Was this the plan all along? Were the New York Yankees hoping their starting rotation would perform this well so they could eventually use some guys as trade bait?
Eh, probably not. General manager Brian Cashman hardly ever goes this hard when making deals. He’s always looking for the bargain or the undervalued asset. He’s not making blockbusters that shake up the farm system or significantly alter the complexion of the major league roster.
But what if that ended up being a way to convince Cashman that the time is now? That trading established Major League talent was the answer to, say, acquiring a guy like Max Scherzer?
I know, we keep talking about the Washington Nationals ace, but he’s the perfect example. He’s going to be an expensive rental that will exponentially increase a team’s World Series odds.
The only problem? By the time the trade deadline rolls around, the Yankees might have too many pitchers.
If everyone’s healthy and performing, that’ll leave New York with a rotation of Gerrit Cole, Corey Kluber, Jameson Taillon, Jordan Montgomery, Domingo German, and possibly Luis Severino (if he’s not brought back in a relief role).
We’ve imagined so many other blockbusters with other big names and/or top prospects, but what if the Yankees are ready to go to battle with Cole, Kluber, Taillon, Severino and an acquisition like Scherzer? Would the Nationals be interested in a package that includes Montgomery and German, assuming they keep performing well? It’s not out of the question.
And what about Deivi Garcia? If he’s going to keep hanging out at Triple-A, he might as well be used for something. Maybe not Scherzer, but you get the point.
The point is to win a World Series now. There’s no more time to waste. If the Yankees can boast five dangerous starters heading into the postseason, that will give them their best chance to come out on top, especially with the elite bullpen backing them.
How much more dominant does this look?
- Game 1: Gerrit Cole
- Game 2: Max Scherzer
- Game 3: Corey Kluber
- Game 4: Jameson Taillon
- Long relief to support rotation: Luis Severino, Michael King
That’s sure a hell of a lot different than no Scherzer, using Severino in Game 4, and having German/Montgomery/King in long relief.
Given where the Yankees are at this present moment, they might prefer to part with Monty and German — despite the fact they’re both controllable — to preserve their pool of prospects in hopes of maximizing the long-term future with the foundation that’s been built. Montgomery and German haven’t been full-time contributing members. They’re good, but the Yankees have succeeded without them.
That’s not to say they won’t be assets down the stretch or come playoff time — it’s just that if they make themselves even more valuable, it could change the way Cashman approaches the trade deadline if he’s interested in further upgrading the starting rotation (with Scherzer, or any other ace-like arm that might be available).
Some teams don’t always want to risk it all with a prospect package. Some prefer MLB-ready talent. Not every team selling is building from the ground up. They could be missing a few bats or a few arms to turn things around.
It’s by no means a report or a rumor, but instead just another open-minded way of thinking about how the Yankees might approach the trade deadline in one of their most important campaigns in recent memory.