2. Luis Medina
The Yankees should consider trading Luis Medina — and no, not just because he’s having control problems in the Dominican Winter League.
They should consider trading him because he has elite stuff. They should consider trading him because he put everything together for the first time in 2021 and is genuinely desirable. They should also consider trading him because he didn’t exactly solve his control problems this past season, either.
He’s excellent. His curveball is crisp. He’s imperfect. He shouldn’t be untouchable, but he should be a solid No. 2 in an elite trade package. Again, Cashman should be willing to risk it here — Medina might boom! He’s also far from a sure thing.
Last season, Medina lowered his 2019 WHIP of 1.57 to 1.34 in 2021. His ERA fell from 5.47 to 3.39. His strikeout total and rates remained nearly the same; 127 in 103.2 innings pitched in ’19, followed by 133 in 106.1 innings in ’21. He’s certainly coming off his best campaign; we fell in love with his eyes-to-knees curveball in a few spring training appearances, but Medina, uh, has never come close to putting it all together prior to this past season.
He’s also only pitched two full seasons! In his minor-league career! 2020, am I right?
Medina has (hopefully) turned a corner, but the walks remain a problem (70 in 2019, 60 in 2021). Pitching is a finely-tuned art. Someone who’s “found” his rhythm could just as easily lose it the very next season (or month, or week). So far, Medina’s looked largely wild in Winter League, which is hopefully not a sign of things to come.
Regardless of how the rest of his winter goes, the Yankees can afford to make him available.