Hayden Wesneski highlight reel will make you deeply sad Yankees traded him
By Adam Weinrib
There's "A Stud Prospect Looking Good in Spring Training," and then there's what Cubs starter Hayden Wesneski is doing in Arizona in his first spring since leaving the Yankees organization.
If you're faint of heart or too scarred from reading Frankie Montas content, it's probably best to avoid this one, too.
The Montas-Ken Waldichuk/JP Sears/Luis Medina trade has gotten the vast majority of heat this offseason considering what Montas was supposed to be and how injured he has been during the duration of his time in pinstripes. However, in terms of "thinning out upper-level pitching," the Wesneski-for-Scott Effross swap hurts just as much, especially since the controllable Effross will miss the 2023 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Unlike Montas, Effross' Yankees career is not over; he'll return in 2024, presumably, and will be under contract through 2027. He's also a proven slinger, and will (likely) have many productive years in the Bronx.
But ... right now ... it's been extremely difficult to watch Wesneski's patented Yankees sweepers in a Cubs uniform, as well as his natural cockiness. God, he would've been great in the fifth starter spot.
Former Yankees prospect Hayden Wesneski looks Cy Young good with Cubs
You want a reliever to stay in town through the 2027 season? Then you're going to have to give to get and surrender a top prospect.
Wesneski, who was passed over in favor of Sears last season when the Yankees needed a fill-in starter, might've been the more electric choice. If he'd been used, perhaps fans would've been more furious when he was dealt.
Instead, they're all probably figuring out this spring that he's got that undefinable quality that separates your typical pitching prospect from the rest of the field -- oh, and his stuff is top-quality filthy. But you knew that already if you watched his unnatural breaker decimate the Pirates in his 2022 spring breakout with the Yanks.
In the shadows last fall post-de facto Cubs elimination, Wesneski went 3-2 with a 2.18 ERA, 33 whiffs in 33 innings and a sparkling 0.939 WHIP. Stuff, brawn, brains, and that dawg in him? Yeah. Effross seems promising, but this ripped-off band-aid hasn't stopped stinging since last summer.