No, the New York Yankees should not “blow their roster up” at the 2021 trade deadline, unless you’re using that phrase incorrectly.
They should attempt to reload while selling off pieces that are no longer as valuable in the Bronx as they would be elsewhere, but there’s nothing glamorous about losing 100-110 games for a year or two (or three, or four…) just to game the draft system.
Also, when this is attempted, there’s usually no easy way out. The wrong executive can bungle the operation.
And didn’t you tell us Brian Cashman is the wrong man for the job anyway? Yet you’d entrust him with this. Very interesting.
So, no, the Yankees shouldn’t implode the roster. They shouldn’t sell high on Gary Sanchez. Is there any contender looking to toss a below-average defender behind the plate out of left field in mid-July anyway? What is that?
They also will not be able to trade Giancarlo Stanton. It’s fine to type out that sentence if you’d really like to, but it’s not a move worth pursuing. Something tells me the San Francisco Giants, about to pass the halfway mark on one of the most incredible chemistry-based, out-of-nowhere runs we’ve ever seen don’t really want to press “Go” on acquiring a DH right now.
Plus, they’re saving an outfield spot to sign Aaron Judge next offseason anyway. Kidding! We kid because we love.
This Yankees team is not objectively bad enough to torch it all (they’re .500-ish and streaky, and their talents are being minimized) but they could benefit from a few well-reasoned sell-offs with win-now adds and win-later flyers. Perhaps these three moves could work?
The Yankees should consider these 3 hybrid trades at the MLB Trade Deadline.
3. Clint Frazier to the Reds
What do the Reds think they are? Are they a struggling semi-contender like the Yankees, or are they an offensive team punching above their weight in a division dominated by more well-constructed rosters?
Regardless, the fact of the matter is this Cincinnati team has four viable big-league outfielders (at least) now that Aristides Aquino is back, and the Yankees (currently) only roster one. Aaron Judge is a star! Miguel Andújar is a third baseman.
So, we must ask: what future do the Reds see for 30-year-old center field option Tyler Naquin, who hits with power from the left side of the plate and can provide far more on offense than Brett Gardner? Is he a centerpiece of the next great Cincinnati team? Does he belong in the same picture as Nicholas Castellanos and Jesse Winker?
Of course, the 26-year-old Frazier and his one remaining enticing minor-league option don’t scream “superstar” right now, either, and this would not be a one-for-one swap. This would be the Reds selling high as well as betting on pedigree. Naquin, under contract through 2022, has likely hit his ceiling, but fills a center field gap and balance issue with the Yanks; Frazier, of course, does neither of those things at the moment, but was a Gold Glove finalist and young power hitter as recently as … 2020. Remember that year? Pandemic happened, was recent.
In order to get this done, the Yankees would presumably have to throw in a 40-man top prospect (Yoendrys Gomez?) and ask for a semi-lottery ticket back (17-year-old Reds OF Ariel Almonte, ranked 24th by MLB Pipeline and in rookie ball?). We could see it, though, and it would remove the Yankees’ biggest question mark and replace him with a B+ sure thing.