Yankees' Estevan Florial ranked as 2023 trade deadline 'change of scenery' candidate

San Francisco Giants v New York Yankees
San Francisco Giants v New York Yankees / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

Remember Estevan Florial's singular game with the 2023 Yankees before he lost his 40-man spot for Franchy Cordero, circulated through the waiver process, then somehow returned to New York's minor-league system? Great times. Those were some great times.

Florial has returned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and absolutely raked, displaying the type of speed/power combo that the big-league Yankees have dreamed on for years. Unfortunately, they haven't seen it materialize in any of the small samples they've given him, leading him into unprotected territory.

Once upon a time, he was a top-10 Yankees prospect and coveted trade candidate. He may not reach the same height after two months of excellent Triple-A production (.317/.420/.623, 12 homers, 30 RBI), but dammit, now's a better chance to deal him (if you're not going to use him) than the Yankees have had since 2018.

Instead of clearing a 40-man spot in the wake of Harrison Bader's injury and giving him another chance (Ryan Weber, sadly, seems destined for the 60-Day IL, which would help create one), the Yankees put Oswaldo Cabrera on a return flight to the west coast. That might've sealed Florial's fate, making him one of Mark Feinsand's premier "change of scenery" candidates at the 2023 MLB Trade Deadline.

Yankees could trade Estevan Florial for change of scenery at 2023 MLB Trade Deadline

It still seems unlikely that the Yankees could use Florial as a centerpiece in a deadline deal. Would they rather use him as the third/fourth piece in a blockbuster, or in exchange for a player who's lost favor elsewhere and fulfills a more pressing need?

Looking down Feinsand's list alone, one wonders whether the Yankees could target blocked Rangers catcher Sam Huff, formerly the team's top prospect. Slugging (and likely All-Star) Jonah Heim has upended his shot of contributing this season and in the immediate future for a surging Texas team. It's the same roster shuffle that sent Jose Trevino to the Bronx. Perhaps there's a fit there?

Maybe the Yankees believe in Triple-A powerhouse Jo Adell, a top-tier prospect just a few years back who has struggled to make the proper impression at the big-league level with the Angels. Adell possesses more pedigree than Florial, but both are stuck in the middle, at the moment.

The simplest course of action -- especially as Aaron Judge, too, battles through injury issues -- is sidelining Weber and giving Florial one last shot. If the Yankees are out on him, though, as they were earlier in 2023, then they're out, and it's time to move on.