When this season began, did you anticipate the New York Yankees having a chance midseason to at least stroke their chins and ponder the possibility of a Trea Turner trade with the Washington Nationals?
If you did, did you envision the Yankees being better in that hypothetical? We did. We thought they’d be better.
In what must be a massive bummer to every prognosticator living in the past, the Yankees’ vaunted offense is barely scratching a Wild Card spot, whereas Washington’s powerful lineup — weeks removed from going on a tear that made the NL East interesting — now seems poised to disintegrate in a matter of days.
When Saturday, July 31 arrives, you might not recognize a lot of the Nats. And, apparently, that courtesy extends to their superstar shortstop, who seems to have very little intention of sticking around.
Turner, a complete monster maniac on the baseball diamond in every respect, would be (uh) a natural fit for a Yankees team that could use a true shortstop long-term.
Apparently, he’s not into the deferred money Washington tends to offer their free agents, so it’s now worth plotting a mega-overpay. Turner will cost essentially everything, but you have to consider it.
Of course, we must note: yes, he tested positive for COVID on Tuesday. Three days before the deadline. Will he still move? Or will we all have to do this again in November?
What should the Yankees give up for Trea Turner?
Let’s get it out in the open: there’s a version of a Trea Turner trade that includes Jasson Dominguez as the deal’s centerpiece. In this version, the Yankees have to surrender significantly less surrounding the 18-year-old future star. If Dominguez is on the table, you can add Luis Medina and Anthony Volpe/Oswald Peraza and probably call this one.
Presuming Dominguez is not included in this trade, though, the Yankees probably up the ante with Plan A: Gleyber Torres, future Washington Nationals … second baseman?
By acquiring Torres, the Nats will be hoping for a happy medium between the 38-homer, power-happy season we watched in 2019 with the juiced ball and the player who’s had trouble lifting the horsehide since that summer. Rest assured, the Yanks will still have to kick in some vaunted prospect capital to finish the trade even if Torres is included; still either Volpe or Peraza and an upper-echelon pitcher (Clarke Schmidt? Medina? Arodys Vizcaino and an additional 40-man-eligible arm like Glenn Otto?).
We’ve seen a lot of second-tier goods changing hands so far this summer (wasn’t Adam Frazier supposed to cost more?), but rest assured that won’t be the case here. The acquisition of Turner will be painful, and not just for Nats fans.
Turner is hitting .319 with 18 bombs, a .367 OBP, a 149 OPS+ and game-changing speed and defense thus far in 2021. This move sounds impossible, until you realize that other contenders have been making “impossible” moves these past few years while the Yankees reached out to Gerrit Cole but otherwise counted their cash reserves.
Make a difference. Do a thing. Trade for Turner.