3 spring training position battles that could create new Yankees trade candidates
1. Guardians' Fifth Starter Race: Cody Morris vs. Zach Plesac
The Yankees have been a rumored Zach Plesac destination for ages. The Guardians' old pitching guru, Matt Blake, is now entrenched in New York. The Guards also print pitching, and Plesac's penchant for finding trouble has made him somewhat undesirable in the past.
There's also a chance Plesac ends up in the Opening Day rotation by default, whether he wins the gig or not. Cody Morris, the latest top prospect coming for the crown, is battling some lat discomfort that doesn't sound major, but could still be disqualifying.
That said, as long as Morris can make it back by May, Plesac might be dangled regardless. The Yankees have an endless swath of bullpen arms at the moment, but their starting pitching is relatively thin (especially if Schmidt ends up a reliever). Germán is a capable fifth starter, but if a single other member of the rotation goes down, there could be trouble afoot.
That rotation includes Luis Severino, Carlos Rodón and Nestor Cortes' hamstrings. It would be a dream if they all survived through October, but the more realistic outcome is that someone must be skipped at some point.
Depending on the cost for Plesac, he could be an upgrade on the group's current upper-level depth and an excellent swingman -- as long as Blake approves of the project.