There’s always some sort of caution that needs to be exercised by executives leading up to the trade deadline, but that’s now changed after Washington Nationals star Juan Soto hit the market.
The New York Yankees are reportedly among the interested teams, as per multiple insiders, but Soto represents a luxurious “want” rather than a dire “need” for the Bombers. Nobody will complain if Soto is a Yankee on Aug. 2 … but there will be some disappointment across the fan base if this pitching staff isn’t improved.
Then there’s the option of simply “going for it all,” which features acquiring Soto AND Cincinnati Reds ace Luis Castillo. That’ll probably take nearly all of New York’s top 10 prospects (and perhaps more) … but does it really matter?
Hear us out. General manager Brian Cashman and the front office/scouting department largely built the top end of the organization’s current farm system over the last three years. Here’s a look:
- SS Anthony Volpe (drafted in 2019)
- SS Oswald Peraza (signed in 2017)
- OF Jasson Dominguez (signed in 2019)
- C Austin Wells (drafted in 2020)
- SP Ken Waldichuk (drafted in 2019)
- SS Trey Sweeney (drafted in 2021)
- SP Hayden Wesneski (drafted in 2019)
- SP Yoendrys Gomez (signed in 2017)
- SP Luis Gil (acquired via trade in 2018)
- OF Everson Pereira (signed in 2018)
Others, including SS Roderick Arias, C Antonio Gomez, SP TJ Sikkema, SP Brandon Beck, P Beck Way, P Justin Lange, 2B Cooper Bowman and OF Elijah Dunham, in the team’s top-30 were also acquired between 2019-2022.
Yankees wouldn’t be crazy to sell the farm for Juan Soto and Luis Castillo
Should this dream scenario occur, Soto would be in pinstripes through 2024 and Castillo through 2023. That would give the Yankees a couple more years to conduct a version of this mastery all over again, all the while contending at the absolute top of the sport with few rosters able to compete with them.
Additionally, prospects are hardly a guarantee. Yankees fans would love to see a number of these guys come up and be future pieces on the big league roster … but just look at this top-10 list from 2018:
Outside of Gleyber Torres, none of those players matter in terms of All-Star-level production. Every prospect can be promising from a “projectability” standpoint … until they arrive in The Show. Then all bets are off. Countless prospects can crush Triple-A and then be completely stymied by major league talent. Just look at Mariners top prospect Jarred Kelenic.
Without a doubt, New York’s organizational depth would be decimated should they pull the trigger for a combo of Soto and Castillo … but the depth behind the top tier is still pretty darn good! All the aforementioned names outside of the top-10 plus Brandon Lockridge, JP Sears, Josh Breaux, Will Warren and Randy Vasquez have all showed promise in recent seasons. Most still need time to develop, but is there a situation where you foresaw young prospects overtaking the roster before 2024? And don’t forget that, without an international draft, the Yankees are already reportedly the favorites to sign Cuban outfielder Brandon Mayea, next year’s No. 1 international prospect. The wheels are already in motion. Again.
Even Volpe isn’t expected to arrive before then, based on his performance thus far with Double-A Somerset. His bat has clearly taken time to adjust to next-level pitching as he continues to dig himself out of the early-season hole he fell into.
Yankees fans will quickly forget about the farm system if Soto is in left field and Castillo is pitching behind Gerrit Cole through the 2023 season. That gives the Bombers as good a chance as anybody to capture to World Series titles.
If there’s one thing you can’t debate, it’s that.