Yankees Trade Possibilities: The Untouchables
The easiest list to comprise is who will probably remain with the club based on their performance thus far and the likelihood they will continue to play at a high level in the future. This list includes Gerrit Cole, Corey Kluber, Jordan Montgomery, Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, Jonathan Loaisiga, Lucas Luetge, Darren O’Day, Nestor Cortes, Luke Voit, DJ LeMahieu, Gio Urshela, Aaron Judge, and Giancarlo Stanton.
I was not entirely sure about placing three players among this group of “untouchable” Yankees.
While Montgomery is not quite in the same league as Cole and Kluber, I think he has earned the third spot in the Yankee starting rotation. In early June 2018, Monty had Tommy John surgery and only pitched four innings in 2019. During the five years he has been with the Yanks, he has gone 16-12 with a 4.12 ERA. Monty has pitched 312.2 innings, struck out 299 batters, and walked 95 hitters. He has an ERA+ of 106 and a FIP of 3.91.
Thus far this year, Montgomery is 3-2 with a 4.06 ERA. In 82 innings, he has struck out 80 batters and walked 23. Importantly, he is the only left-handed starting pitcher — and good left-handed starting pitchers are a rare breed. Because of this and his relatively good pitching record, I included him on the safe list.
As we know, Luetge has previously not pitched in the major leagues since 2015. As one of the “go-to guys” in Manager Boone’s bullpen, the lefthander has thrown 39.1 innings, struck out 41 batters, walked only six hitters, and has an impressive 2.52 ERA. He is a composed relief pitcher who costs the Yankees relatively little and won’t become a free agent until 2025. Cashman would be nuts to trade him.
Finally, I included Stanton on the “untouchable” list because his salary is exceptionally high, and it is unlikely that the Yanks could find another club to take him and his full cost. For that reason, he won’t be traded, and he will probably spend the rest of his career – whether we like it or not – as a designated hitter earning a lot of money in New York.
Possibilities to move him might open up in the future if the National League adopts the designated hitter rule.