Yankees can reinforce rotation with this trade with division rival


The Orioles want to get better by any means necessary. Can the Yankees help them out?

Don’t laugh when you read this: the Baltimore Orioles aren’t close, but they certainly aren’t terribly far away from respectability.

If you had the reinforcements they had coming down the pike, you’d be relatively confident, too.

But even in the rosiest projections, 2021 is not a part of the O’s open window, and in their contention plan, the team’s current near-28-year-old “ace” probably won’t be fronting their idealized rotation. Baltimore also isn’t in a position to turn down opportunities to get better based on the source of the proposal.

Lefty John Means, who emerged out of near-nowhere to be an All-Star representative in his rookie season in 2019, then built on that success in some ways while regressing in others last year, isn’t going to be dealt before Opening Day. But by the All-Star break, especially if the surface numbers don’t necessarily improve? That’s a different story.


The Yankees saw first-hand in 2020 that the O’s have young rotation options on the horizon, with both Dean Kremer and Keegan Akin taming their beastly lineup throughout the shortened season. Unfortunately for the Yanks, those aren’t even the guys Baltimore intends to lean on moving forward.

Grayson Rodriguez (No. 2 on MLB Pipeline’s Top 30) and DL Hall (No. 4) are supposedly the winning lottery tickets. Kremer, who showed off a four-pitch mix and bedeviled the Bombers last year, is No. 10. Akin, the pudgy lefty with an attitude? No. 15. Add in Michael Baumann (No. 9), Zac Lowther (No. 11), and Kevin Smith (No. 12), and there is a lot of pitching firepower en route for the O’s — and none of these names are “Means,” who posted a 4.53 ERA and 5.60 FIP this past year, yet also got his WHIP under 1.00 (.985) and continued to whiff a batter per inning.

Projecting a Yankees-Orioles John Means trade

The parameters of this deal could best be described as a “moderate overpay”. As always, the Yankees would likely trade from their 40-man glut first; perhaps two pitching prospects near the major league level, like Albert Abreu and Luis Gil, would be the front of the package?

Add in a back-end top 30 guy (No. 22 2B/OF Trevor Hauver?) and you might have a satisfying match for both teams.


No, Baltimore isn’t particularly close to the top of the AL East, but they’ve got a game plan.

They’re also still non-threatening enough that they would be unwise to turn down the Yankees’ overtures if they ever have the best offer on the table for a certain target.

Keep your eye on this match as the season progresses.