1. Yankees-Jacob Stallings Trade
Here’s another instance of the Yankees contacting a familiar trade partner, trying to pry their catcher out of a dead-in-the-water situation, and potentially adding another pitcher to the pot.
Perhaps the Yanks can grab 31-year-old defensive specialist Jacob Stallings — with the downgraded bat to almost match — in addition to another one of Jameson Taillon and Gerrit Cole’s old buddies?
Stallings is locked in place through 2024 (!) and is Arb 2 this year, projected to make $2.6 million. That clocks in well below Sánchez territory. Though you might be more familiar with his 2021 Gold Glove, he nearly out-OPS’d El Gary in 2021, too, which is somewhat embarrassing (.730 to .704). He also hit one of the swaggiest home runs of the millennium to knock off the Mets after an epic comeback at PNC Park, if that counts for anything (it doesn’t, but it’s interesting).
While we love the defense and the competent bat, the Yankees can’t overpay for Stallings, who isn’t getting any more potent with the lumber as he ages at the most demanding position in the game. Two top-15 prospects will probably be the starting point, which sounds a bit intimidating. That’s where the pitching depth comes in; the Pirates still control breakout candidates Chad Kuhl (5-7, 4.82 ERA, 75 whiffs in 80.1 innings this season) and Steven Brault (just seven horrid starts in 2021, lasting only 27.2 innings with a 5.86 ERA).
Maybe, if the Yanks are feeling really wild, they’ll attempt to pair roving first baseman/potential bench piece Colin Moran to the deal? He’s a league-average, BJ Surhoff-style bat (in fact, he’s Surhoff’s nephew), and he’s a Port Chester, NY native who could be a homecoming candidate.
Just spitballing. Stallings is the likeliest of these three candidates to regress and the least likely to hit, but there might be some benefit in having a brick wall back there in the Bronx with a league-average bat.