It’s hard to envision the New York Yankees being any worse to start 2021, but believe it or not, it could have been had they gone ahead and made one of the blockbuster trades the fan base was yearning for earlier in the offseason.
Remember we (and many others) were dying for them to acquire a bonafide No. 2 arm to slot behind Gerrit Cole?
Though the additions of Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon had their pros, there was simply too much risk inherited with their injury situations and time away from the game.
And it’s all very clearly been realized since neither of them have been able to pitch out of the fourth inning.
But at the end of the day, the Yankees paid for one year of Kluber and traded a bunch of nothing for Taillon. Sure, we’d like to have someone better and more reliable at this point, but the star targets fans actually preferred are off to a horrific start this year, too.
Imagine if general manager Brian Cashman gave up a prohibitive haul for one of these guys and the Yankees still had begun the season 5-10 or worse? The Bronx is certainly close to burning, but it’d definitely be torched if one of these guys were in pinstripes and stinking up the joint.
Here are three previous desired Yankees trade targets who are off to terrible starts in 2021.
3. Marco Gonzales
Yankees fans got all giddy when citing the trade history between Cashman and Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto, but recent history shows the Yankees were losers in the last transaction.
Though the James Paxton deal had the right intentions, it did not work out in the Yankees’ favor for the one reason everyone knew it wouldn’t — the left-hander’s troubling injury history. Now, Justus Sheffield looks like a very capable big-league left-hander the Yankees could use right now.
But during the offseason, many were angling for a Marco Gonzales trade. The veteran, who is also a lefty, is 38-26 with a 4.10 ERA and 1.28 WHIP since arriving in Seattle in 2017. And his stats have been much better than that the last two years. He eats innings, induces soft contact, and has been good for a 7.5 WAR since 2018.
Sounds like a good target to deepen the Yankees questionable rotation, right?
He certainly still could be (maybe at a discount at this year’s deadline!), but his start this year would have had fans losing their minds. Across his first three outings, Gonzales owns an 8.22 ERA and 1.76 WHIP. His 14 earned runs and six home runs allowed leads the league.
Gonzales will undoubtedly rebound, but the knee-jerk fans in New York would’ve deemed this a “bust” had the Yankees surrendered legitimate assets only to see this poor a debut in the Bronx.