Very rarely do MLB trades within their division. Even more rarely do the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox do business.
But for the first time since 2014, the rivals executed a trade that sent Adam Ottavino and Frank German to Boston in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations heading back to New York at some point.
But the main reason this all went down was because the Red Sox were willing to take on all of Ottavino’s salary ($9 million), which gave the Yankees more spending flexibility based on their self-imposed mandate of remaining under the luxury tax threshold.
While you could argue this trade in the Yankees’ favor given the circumstances, they still traded away a very talented player, who will now face them upwards of 19 times in 2021 (he’s a free agent after this season). And he dominates righties, which is nearly the entire Yankees’ lineup.
What point are we trying to make here? It’s not the best of ideas to trade talented players (even if they were underperforming) to your direct competition …
… especially after the Sox may have, at that point, already stolen an intriguing bullpen arm from the Yankees.
The Yankees lost Garrett Whitlock to the Red Sox in the Rule 5 Draft in Dec.
You might remember Garrett Whitlock‘s name getting called during the Rule 5 Draft a few months back when the Red Sox snagged him. The Yankees had no choice, however. They opted to protect more valuable assets in Oswald Peraza, Alexander Vizcaino, Yoendrys Gomez, Luis Medina and Luis Gil on the 40-man roster. There was simply no room for Whitlock, despite his upside.
So that put the Yankees at risk of losing him. And they did. And now he’s having a tremendous start to spring training with their most hated rivals.
The 24-year-old made his debut on Tuesday and absolutely tore it up. He tossed two scoreless innings and allowed just one hit while striking out two against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Unfortunately for the Yanks, a talented guy managed to simply fall into Boston’s lap. There was no way the Yankees were going to protect the right-hander after he had undergone Tommy John surgery midway through 2019 in favor of the other highly-rated prospects. It’s just an annoying situation all around, especially since the organization likely wanted to keep him after what he had done in the minors.
Across three seasons and reaching Double-A, Whitlock owned a 12-8 record with a 2.41 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 201 strikeouts in 42 games (38 starts), totaling 205.1 innings. Now, he could very well help out the Sox in their bullpen, along with Ottavino.
Boston’s rotation is likely set with Eduardo Rodriguez, Martin Perez, Nick Pivetta, Nathan Eovaldi and Garrett Richards, with Chris Sale coming back in a few months. If Whitlock can get his beak wet at the MLB level by logging some important relief innings, that could make a momentous difference for the Sox, who have had a not-so-great bullpen for years now.
Keep an eye on this. Actually, don’t. It’s better we don’t see this come back to haunt us in any way until we absolutely have to face it.