2. Zack Britton (and Darren O’Day?) to the Phillies/Blue Jays
If the Yankees can trade Adam Ottavino to the Red Sox, why can’t they salary dump their other relievers to Toronto? Except replace “salary dump” with “intelligent baseball decision” and require adequate compensation.
As for the Phillies … what say you, Dave Dombrowski? You want to bank on talent to solve your biggest issue, or do you want to languish around .500, something you’ve never willingly done before?
When Zack Britton opted into his contract for 2021, Yankee fans cheered — after all, what contender wants to lose their eighth-inning guy? Of course, as often seems to be the case in this beautiful city, every single thing that could’ve gone wrong from there did. The Yanks don’t act like a contender, Britton got injured in the middle of spring training (then came back and tweaked his hamstring, but should be fine), and we’re now looking for hybrid trades we can execute within the division.
Far less fun than when Britton tweeted the Statue of Liberty emoji as we geared up for another season.
At this point, Brian Cashman’s goal should be to get Britton’s remaining half of his $13 million salary (as well as his team option for 2022) off the books, especially considering Jonathan Loaisiga has become a setup man (in all caps) and relievers supposedly grow on trees. If this team is suddenly going to care about the luxury tax, there’s no need to pay them anymore.
If we hit July 31 and this is still a .500 team, let’s be honest and say there’s no reason to pay O’Day either, and he can take his 9.0 innings on the season to a team in need of bullpen help in exchange for a 15th-to-20th-ranked prospect.
Can the Yankees get a top-15 prospect for Britton? Probably, right? The versatile Kendall Simmons (14th) from Philly, who can play second, third and short? Blue Jays 2020 second-round pitcher CJ Van Eyk (10th), a polished college arm? The Phils are probably a more likely destination, and New York at least needs to try.