2. Aaron Judge Trade to the Oakland A’s
If the A’s were to acquire Aaron Judge, they sure as hell wouldn’t be re-signing him in any capacity. But they’ve been heavily rumored to be in on Trevor Story this deadline, so … why not their hometown boy, who first joined his future Yankees teammates to take post-draft BP in Oakland.
Perhaps they’ll reconsider signing Judge to a massive deal if they get approval to move to Las Vegas? But that … messes with the California homecoming angle. You know what? Just get talent and worry about narratives later.
The A’s top prospect collection is strange, with volatile lefty AJ Puk ranking second, despite many scouts trusting neither his health, nor his ability to stay locked into the rotation long-term. With regret, it’s going to cost Oakland their No. 1 prospect, catcher Tyler Soderstrom, for sure. Plus more.
Soderstrom, a lefty-swinging power catcher who was signed away from a UCLA commitment with a first-round pick last year, would be a perfect Yankees prospect, joining Austin Wells on the mantle. However, he’s just 19, and wouldn’t help the big-league roster anytime soon. In order to get this deal done, you’d need to add similar MLB talent … perhaps A’s third baseman Matt Chapman? He fits the bill in terms of someone Oakland might have historically dealt a year too early rather than a year too late, and though his sterling defense remains in place this year, he’s hitting just .221 alongside his 7 homers. This is certainly not the first trade rumor he’s appeared in lately.
Add in someone like lefty-swinging Triple-A OF prospect Luis Barrera (Oakland’s No. 7 prospect) and you might have something here. If Chapman can’t be pried loose (we get it), maybe New York moves on to rental Mark Canha and attempts to bring Barrera to the Bronx early, too, for a mid-season jump start.
If you’re moving Judge, though, you have no intention of contending in 2021. Plain and simple. It’s probably Chapman or nothing.