Yankees: Is Estevan Florial about to become a valuable trade chip?


The New York Yankees already dipped into their farm system when they made the Jameson Taillon trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates this past offseason.

But assuming this team remains healthy and plays to their potential, it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility for general manager Brian Cashman to make a monumental trade before the July deadline. After all, he’s long overdue for a midsummer blockbuster.

We can speculate all we want, but the truth is we don’t know who will be available, who the Yankees will be targeting, or what New York might even need by then.

What we do know, however, is that some within the Yankees’ organization are boosting their trade value by the day now that the minor league season is underway.

Estevan Florial, who many fans wrote off simply because they’ve been hearing his name for “too long,” has finally got his first consistent, real taste of action above High-A (yeah, shocker!).

He’s begun the 2021 campaign with Double-A Somerset and is raking through his first seven games. If he continues to impress and gets bumped to Triple-A, are we looking at a potential valuable trade chip in the coming months?

Without Aaron Hicks and without Giancarlo Stanton, will the Yankees turn to the unproven Florial, the only outfielder on their 40-man roster? Or will they use him to acquire someone like…Joey Gallo?

Has Yankees OF Estevan Florial rejuvenated himself as a trade chip?

We know, we know — we just talked about Florial potentially helping provide a jolt on the Yankees’ big league roster as guys like Clint Frazier, Brett Gardner and Tyler Wade continue to struggle.

But a 23-year-old lefty slugger (who has good speed and plays center field) could be in high demand for teams looking to sell off short-term assets while improving their roster within the next 1-2 years. Florial’s trajectory could have him in MLB when rosters expand in September. At the very least, he should be in the show consistently by next summer, assuming all goes well.

He’s steadily improved throughout his professional career and has continued to do so after breaking his wrist back in March of 2019 during spring training. That’ll affect any young player’s timeline, but Florial, despite falling out of favor because of his lackluster showing after returning from that injury, has gotten off to a scorching hot start in Double-A by slashing .259/.333/.778 with five runs scored, four homers and six RBI in his first 30 plate appearances.

Nothing against him, either, but it’s perhaps in the Yankees’ best interest to trade him when his value peaks, because Jasson Dominguez and Trevor Hauver could end up being fast risers, and those guys surely aren’t going anywhere.