairly clear (ok, extremely clear) in his Friday media session that he’s perfectly comfortable entering 2021 with this roster, following the acquisition of Jameson Taillon, jettisoning of Adam Ottavino and short-term signings of Corey Kluber and Darren O’Day.
And that’s…actually pretty great. The Yankees’ starting rotation has enough depth that it can now officially count Deivi Garcia, Clarke Schmidt and Domingo German as insurance instead of No. 4 starters, and the one-for-one replacement in the ‘pen of O’Day for Otto at 1/4 of the cost was excellent work.
But the Yankees could always use more.
More starters with a longer track record of success and a strong injury history. More bullpen arms under the $4 million threshold. More lefty bench bats. More fringe 40-man offensive players with upside, like Mike Tauchman.
Tauchman, specifically, is why the Yankees had to be salivating when they watched the Rockies finally launch Nolan Arenado to St. Louis on Friday night, a disaster in every way for Colorado. They kicked in a huge chunk of salary. They accepted a lesser return because they couldn’t eliminate Arenado’s opt-out. And they ushered in a new era of potentially being a farm system for the rest of baseball, specifically the Bronx Bombers.
So, who will be next in the long and time-honored progression from Denver to the Boogie Down, following Troy Tulowitzki, DJ LeMahieu, Adam Ottavino, and DJ LeMahieu? We could really use some reinforcements — and no, not Trevor Story.
3. German Marquez
Should the Yankees dip back into the high-end pitching market?
German Marquez should be off the table, under normal circumstances.
But remember, there’s basically no longer a team in Colorado anymore. They’re going to have to build from below the ground up. So why not have these conversations?
At the age of 23 in 2018, pitching his home games in the paper-thin air in Denver, Marquez missed bats at an unbelievable rate, whiffing 230 men in 196.0 innings pitched, and posting a 3.77 ERA, a mark that ranks as exceptional under the circumstances. Since that season, he’s remained a reliable arm, leading MLB in innings pitched this past year, and has carried on largely as expected (4.76 ERA and a whiff per inning in 2019, 3.75 mark in ’20).
Marquez will be a free agent after the 2023 season, though there’s a team option on his docket that offseason. Theoretically, the price should be disqualifyingly high, but the Rockies just salary dumped Nolan Arenado to an NL contender, so anything’s possible.
And will Colorado really be contending in any of the next three years? Four? By then, Marquez’s prime will be ending. All of this is very depressing, yet true!
Even assuming a slight discount, Rockies GM Jeff Bridich should still demand Deivi Garcia in this trade, plus another high-octane pitching prospect like Luis Gil. Add the backsliding Miguel Andújar to the package and call it a day?