The trade partner that keeps getting away from the New York Yankees might've further distanced themselves over the past week or so. The Miami Marlins, a team Brian Cashman has seemingly been trying to acquire pitching from for a few years now, suffered a devastating injury to their rotation last week.
Sandy Alcantara was placed on the injured list with a sprained UCL and it's unclear if he'll return in 2023. The righty currently claims to be "pain free" and is rehabbing with the interest in getting back for the pennant race, but his future -- long- and short-term -- remains clouded, even if he valiantly fights back. The 2022 Cy Young winner could potentially miss parts or all of 2024 with a worst-case scenario diagnosis whenever the Marlins provide an update as his situation is monitored.
But even without their world coming crashing down should Alcantara need the dreaded Tommy John surgery, the Marlins will no doubt be looking over their shoulder when it comes to their star right-hander because these types of elbow injuries don't usually disappear.
Could that mean general manager Kim Ng might be hesitant to part with any starting pitching in the offseason? Depth will be of the utmost importance should Alcantara's short- or long-term future be put in jeopardy.
In theory, that could take an important trade partner off the market for the Yankees in the offseason. Remember the Gleyber Torres for Pablo Lopez trade rumors? Or the buzz suggestings the Yankees could be interested in Braxton Garrett and Edward Cabrera in any deal for Torres?
Sandy Alcantara's injury could affect Yankees' offseason trade plans
The Marlins rotation has taken plenty of hits this season, with Alcantara being the latest. Trevor Rogers and Max Meyer both went down while Cabrera missed time with injury. Eury Perez (among others) has also surpassed a career high in innings pitched. Remember Sixto Sanchez? He just got back on the field for the first time since 2020 throwing 82 MPH fastballs (barely an exaggeration).
Teams across the league are embracing the "you can never have too much pitching" philosophy, and the Marlins are living the troubling reality of it right now. Once believed to possess an embarrassment of riches in that department, the Marlins' stockpile is dwindling as their playoff push intensifies. And if they happen to get derailed because of it, what makes anybody think they'd be willing to part with any of that talent in the offseason?
Though the Marlins have managed to thrive (they just swept the Braves and hold the final Wild Card spot), it doesn't make their future outlook any less perilous. Starting pitching is the backbone of most organizations and the amount of road blocks they're facing at the moment could result in an offseason pivot. Heck, maybe they'll be in the market for starters come November.
The Marlins broke the Yankees at the trade deadline last year, and broke them again with one of the most improbable comebacks of the season in 2023. Third time's a charm. Expect to get stonewalled in any such trade talks in the offseason if Cashman inquires about starting pitchers.