It's Time To Trade: Domingo German
The Yankees are both a game out of the wild card and also last place in the AL East. Will they be buyers or sellers? I'd prefer the later.
Domingo German's Career:
In mid-December of 2014, the Yankees traded away Martin Prado and David Phelps to the Miami Marlins for 2 MLB players in Nathan Eovaldi and Garrett Jones and 1 minor league player on the rise in Domingo German. In the years quickly following the deal, it appeared the Yankees lost heavily. Nathan Eovaldi gave the Yankees +3.6 bWAR over parts of two seasons, but ended getting released by the team after 2016 due to his timeline for Tommy John surgery recovery. Garrett Jones gave the Yankees -0.6 bWAR and lasted just 57 games with the team before being released and having his baseball career ended.
Meanwhile, the Miami Marlins got +3.1 bWAR from David Phelps before trading him away for a 4-player package that included Pablo Lopez (who later became Luis Arraez). They also got +5.7 bWAR out of Martin Prado, including back to back seasons of +3.4 and +3.8 bWAR in 2015 and 2016. It's clear, years later, that the Yankees got taken for a ride in exchanging major league talent.
However, in 2017 the Yankees started to recoup value on a negative deal when they brought up Domingo German for the first time. He would ride the "Scranton Shuttle" between 2017 and 2018 before getting a chance to showcase his stuff as a starting pitcher in 2019, during which he proved himself with a 18-4 record and an MLB-best .818 winning percentage around a solid 4.03 ERA (110 ERA+) over 27 games (24 starts) and 143.0 innings. As a 26 year old, the Yankees had found a new mid-rotation staple.
However, Domingo German would be barred from finishing the 2019 season after being suspected of violating the league's domestic violence policies and was put on administrative leave. Ultimately an investigation would conclude in a total 81-game suspension for German, which kept him out through the end of the 2019 season and the entire shortened 2020 season.
In 2021, German would return in late April and pitch just below average with a 4.58 ERA (94 ERA+) over 22 games (18 starts) and 98.1 innings. He would improve in 2022 with a 3.61 ERA (107 ERA+) over 15 games (14 starts) and 72.1 innings, but was limited to beginning the season in mid-July thanks to a shoulder problem from spring training.
In 2023, German has been back to 2021 form with a 4.32 ERA (97 ERA+) over 17 games (17 starts) and 91.2 innings, and while he's been able to stay healthy he did also have an early season incident with getting checked for sticky stuff in an April game, and then served a 10-game suspension for violating the league's policy against foreign substance use when caught during a game in May.
He also threw a perfect game (the 24th in MLB history) on June 28th.
To say his career has been tumultuous is an understatement. His quality of play has hovered around league average during his entire career and his propensity for finding himself in the negative spotlight has been upsetting to say the very least. This has led many Yankees fans to resent his being on the team, and right now poses a perfect time to trade him away.
The Starting Pitching Market:
The introduction of the extended wild card has made the trade deadline less exciting as more teams aren't willing to sell in hopes of grabbing a final spot in the playoffs. This leads to their being a small market of good talent being available as the teams willing to sell are not going to have many talented players worthy to trade.
As of now, the biggest names on the trading market look to be:
Lucas Giolito (19 Starts, 6-5 Record, 3.95 ERA [126 ERA+], 112.1 IP, +2.9 bWAR)
Eduardo Rodriguez (12 Starts, 4-5 Record, 2.64 ERA [161 ERA+], 71.2 IP, +2.2 bWAR)
Alex Cobb (16 Starts, 6-2 Record, 2.91 ERA [145 ERA+], 89.2 IP, +2.6 bWAR).
Behind them are other names like Alex Wood, Zack Grienke, Lance Lynn, and Sean Manaea. All players with names and former great years, but nobody to get extremely excited about as all but Greinke have negative bWAR's on the 2023 season.
Which means that Domingo German and his +0.6 bWAR could be a solid get for a team looking for a cheap rotation piece. It also helps that along with Manaea, German has 2 years left of control, except Manaea is set to make $12.5 million while German is in his final year of arbitration after having a $2.6 million salary in 2023. It's also unlikely that German's 2024 contract far exceeds $5 million.
It may seem crazy, but Domingo German could be a valuable get on the market. He could be cheap in terms of cost to acquire, cheap in terms of contract, and he's been consistently okay as a back-end rotation piece who isn't going to be a huge liability.
Small-market teams in the hunt like the Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers, Cleveland Guardians, Miami Marlins, and Baltimore Orioles could all be interesting trading partners.
A Few Simple Trade Ideas:
In my opinion, this is the year the Yankees need to pull the curtains on. They lack the fundamentals needed to become a World Series winning team and there aren't enough possible moves to be made at or before the deadline to fix that. Now is the time to sell off any positive talent and try and remove bad contracts from the roster.
Here's a quick few candidates to consider from each of the aforementioned small-market teams that could be interested in acquiring Domingo German. I'm personally going to be interested in left-handed hitters or pitchers who are young, mid-level prospects at or near the MLB level. (Note: Trade values come from BaseballTradeValues.com; Domingo German has a +4.2 MTV.)
Cincinnati Reds: Brandon Williamson (LHP), 2023: MLB/Triple-A, 25 years old, +4.2 MTV
Cincinnati Reds: Michael Siani (OF, LHH), 2023: Triple-A, 23 years old, +3.9 MTV
Milwaukee Brewers: Robert Gasser (LHP), 2023: Triple-A, 24 years old, +4.6 MTV
Cleveland Guardians: Jose Tena (INF, LHH), 2023: Double-A, 22 years old, +4.2 MTV
Cleveland Guardians: Joey Cantillo (LHP), 2023: Triple-A/Double-A, 23 years old, +2.9 MTV
Cleveland Guardians: Petey Halpin (OF, LHH), 2023: Double-A, 21 years old, +2.4 MTV
Miami Marlins: Victor Mesa Jr. (OF, LHH), 2023: Double-A, 21 years old, +3.7 MTV
(His brother Victor Victor Mesa has a +0.1 MTV. I'd trade for both. Why not?)
Baltimore Orioles: Drew Rom (LHP), 2023: Triple-A, 23 years old, +1.6 MTV