ESPN producer begs Yankees to trade Gerrit Cole, makes blatant factual error

This can't happen. For a number of reasons.
Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees
Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

We bring you now a nugget from the world of the overly simplistic, where ESPN's "Get Up" producer/researcher/Mike Greenberg cohort Paul Hembekides has come up with a bombshell idea to save the floundering New York Yankees.

The premise? They should trade Gerrit Cole. He's the Cy Young. He's their best player. He's got a lot of miles on his arm. He could net them a massive trade package. New York is bad, never mind the 99 wins they racked up in 2022. Bad, bad, bad. 2022 is fake, 2023 is real. And forget about 2017-2021! We live in a fast-paced time, we've got to move, move, move!

Plus, Cole could opt out after the 2024 season and leave for nothing! And wouldn't you rather trade five years of the righty -- at an exorbitant cost -- rather than risk that?

Ignore, for a second, the Fantasy Baseball element of it all (Cole's a man who made a commitment to New York, hundreds of millions of dollars don't often get swapped, etc.). Ignore the fact that the Yankees have never torn anything down to the studs. There's an embedded error here that invalidates the entire conversation, even if Cole is the "guy to trade" if you're ranking current assets by talent, cost be damned.

Yankees should trade Gerrit Cole, says ESPN...except they kind of can't?

What a way to "get more liquid"!

"He can opt out and he can walk after next season for nothing but a compensatory pick" sounds compelling ... but it's also a lie. We've spilled plenty of ink in this space worrying about whether Hal Steinbrenner will do what's right following Cole's somewhat inevitable opt-out, but the ball is objectively in the owner's court. If Cole opts out of his deal, Steinbrenner can tack an extra year (at $36 million) onto the contract and pretend the whole thing never happened. Only after such a denial would the compensatory pick come into play. Add the no-trade clause that Hembekides is well aware Cole has, and this half-baked pitch runs out of steam quickly.

Essentially, his argument is that the Yankees are talent deficient and should trade anyone and everyone short of Aaron Judge in the name of an immediate rebuild. Hembo also thinks the team should stack a big contract on top of Cole to presumably lessen the return, making the rebuild that much tougher and muting the effectiveness of selling their biggest chip, something they can't even do without convincing a lifelong Yankee fan to waive his no trade. I've heard enough. Call it in.

Next on "Get Up": Should one of MLB's worst teams sign Shohei Ohtani to a 10-year deal just to trade him at the deadline and reap the rewards? Who are the "Knicks" of MLB? Who's baseball's best "point guard"? We talk about baseball eight times a year, so this is the best we've got!