1. Kyle Hendricks to the Yankees for Oswald Peraza, Glenn Otto and Miguel Andújar
This is the big one. Even if the Cubs were selling, it’s unclear if Kyle Hendricks would be on the move, but that’s the player the Yankees probably need the most. They need someone behind Gerrit Cole consistently twirling quality outings.
Hendricks started the year off poorly and leads the NL in home runs allowed (20), but he also leads the NL with 10 wins and has lowered his ERA to 3.83 after it was … 6.23 two months ago! It’s been an epic rebound and he’s pitching like the bonafide No. 2 that he is. Nine of his last 10 outings have been quality starts. Keep it comin’!
The fact of the matter is that if the Cubs are going to orchestrate a rebuild, there’s no overarching need for Hendricks, who’s signed through 2023 at $14 million per year. The best use of his services would be to positively influence the next crop of young starters, which the Cubs can find elsewhere for cheaper.
And right now he can net them considerable assets amid his pre-deadline rebound. The Yankees would pay up, too, knowing Hendricks would help reopen their window over the next couple years and allow them to bump Domingo German from the rotation. Michael King is already out, and German can be discarded if the Yankees bring in Hendricks and get Luis Severino back. Then you’re looking at a Cole, Hendricks, Kluber, Severino, Montgomery rotation come late August. That’s … pretty damn good?
It won’t be cheap, though. For starters, ship over an MLB talent who can hit the ball but can’t really find a home defensively in Miguel Andújar. Call it a cost-effective lottery ticket. Why not? If his bat can be unlocked, then that alone is worth it.
Now let’s talk prospects. No. 4 Oswald Peraza is likely a must here. The shortstop is currently at Double-A after ripping through High-A. He still needs to progress through the minors, but the early returns are promising. Scouts have labeled him a plus player in terms of hitting, defense, speed and throwing. He’s been talked about as Gleyber Torres’ potential successor if Torres doesn’t work out. All good signs.
Now, forget about the rankings here for a second, Cubs fans. Glenn Otto might be the Yankees’ No. 28-ranked prospect on MLB.com, but he’s ripping through the ranks on Baseball America. The hard-throwing right-hander has been at Double-A since the beginning of the season and owns a 3.49 ERA and 0.94 WHIP (!) with an insane 95 strikeouts across 59.1 innings (10 games). He also dominated the Arizona Fall League in his last bit of minor-league action back in 2019. The dude is the real deal and could be in the majors by next season.
He’s come a long way with his command and throws a fastball, curveball, slider and changeup. If he continues to develop, we’re talking about a frontline rotation arm here. That should be enough to convince the Cubs, no?
The Yankees are going to have to give to get at this year’s deadline, so a trade will be painful (at least if you’re a prospect hugger). The time is now for the Bombers to rewrite their 2021 season. It should happen at (almost) any cost.