2. Estevan Florial
Unlike Miguel Andújar, Estevan Florial’s trade value might be peaking right now — or, at least, it’s as high as it’s been since he was an entirely unknown quantity in the low minors.
Florial, in his second shot at things, has completely mastered Triple-A in a way he hasn’t yet figured out the big leagues. His numbers have escalated to a boiling point as the season’s progressed, and he enters August with a .288 average, .367 OBP, .869 OPS, 14 dingers, and 30 stolen bases. The 24-year-old outfielder’s production is no longer theoretical. It’s as real as it gets.
So … why was he not sent somewhere else as the third piece in a deal that he never would’ve belonged in a year or two ago? Was the market that dry?
It’s difficult for an in-between prospect to crack the bigs with the Yankees, who intend to contend every single year, on and on and on. If you get a shot, you’d better figure it out fast, because there’s always a name-brand 34-year-old who can be acquired instead (shoutout to Josh Donaldson). Forget clubhouse chemistry; the shuffle is always on.
Either teams across the league haven’t been as impressed by Florial as his season seems to have warranted, or everyone just wanted pitching instead. In a vacuum, it would’ve been nice to keep at least one upper-level arm like JP Sears while sending Florial to Oakland in the Montas deal. Obviously, that wasn’t in the cards, though.