The trade deadline has come and gone. The Yankees acquired only utility player Dustin Ackley from Seattle. As far as this corner sees it, that it is fine.
Yes, the Yankees still have holes, but they have less of them than any AL East rival and a bullpen that can be rated as elite. There was absolutely no reason to trade top-drawer prospects for rental players.
Oh, the Twitterverse moaned, “Look what Toronto did,” and so on. That’s their business. Another thing. When the Yankees traded pitcher Corey Black in 2013, it was like Brian Cashman swapped Cy Young to some Tweeps. If Cashman trades prospects, it’s a calamity. If he doesn’t it’s a calamity. Such are passionate fans.
Black, by the way – and we have nothing against the player – has been with Double-A Tennessee in the Cubs system the last two years, and is trying to figure out if he is a starter or reliever. But it was a catastrophe to trade him for Alfonso Soriano.
This time, by not trading shortstop Jorge Mateo, outfielder Aaron Judge, pitcher Luis Severino, who will start for the Yankees during the Boston series next week, and infielder Greg Bird, he did the right thing.
This corner is always an advocate of not trading top prospects for players in walk-year situations, The chances of re-signing such a player are not high. It can happen – Chase Headley is an example – but rental players know free-agency is coming and can’t wait to test the market.
And what was with the San Diego Padres, asking for Mateo in exchange for reliever Craig Kimbrel, a pitcher the Yankees didn’t really need? In addition, they wanted the Yankees to relieve them of bust infielder Jedd Gyorko, another player the Bombers needed like a hole in the head.
The Phillies demanded both Severino and Judge in any deal for Cole Hamels, who is signed through 2018 with an option for 2019. So Hamels went to Texas.
This corner will go on record stating not only was it the correct decision not to trade one or two of these players for a two-month rental, but these four players will get to the majors and contribute in a big way to the Yankees in the future.
Anyone who has seen Mateo play knows he is a special talent who, as he matures, will be able to affect a game in many ways. He is an infielder with speed, some power and a good arm.
Catcher Gary Sanchez is tradable, and his defensive game is improving in several areas. Unlike the above-mentioned four, however, he is not as highly regarded by other teams’ scouts as a trade chip. Two told me last week they are not “fans” of Sanchez’s, perhaps due to issues he had in the past.
The Yankees are determined to build up their system and look to their future. They have been burned by long-term contracts such as C.C. Sabathia’s. The club realizes it can’t buy a World Series anymore. Also, the Yankees are the team with the big lead in the AL East.
“What were they supposed to do?” said a scout from a National League team. “With the way they are playing, did they really want to shake things up? I don’t think so.”
So you might be disappointed with the lack of moves for big names. It was the right way to go.