Looking At: BBTV Yankees Trades
With little going on in the rumor mill, let's see if Yankees fans out there have any good trade proposals or ideas we can learn from:
It's no surprise that the MLB and baseball has been running slow since the new year. The big free agents are all signed. (Well, mostly. What happens with Carlos Correa has yet to be seen.)
Usually this tends to lead to a boom in the the trade market, but that has also yet to break out with any major moves. Maybe we can look at the recent Toronto-Arizona catcher/outfielder for a catcher & outfielder trade as the biggest one this offseason, but the league there hasn't been much to evaluate.
So, off into the internet we go! Today I'll be selecting a couple trade proposals from BaseballTradeValues.com. Let's see what they got!
Trade One: "Second Base Swap"
Minnesota Twins Get: Clarke Schmidt, Frankie Montas, Kyle Higashioka, Antonio Gomez
New York Yankees Get: Luis Arraez
Overview: Many times on the trade board of BBTV the users will add tons of prospects and/or lower valued players to make a deal close by MTV (or Millions of dollars of Trade Value). So, I'm going to assume the addition of a back-up catcher in Kyle Higashioka and middle-valued catching prospect in Antonio Gomez was because of this trend.
The main part of this deal comes with the Yankees supplying the Minnesota Twins with Clarke Schmidt (who I will discuss below with a San Diego trade) and Frankie Montas. Now, Frankie Montas is an interesting player. He's likely set up to be the Yankees 5th starter next season (after Cole, Rodon, Cortes, and Severino) and could even be battling for that spot. If the Yankees had faith that they had a guy ready for that spot (Domingo German? Luis Gil? or maybe Jhony Brito?) there could be an option to cut their losses and trade Montas.
The Twins had the 21st ranked starting pitching staff by fWAR last year. To say they could use an upgrade would be an undersell. The Twins also had the 20th ranked bullpen last year by fWAR. It's clear that they could use major upgrades to their pitching across the board. However, having the Twins move on from the reigning American League batting champion would be a difficult sell. They'd be upgrading on one end to open up a hole somewhere else.
Luis Arraez is the exact type of player that the Yankees need to have on their team. A left-handed hitting infielder who has and will continue to hit over .300 while serving as the perfect lead-off bat. It would be absolutely perfect. Why I never thought of this before is baffling to me!
Would I Do It?
As this trade is constructed, it wouldn't even be an offer. I wouldn't have the option to say "yes" (though I'd love to). Instead, we have to fix this trade.
My first order of business is to remove Kyle Higashioka and Antonio Gomez. They're such small pieces of the trade and we can do better. I also remove Clarke Schmidt from the deal. Essentially, I'd be starting the talks with Arraez for Montas.
I'd also offer in Gleyber Torres to the mix. Torres has more value than Schmidt (by MTV) so it would be a near equal swap in value. This would also give the Twins the reassurance that they wouldn't be opening up a hole on the infield. There is a notable downgrade from Arraez to Torres. That's clear and obvious and to say otherwise is to overvalue Torres. However, this would be essential piece towards getting a deal like this done. As it stands, the value would be within about 5 MTV if it was just this.
So, my next order of business would be to add in Domingo German on the Yankees side and Kenta Maeda on the Twins side. German is a net positive MTV player (by about 2.5) and Maeda is a net negative MTV player (by about 2.5). So, in his essence the deal would fit.
Domingo German would be yet another gain for a rotation that needs arms. Kenta Maeda would be coming back to the Yankees as a player fresh off Tommy John rehab and likely a middle bullpen piece.
This would also work out well financially for the Yankees. The combination of Torres, Montas, and German will cost about $19 Million next season. The combination of Arraez and Maeda would be about $10 Million. This would open up some more money to make moves now (or at the trade deadline) without worrying about the luxury tax thresholds (as the Yankees like to do).
Trade Two: "HSK for IFK?"
San Diego Padres Get: Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Jasson Dominguez, Clarke Schmidt
New York Yankees Get: Ha-Seong Kim, Trent Grisham
Overview: This would be a blockbuster type move for the Yankees to make. It's also very interesting in its principle.
The San Diego Padres have no spot for Ha-Seong Kim (who is coming off a 5 WAR season) after they just signed Xander Bogaerts to play shortstop. They also already have Manny Machado at third base, Jake Cronenworth at second base, and a back-up infielder in Fernando Tatis Jr. (who will be playing outfield in 2023). They also have been rumored to be willing to move on from Trent Grisham.
For the Yankees, while it may appear that they have more than enough resources for shortstop in 2023 with the trio of Oswald Peraza, Anthony Volpe, and IKF, the Yankees still could be willing to be active on the shortstop market. Add in how they're looking for a player to manage left field and the workings of a deal for Kim and Grisham does have legs.
Then, we have to look at this from the San Diego perspective: what do they need? The way I see it, they could use a utility infielder who could play just about anywhere and could use arms in the bullpen. Now, Ha-Seong Kim could be that utility player for them, but in this deal they'd obviously be selling high on him and buying low on IKF. (Though, technically they'd be spending $2 Million more on IKF and his $6 Million salary as opposed to Kim's $4 Million.) Why they would do this, would allow them to get back a strong reliever with control in Clarke Schmidt. Maybe they could also believe he has one last shot at being a starter? However, the real meat and potatoes of this deal would be the inclusion of Jasson Dominguez.
The Padres have a farm system that is depleted after trading for Juan Soto at the trade deadline, and getting back "The Martian" would be huge steps in putting huge talent back into the team. Coincidentally, Dominguez's timeline does put him breaking into the MLB at about the same time Juan Soto could be out to test free agency. He could be an early form of protection for the Padres in this scenario. Clarke Schmidt would help continue to boost a bullpen that was nearly Top-5 last year, and IKF takes a full-time utility role.
Like I said, it's an interesting idea.
Would I Do It?
Interesting only gets you so far though. I wouldn't do this deal as it was structured. The Yankees wouldn't do this deal, partially for the same reasons as listed below in my next trade and partially for why I wouldn't.
Jasson Dominguez is untouchable for me. I understand that as a huge proponent of the notion that "having prospects is to trade prospects" there are some players that a team should not move on from too early in the prospect phase. Dominguez is exactly that type of player. I'm willing to risk it with him, by not cashing in on his prospect value now and hoping he succeeds for the Yankees in the future.
Now, if the Padres were interested in a trade where the Yankees substituted Oswald Peraza instead of Dominguez (who have similar values on BBTV), then I would likely take the deal. However, the Padres have no reason to make that trade either. They don't need another shortstop. That's why they'd be willing to trade Kim in the first place.
As the deal was proposed, I wouldn't do it. And the Padres wouldn't take my "fixed" version of the trade. No deal.
Trade Three: "Banking on Left Field"
Baltimore Orioles Get: Will Warren (Yankees #8 Prospect; MLB Pipeline)
New York Yankees Get: Anthony Santander
Overview: Is that a bad pun? Of course! But, just close your eyes and imagine this...okay, wait. You need to read this first, THEN close your eyes. Okay? Are you ready? Picture this: we have the Judge's Chambers in right field and the Bank Vault (sponsored by Santander Bank) in left field! Hey, the Yankees have plastered advertisements just about everywhere else around the stadium, may as well add another! (Though, Bank of America may have other ideas...)
Jokes aside, this is an incredibly interesting trade proposal for both sides.
Anthony Santander is going to be entering his age-28 season and has 2 years remaining as an arbitration-eligible player before he is set to become a free agent after the 2024 season. He's a switch-hitting bat and last year he hit to a .240/.318/.455/.773 quadruple slash (117 OPS+) with 138 hits, 33 home runs, and 89 RBI's. He played in 152 games and has an above average arm (63rd percentile), though he played just 38 games in left field (with 84 in right) and has a below average outfield jump (31st percentile). His right-handed (.293 AVG in 157 AB's) and left-handed (.221 AVG in 469 AB's) are a bit concerning for his ability to really be a true switch-hitter, but these values also come a bit closer over his full MLB career (.262 AVG as RHH in 548 AB's; .237 as LHH in 1244 AB's).
If they were able to, trading for Santander would be a lower type risk move for the Yankees. He looks to be getting better year-in and year-out and his bat has already proven to play well in the AL East. To see if he could handle full-time left field responsibility in Yankee Stadium would be interesting, but maybe those worries would be nullified a bit with Bader and Judge having above-average defense and range.
For the Orioles, they'd be getting back a high-rising prospect in the Yankees system in Will Warren. He pitched for 4 seasons with Southern Louisiana and was the 8th round draft pick for the Yankees in the 2021 MLB Draft. In his first professional season this past year, Warren started 8 games to a 3.60 ERA and had 42 strikeouts in 35 innings at High-A before earning a promotion to Double-A where he pitched 18 more starts to a 4.02 ERA and had 83 strikeouts in 94 innings.
Warren's arsenal features a mid-to-low 90's fastball, a high-80's slider (said to be his best pitch), a mid-70's curveball (with top spin rates), and a low-80's changeup. He also has good control of his pitches and command of the plate, which pushes his ceiling as a mid-rotation starter OR a high-leverage bullpen arm and keep his floor as a solid bullpen arm. He seems like a low-risk prospect to bet on, but will likely need another season in the minors to prove his worth.
It would be an opportunity for the Yankees to sell high on a mid-round draft pick after his first season of MiLB work. And, I often hold to the philosophy of, "there is no such thing as a pitching prospect".
Would I Do It?
Within the past week, a report (from Jon Heyman) came out that the Yankees are not willing to go over the $293 Million luxury tax threshold. They are currently expected to have a salary of $290 Million for 2023, which means that they have very little budgeting room right now. This is important for us to consider as Anthony Santander is projected to make $7.5 Million this upcoming season. Trading for him would require- if we believe the luxury tax noise- another move to shed salary from elsewhere.
That being said, if I had this deal presented to me, I would take it without hesitation. Anthony Santander on a 2-year deal would be an incredible get for the Yankees. Losing Will Warren would be a loss to the farm system, but I'm not worried about that. They found an 8th round draft pick who had a good first season in the minor leagues. I've heard that story a thousand times before. He's tradeable and this would be a worthwhile move to deal him in.