I have been debating about resurrecting the “Redhead Redemption” Yankees blog for a good couple of months and figured why not make a triumphant return based off of the blockbuster trade the Yankees made last night.
1.) The Yankees addressed 2 ½ of their 3 areas of concern
Watching the Yankees as of late there are were 3 glaring weaknesses that needed to be addressed at the trade deadline or the Yankees October hopes would have to wait until 2018:
— First Base
— Starting Rotation
New York addressed 2 of those concerns last night by acquiring 1B/3B Todd Frazier, former Yankees closer David Robertson and former Yankees prospect Tommy Kahnle (instead of developing “homegrown” Yankee players, they just brought them back!). You can also make a case they kind of addressed the starting rotation issue by making the games “shorter” by adding Robertson and Kahnle to the bullpen.
Yankee fans can rest easier knowing that if their starter can’t get out of the 5th inning then they can turn to a Green/Warren/Kahnle/Betances (Robertson & Chapman will clearly be late-inning options) to get the job done over a Clippard or (enter Triple-A shuttle option here).
2.) They should still “kick the tires” on a SP
All because the Yankees addressed 2 ½ of their 3 areas of concern with last night’s trade, they still need to consider a SP option before the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31st. That starting pitching option will more-than-likely be a veteran or “innings eater” SP that can get the job done at the back-end of the rotation. I can’t see Brian Cashman blowing the doors off this thing and going all 2015 Toronto Blue Jays (Tulo & David Price) and acquiring a Sonny Gray, but I could be wrong.
Looking at the standings right now it’s best to narrow down some SP options. I can’t see Baltimore or Toronto trading within the division so they are out and the Mets, Pirates & Reds don’t seem to match up well for a SP trade the Yankees.
Of the other teams that are on the verge of 2017 extinction, the Tigers (Justin Verlander) White Sox (Miguel Gonzalez or Derek Holland), Rangers (Yu Darvish), Angels (Ricky Nolasco), Athletics (Sonny Gray), Marlins (Dan Straily), Braves (Jaime Garcia or Julio Teheran), Phillies (Jeremy Hellickson), Padres (Jhoulys Chacin, Trevor Cahill or Clayton Richard) and Giants (Matt Cain or Jeff Samardzija) seem to have some pieces that could work in a potential deal with the Bombers so let’s look at the likelihood of a potential deal:
Filed under a “David Price trade to the Blue Jays in 2015” type of shock:
— Justin Verlander, DET (I would not want the Yankees to take on the rest of his contract – 2 years @ $28MM a year + a vesting option for 2020).
— Sonny Gray, OAK (Under team control until 2020 and would take a pretty decent haul of prospects).
— Jeff Samardzija, SF (3 ½ years left on contract at $19.8MM a year).
— Julio Teheran, ATL (Under contract until 2019 w/a team option for 2020 – Would take a similar package to Sonny Gray).
Filed under “that could be possible:”
— Yu Darvish, TEX (In last year of 6 year deal and will be FA at end of season – Would take a highly touted prospect or two to acquire).
— Matt Cain, SF (1 ½ years left on his deal – due $7.5MM a year next season and not the player he used to be).
Filed under the “Brandon McCarthy-like” move:
— Miguel Gonzalez (CHW)
— Derek Holland (CHW)
— Ricky Nolasco (LAA)
— Dan Straily (MIA)
— Jaime Garcia (ATL)
— Jeremy Hellickson (PHI)
— Jhoulys Chacin (SD)
— Trevor Cahill (SD)
— Clayton Richard (SD)
The SP trade market will obviously change from now until July 31st as teams identify themselves as buyers and sellers, but as of right now…none of those potential names are real game-changers outside of Verlander, Gray, Darvish or Teheran and of those names I can only see Gray or Darvish getting traded.
It’s possible that the Yankees can stay with a Cessa/Mitchell combination or call up Chance Adams as their 5th starter for the rest of this season, but I have a feeling that won’t be the case come August 1st and if they want to make a run at the AL East Division crown then they need to consider adding another SP option from not until July 31st.
3. The Yankees should re-sign Todd Frazier this offseason
Woah, hey now! The guy hasn’t even taken an at-bat, let alone put on his Yankees jersey as I write this and I want the Yankees to re-sign Todd Frazier this offseason!?
Absolutely. And I will tell you why (or this would be the worst ending to a blog, ever).
The Yankees will have to make a decision on either re-signing Todd Frazier and/or Matt Holliday this offseason. Between those two, Todd Frazier is more of a flexible option for the Yankees now based on what they are trying to currently do.
• Todd Frazier will be entering his age 32 season in 2018, while Matt Holliday will be turning 38. Holliday may have 1 or 2 more seasons left in him after this year or he could potentially retire for all we know.
• Frazier can play 1B/3B and fill the DH void. If the Yankees are intent on giving Greg Bird a shot next season, and I don’t see why not, then bringing back Todd Frazier will give the Yankees flexibility to give both Greg Bird and Chase Headley a day-off or to DH. Currently, the Yankees options for those positions are Ronald Torreyes at 3B or Garrett Cooper and Matt Holliday at 1B.
Torreyes can be the Yankees 2B/SS options off the bench and 3B option if need be or they can have Tyler Wade play the super utility role (which is my preference). Matt Holliday isn’t really an option for 1B and hamstrings the Yankees a bit by his lack of versatility at this point in his career. Holliday is what Jorge Posada and Alex Rodriguez were for the Yankees in the twilight of their careers by just being a DH.
• So, conceivably the Yankees could have this lineup/bench in 2018:
1. Aaron Hicks/Clint Frazier LF/CF
2. Gary Sanchez C
3. Aaron Judge RF
4. Todd Frazier DH
5. Starlin Castro 2B
6. Greg Bird 1B
7. Jacoby Ellsbury LF/CF
8. Chase Headley (Maybe Gleyber Torres?) 3B
9. Didi Gregorius SS
*I have a feeling that Brett Gardner gets moved in the offseason unless Brian Cashman catches a MLB GM off guard and can move Jacoby Ellsbury with his awful contract*
Bench: Aaron Hicks or Clint Frazier (4th OF), Ronald Torreyes (2B/SS/3B option) or Tyler Wade (Super Utility Guy) and Austin Romine (C).
Don’t get me wrong, I like Matt Holliday. We will never forget his heroics in the comeback victory over the Baltimore Orioles and he has been a great influence on the young core of Yankees coming up the bigs but he is not a long-term option for the Yankees, Todd Frazier can be.
Frazier doesn’t mess up any future plans, either. 1B is Greg Bird’s to lose and 3B will eventually be Gleyber Torres to earn/given. Frazier fills a 1B/3B/DH void that the Yankees desperately need on their roster that can give productivity if any of those players get injured or need a day off.
What type of contract are we looking at here for Frazier? Probably a 3 or 4 year deal at the $15MM a year range? If so, sign me up. If he is asking for something that takes him into year 38 season or more, see ya later. But I doubt any team would sign Frazier this offseason to a 5 year or more deal.
This is a really good deal for the New York Yankees because it instantly makes them better. This isn’t one of those deals where we have to wonder down the line if it makes the Yankees better or worse (i.e. Pineda/Montero deal, Chapman/Gleyber deal and Clint Frazier/Andrew Miller deal).
Sure, they gave up 2016 1st round pick and #3 prospect (according to MLB.com), OF Blake Rutherford to get it done. But he was in Low-A Charleston, is 20 years old and is stuck behind a decent amount of OF prospects. He was expendable in a really good farm system, who is still really good.
The Yankees got their guys, Chicago got their guy(s) and everyone is happy. Win-win and high fives all around.
Time will tell, but this could end up being one of Brian Cashman’s best in-season trades as a “buyer” (can’t put Gleyber & Clint on here yet, folks).