Yankees losing Jacob Stallings was almost even more embarrassing
Know how we know trading for Jacob Stallings was a good and smart idea for the Yankees to explore? Because it’s an idea the Boston Red Sox also had.
Know how we know the Yankees didn’t look into the idea quite hard enough? Because they almost let the Sox pull it off, right from under their noses, and were saved at the buzzer by a bit of Derek Jeter-led Miami Marlins ingenuity. Woof.
On the very same day rumor had it the Gold Glove catcher would end up in pinstripes, news dropped back-to-back that high-priced shortstop Corey Seager had instead chosen Texas (duh) and that Stallings would be traded to Miami, removing both a Gary Sánchez destination and a Gary Sánchez replacement in one fell swoop.
It was bad. It stung, arguably, more than giving Seager a decade of security and allowing him to experience new and interesting injuries at a very high cost. It also could’ve been so much worse.
According to Miami sources, Chaim Bloom and the Sox thought they’d pulled off a Stallings deal, which would’ve led to a Christian Vazquez trade or non-tender.
Instead, the Marlins learned of the Sox package and upped their offer at the last minute to … well, a still-middling group of prospects the Yankees could’ve topped. Unfortunately, they weren’t even involved.
The Yankees almost lost Jacob Stallings to a Boston Red Sox trade.
Absolutely blessed to have lost Stallings to the ex-Yankee factory in Miami instead of the new generation of the Devil Magic Red Sox.
Also … what does it say about the Yankees’ operation that Boston was more than willing to upgrade on Vazquez despite the rock-solid backstop having a World Series win under his belt and several surprising seasons of production? The catcher was brutal with the bat in 2021, but above average in 2019-2020. Sánchez is a better hitter (though not by as much as he should be) and a worse defender … and yet the Sox were ready to rip their backstop out of their team’s fabric in favor of Stallings.
Luckily (exhale) that didn’t happen. The Marlins got the memo, meaning they’ve had arguably a better catcher than the New York Freaking Yankees from 2016-2018 and 2022-TBD. That’s far too many years.
For now, the Yankees’ catching search has ceased (and perhaps never even started), while the Sox have likely moved onto other targets, too, flipping Hunter Renfroe for Jackie Bradley Jr. and prospects just before the lockout deadline.
These Yanks? Sitting, chilling, watching other teams out-bid each other while Brian Cashman rappels off a building.