With July halfway over, the Yankees are surely taking a good, hard look at the trade market.
General manager Brian Cashman has already pulled off one move, acquiring Brewers first base prospect Garrett Cooper for lefty reliever Tyler Webb. Cooper, having a monster year in the offensively inflated Pacific Coast League, will look to give the Yankees some depth at first base, but does Cashman have any bigger moves up his sleeve?
He has an incredibly deep farm system, but Cashman already stated that New York will be “careful buyers” this month.
With that in mind, let’s weigh the cost and benefits of a few players the Yankees are rumored to be interested in.
- Jose Quintana
Jose Quintana has already been dealt to the Cubs, but the Yankees, in need of pitching, were in on the former White Sox starter.
The Cubs gave up their Nos. 1 and 2 prospects, outfielder Eloy Jimenez and pitcher Dylan Cease, plus two other farmhands in the deal. Quintana has put together a solid career but the Cubs paid a steep price for a pitcher that’s not a bonafide ace. This deal is the market setter for a comparable starter, someone like…
- Sonny Gray
The Yankees needed a starter before Michael Pineda went down — now they are desperate for a replacement.
Could Oakland’s Sonny Gray be the answer?
Probably not. Like Quintana, Gray’s reputation is stronger than his resume. He’s a quality, young arm, but he’s not worth the cream of the Yankees’ crop of prospects. With Oakland’s asking price expected to be high, don’t count on Cashman pulling the trigger on this one. At the very least, one has to think the Yankees give pitching prospect Chance Adams a shot before they make a move like this.
- Yonder Alonso
The Yankees just added Cooper, but they will be forced to try something else at first base if he doesn’t produce right away.
Yonder Alonso, another Athletic, could be a more reliable solution as the Yankees try to figure out what’s wrong with Greg Bird.
The A’s are highly unlikely to re-sign the impending free agent, so his cost shouldn’t be excessive. Mark Alonso down as one of the Yankees’ more acquirable targets — he’s having a career year and would provide New York with added pop.
- Justin Bour
Like Alonso, Marlins first baseman Justin Bour is having a career year. Unlike Alonso, he’s not eligible for free agency until 2021 — he would cost a pretty penny compared to his Oakland counterpart.
Bour would bring a lot of power and personality to the Bronx, but the Marlins are in prime position to overcharge for him. The Yankees shouldn’t let themselves be held at ransom.
- Tommy Joseph
Of all the first baseman listed here, Philadephia’s Tommy Joseph might be the most likely to end up with the Yankees.
The second-year big leaguer can hit the ball out of the park, though his overall numbers are not spectacular. That said, Joseph is expendable, as he is blocking a stud Phillies prospect, Rhys Hoskins. Philadelphia has said Hoskins is ready for the majors, yet the organization doesn’t want to move him or Joseph to another position. That means Joseph will be on the move and the Phillies will have little leverage.
The cost should not be high if the Yankees want to swoop in.
- Brad Hand
Don’t count on the Yankees landing Brad Hand if reports that the Padres wanted Gleyber Torres in return are true.
New York’s bullpen has been a mess and Hand has been superb the last two years, but Torres is the organization’s No. 1 prospect, even as the infielder recovers from Tommy John surgery. Parting with him for a reliever just isn’t a worthwhile move for the Yankees.
That said, this is close to the market that has been established for dominant relievers, a market the Yanks set last year when they twice got Nos. 1 and 5 prospects in exchange for Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman. Hand does not have the track record of either but, based on precedent, the Padres were not crazy to ask for Torres.
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