When it comes to the New York Yankees‘ farm system, most analysts agree that, among the big market teams, they aren’t the Dodgers, but their work hasn’t been half-bad. Most analysts aren’t The Athletic’s Keith Law, though.
Law has been notoriously hard on the Yankees’ depth and the pedigree of their top prospects. Entering 2022, following breakout years from Anthony Volpe and 12 different pitchers, Law downgraded the Yanks in his organizational depth rankings, dropping them from 14th prior to 2022 to 22nd entering this season
What great losses earned them such punishment? Delayed gratification from Jasson Dominguez? The departure of a pile of Rule 5 guys in the Joey Gallo trade? Even if you’re not going to upgrade them, a downgrade of eight spots feels excessive. For whatever reason, Law’s Yankees evaluations typically don’t match up with the mainstream. This isn’t, “Joe Buck hates my team!!!” Law really is lower on the Yankees’ system than most.
Which is why it came as such a surprise when the guru signed off on Lindsey Adler’s trade package pitch for Luis Castillo this week, a three-for-one deal that most Yankee fans would sign off on in a heartbeat.
Top prospect Oswald Peraza, pitching wild card Randy Vasquez, and veteran outfielder Miguel Andújar for Castillo. Who says no? According to Law, it depends on how the Reds view Vasquez, but he’d be down to clown.
Yankees’ toughest critic Keith Law likes Luis Castillo trade package
According to Law (holds breath), the Reds would “probably do this” if they’ve evaluated Vasquez as a future mid-rotation starter. Opinions in the industry vary, and maybe this was Law’s nice way of saying, like he typically does, that he doesn’t view Vasquez as highly as some others do. But it wasn’t a no! And any trade proposal that includes Andújar as a third piece/isn’t a no deserves a bit of rejoicing.
The “Andújar and Frazier” trade jokes are just … so tiring. And they didn’t cease when Frazier ended up on the Cubs. If not now, when? If Andújar can’t be dealt at this year’s deadline, will he ever be freed from Scranton?
Vasquez, the more important cog here, has followed up a breakout 2021 campaign across three levels with a 4.52 ERA at Double-A Somerset with 76 whiffs in 73.2 innings as a 23-year-old. His arm is viable! But whether the Reds will be as amenable as Law here is anyone’s guess.