Trade rumors and speculation. Much of it is annoying. Much of it is fruitless. More times than not, your team does not do what you, the fan, prefer. Sometimes they even do nothing!
That’s been the case with the New York Yankees the last two years. Zero trades at the deadline for general manager Brian Cashman.
But 2021 will be different. OK, we don’t know for sure, but many fans can feel it. We know you do too!
The Yankees have been the best team in baseball over the last month. Their rotation is coming together beautifully. The bullpen is nails. The lineup is coming through when it needs to despite not overwhelming the opponent.
But upgrades are still needed. Right now, the outfield is a glaring issue. Injuries and poor play have plagued the unit. Aaron Hicks is likely lost for the year and the team surely isn’t going to wait any longer if Clint Frazier’s struggles lag into July.
So is it out of the question Cashman explores the truest of blockbusters and gives the Chicago Cubs a call in regard to a Kris Bryant trade?
Should the Yankees go for it all with a Kris Bryant trade?
The Yankees haven’t had a rotation this good (based on what we’ve seen so far) in over a decade. They’re one impact bat/versatile defender away from really separating themselves from the pack. One might argue a left-handed hitter should take priority, but Bryant is destroying both righties and lefties.
Here’s the latest from MLB insider Ken Rosenthal in regard to the potential future demand for Bryant (subscription required):
"“Bryant, because he has started at five positions this season – both infield corners, all three outfield spots – could draw a more expansive trade market than, say, Trevor Story, another potential free agent who plays only shortstop for the Rockies. And the return Bryant brings in a trade would not necessarily be as meager as the five-player hodgepodge the Orioles received from the Dodgers in 2018 for Manny Machado. At the time, Machado, too, was a rental, and he seemingly restricted the Orioles’ options by saying he wanted to remain at shortstop, though he also ended up playing third base for the Dodgers.”"
Cashman’s typically tactical and strategic with his trade acquisitions. He rarely (if ever) gets into bidding wars or bursts onto the scene for the biggest names on the market. It’s not his style.
But is it time that philosophy gets thrown by the wayside come July? The Yankees don’t need someone with good peripherals. They don’t need to go deep diving in advanced analytics to find the next guy who can help lengthen their lineup. They need an on-the-surface impact player who will make a difference from the moment he arrives up until the moment he departs.
The Yankees have the necessary prospect capital to make a deal with the Cubs. And they can part with talent they don’t necessarily need at the moment. The prospect-hugging can’t go on for much longer. The World Series window is 2021 and 2022 before the organization is hit with even more difficult decisions.
Putting Bryant in this already star-studded lineup with his ability to play third base, first base and all three outfield spots creates endless possibilities for Aaron Boone. Sadly, this probably isn’t a likely scenario, but it’s one that the organization should be thinking about extensively, because it could change everything.