3 overreactions to first week of Yankees' offensively explosive spring training

2024 New York Yankees Spring Training
2024 New York Yankees Spring Training / New York Yankees/GettyImages
3 of 3

Trading Spencer Jones for any rental would be an absurd decision

The Yankees are fools for not trading a Double-A outfield prospect for Dylan Cease coming off a 4.58 ERA/3.72 FIP season! Didn't you see him on Pitching Ninja?! He was basically a sword collector! And, while we're at it, the Brewers requesting Jones in exchange for childhood Angels fan Corbin Burnes was a totally fair ask, too! Burnes will certainly take a hometown discount to stay ... east in New York. Plus, Joey Ortiz and Jones are on a similar leve --

(Jones goes 470 feet to right field in his first at-bat of the spring)

O ... k, can we still sign Blake Snell then, maybe?

Jones' K rate has always been an issue throughout the low minors, and the Yankees entered 2024 with the express goal of working on the five-tool behemoth's whiffs while also trying to get him to lift the ball more. It's an extremely difficult proposition. Players like Jones don't grow on trees. There's no "one size fits all" method for tweaking the mechanics of a 6'8" outfielder's delicate swing.

But you bet on natural talent. That's what you do. Jones runs like a gazelle, covers center field with aplomb, and hits like a gazelle with Mark McGwire riding on its back. Jones is one of only five college hitters of the past five years to put up four batted balls over 108 MPH in a single game, a distinction he shares with several upper-echelon prospects.

If the Yankees ever choose to trade Jones from their crowded outfield, they'd better be damned sure Juan Soto isn't going anywhere, and extremely comfortable with the return (both talent-wise and in terms of number of controllable years). A rental pitcher, even a bonafide No. 2? Teams are obviously going to ask, but there's no reason the Yankees should be forced to overpay relative to the field. Jones, in talks surrounding any of the potentially available names, is a keeper.

Oh, and he's taken 40+ swings this spring. Through Tuesday's action, he has yet to whiff.