I don’t want to write this. But to be fair, I don’t really want to write anything about the New York Yankees these days, so there.
Odds are, unless the Yankees win every remaining game prior to the All-Star break, it seems likely they’ll end up engaging in some sort of hybrid sell-off, keeping their most essential personnel while maximizing a few of their most treasured middling assets.
So, who stays? Aaron Judge. Sorry, folks, but trading superstar position players with a year-and-a-half of control never makes the team that dealt them better. The literal best-case scenario is what the Red Sox are currently going through, and they’d still be a better team with Mookie Betts than with Alex Verdugo and his 108 OPS+.
Who goes? Well, Aroldis Chapman (any takers? ………anyone want to even talk it out?). Likely Zack Britton as well. There’s no reason to pay a high-priced reliever while stuck in this portion of the reload. The team has to entertain selling Chad Green, too — which matches the intel we received on Tuesday that the rest of the league is hottest after the righty fastball specialist, Jordan Montgomery, and Gio Urshela.
We don’t feel right saying this, but Urshela’s interesting.
Much like DJ LeMahieu, Urshela’s success in the Bronx was a happy accident. When he arrived, the Yankees’ scouting department probably thought they were getting a useful player, but not an essential cornerstone. If Urshela’s entrenched at third, and LeMahieu’s here long-term, too, then the team will have to ditch either Gleyber Torres or Luke Voit it they intend to bring in a superstar shortstop this offseason.
Or, you know, Urshela, who’s locked in through 2023 and unlikely to be extended. The Bombers probably aren’t pulling a LeMahieu again and giving extra years to a player they lucked into; part of Urshela’s value is his contract, of course.
So where does he go? Who wants a clutch, slick-fielding third baseman (who the metrics still don’t really like?) smack in the middle of his prime? Well, everyone should!
These 3 trade destinations make sense for Gio Urshela.
3. Milwaukee Brewers
Currently, the admittedly red-hot Brewers start both Jace Peterson (riding a hot streak to an unsustainable .821 OPS) and 24-year-old Luis Urias (.726 OPS) in their infield. They’re surging, but they could do better.
Urshela, just 29, has likely hit his ceiling — but that ceiling looks damn good, and as he’s proven recently, he’s maintained the versatility to slide between third base and shortstop if Willy Adames needs an off day (or to second base if the Brewers simply want to waste his talents).
A fair return for the borderline All-Star (if he were on a team other than the Yankees)? A top-10 prospect and an additional top-20 name seems fair. For Milwaukee, what about 2020 second-round shortstop Freddy Zamora (No. 8) and outfielder Tristen Lutz (No. 12)? For humor’s sake, the Yanks can also target high-upside rookie league outfielder Luis Medina (No. 13) and get a second Luis Medina in the system.
Coming up with Urshela packages is difficult, considering it involves creating a hole that must be filled by 2022 with an expensive commodity, but odds are the Yankees will be targeting young shortstop prospects as well as high-upside pitching at any level. This package fits those parameters.