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  • Writer's picturePaul Semendinger

Perspectives: The Yankees' Trade Depth

by Paul Semendinger

January 5, 2024


Word is out that the Yankees are in on Blake Snell. I am to the point where I want the Yankees to start moving to improve their starting rotation. I don't wish for Blake Snell to be the team's #2 starter, but I like him, a lot, as the #3 guy. (And to be honest, he is better than Carlos Rodon and Nestor Cortes, so if he is the number two pitcher, he is an upgrade.)

My message to the Yankees is this - Get It Done. Period.

Snell has had his ups and downs. I have documented all of that. But, he is a solid pitcher with the chance to be great. He's one of the best options out there.

Get it done.

Assuming the Yankees sign Snell, the rotation looks as follows:

  1. Gerrit Cole

  2. Blake Snell

  3. Carlos Rodon

  4. Nestor Cortes

  5. Clarke Schmidt

That's very good, potentially, but I'd love for the Yankees to add one more starting pitcher. I would assume that next pitcher would have to come via trade. As of today, I am of the opinion that Shane Bieber is the best option. He is supposedly available, he is not too expensive, and he has a big upside. But, of course, I'd also be thrilled if the Yankees traded for Corbin Burnes, Dylan Cease, or Jesus Luzardo. I'd like one more quality arm to push Clarke Schmidt to #6 and to move Rodon and Cortes, both coming off injury-filled disappointing 2023 seasons, down one more notch.

As I have often shared, I have no intersted in the Yankees spending money and prospects to build a super bullpen. I believe teams can figure out bullpens themselves if they have enough talent - and the Yankees always seem to make the bullpen work well. As such, I have no concerns there. My pitching efforts are directed at the starting rotation.

The rest of the starters for 2024 (as of today) are the following:

C. Jose Trevino and Austin Wells

1b - Anthony Rizzo

2b - Gleyber Torres

3b - D.J. LeMahieu

SS - Anthony Volpe

INF - Oswald Peraza

LF - Juan Soto

CF - Trent Grisham

RF - Aaron Judge

DH - GIancarlo Stanton

OF- Alex Verdugo

INF/OF - Oswaldo Cabrera

(I don't want here to get into the discussion of how much Soto plays in the field, how Verdugo and Stanton fit in and such. Just accept the above as a rough outline because regardless of the exact positions they play, those are the players thjat make up the 2024 Yankees as of today.

I have shared before that I would love the Yankees to sign Cody Bellinger to enchance the position players above. I'm going to assume they won't do that, but I will show, in brief, why signing Bellinger can help the Yankees improve the lineup and the starting rotation.

Of the players above, the lineup seems set, but I would also love to see D.J. LeMahieu moved from a starting role at third base to a position as a "play everwhere" infielder covering second base, third base, and first base - and serving as a potentially dangerous right-handed bat off the bench on games when he doesn't start.

But again, I think the starting players listed above will be the starters for the 2024 Yankees.

With that being the case, I'd like to examine the other players who should be, as a result of the above, players the Yankees can trade without impacting the core of next year's team very much.

In addition to the starters in 2024, the Yankees also have a few high profile minor leaguers. The best of the minor league bunch seem to be Chase Hampton, Will Warren, Jasson Dominguez, Spencer Jones, and Rodrick Arias. For the sake of discussion, let's say that those five players are also untouchable.

In order for the Yankees to trade for a top starting pitcher, let's see who would then be available. For this exercise, since the Yankees need pitching, and they need to build their bullpen, I'm going to leave pitchers off the following lists.

From the 40-Man Roster:

  • Carlos Navarez (c)

  • Agustin Ramirez (c)

  • Ben Rortvedt (c)

  • Jeter Downes (inf)

  • Yorbit Vivas (inf) - #10 Prospect

  • Oscar Gonzalez (of)

  • Everson Pereira (of) - #3 Prospect

  • Bubba Thompson (of)

From the team's Top 20 Prospects (from MLB Top Prospects List) (and not listed above):

  • George Lombard, Jr (ss) - #5 Prospect

  • Brando Mayea (of) - #9 Prospect

  • Tyler Hardman (3b) - #15 Prospect

  • Roc Riggo (2b) - #17 Prospect

  • Jared Serna (ss/2b) - #18 Prospect

  • Anthony Hall (of) - #20 Prospect

To me, that seems like a pretty nice collection of players. I would have to imagine that the Yankees could put a nice package together with a collection of those players to get a high quality starting pitcher. That list has four top ten prospects and some high-upside catchers - always a psotion teams need to fill for the immediacy and the future.

I think a package comprised of some of those players can entice a team to trade a quality stating pitcher.

But, that being said, if the Yankees needed to made the package a little stronger, for a better pitcher, Clarke Schmidt could certanily be available. Clarke Schmidt plus two or thre of the above is a very nice package.

But now, here's where the Yankees can do even better.

If the Yankees were to sign Gio Urshela to play third base (assuming he is healthy), Oswald Peraza or Oswald Cabrera would also be available. If Urshela were signed, even though I wouldn't want him traded, Gleyber Torres could also be offered in a trade (with D.J. LeMahieu shifting to his natural position at second base).

Clarke Schmidt plus Oswald Peraza, plus Gleyber Torres, and a top 10 prospect... that has to be able to get a deal done.

And, if the Yankees go one extra step - if Cody Bellinger were signed, the Yankees would also be able to offer Alex Verdugo and/or Trent Grisham. I think this helps keep Gleyber Torres in the Bronx where I'd like him to stay - at least for the 2024 season.

In short, it seems clear to me that the Yankees can deal from some strength here. I keep hearing how the Yankees don't have trade pieces. I don't agree. I think they have a lot. There is a lot the Yankees can do here.

I have to believe that a package of the available players listed can get the Yankees a top of the rotation starter like Corbin Burnes, Jesus Luzardo, or Dylan Cease.

This is why, when I hear, "The Yankees have to first address the pitching," I disagree. The Yankees can do both, but by addressing centerfield with Bellinger, they actually would make getting a top pitcher easier.

If the Yankees follow this plan, the 2024 Yankees look like a powerhouse. They look unstoppable. Imagine this team:

Catcher - Trevino/Wells

First Base - Rizzo (Bellinger)

Second Base - Torres (LeMahieu)

Shortstop - Volpe

Third Base - Urshela (LeMahieu)\

Outfield - Soto

Outfield - Bellinger

Outfield - Judge

DH - Stanton

SP - Cole

SP- Snell

SP - Bieber

SP- Rodon

SP- Cortes

Yankees... Make it happen. Bring excitement to the Bronx.

Get it done!


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Jan 06

I don’t necessarily see the fit with Bellinger on the team as currently constructed. Looking 2 years down the road, we could have Judge, Soto, Stanton, Dominguez and Jones all under contract (plus Pereira, Hall, etc). While Bellinger does also play 1B, allocating $25 million a season to Bellinger all but assures the team has to cut ties with Rizzo after this season. That move might not be too popular with the clubhouse (especially Judge).

Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Jan 06
Replying to

Fair points.

I do think a time comes when a team has to move on from a player.

If the Yankees don't bring back Rizzo (team option) because it might make Judge upset, that's a bad reason. The focus, I believe, for a team with the resources the Yankees have, should be winning.

Like Mike Whiteman first said, I can see the Yankees inking Bellinger in the same way they signed Teixeira for the 2009 season. That would be a power move.

The Yankees are so close, they need to go all-in for 2024.


Jan 06

I think the chances of getting Blake Snell are now very strong. The key was him telling personal friends of his, privately, that he is interested in playing for the Yankees. That carries a lot more weight for me than an agent like Scott Boras saying that his client "is open to playing with (returning to) the Yankees" (like he said about Monty), because when an agent says that, I see it as posturing, as using the Yankees for his client to get a better deal elsewhere. Another factor is that Blake Snell wants to play for a winning organization, and the Yankees are much more of a winning organization than their top two competitors for Snell's services, the Gia…


Jan 05

Regarding Snell and Bellinger if Boras holds them out to bid up their price he will, but Cashman has been patient in the past, and it seems the longer he waits and the longer both players remain available that increases the chances they will sign both players. Bellinger is a perfect fit for the Yankees. The Yankees have major league players and prospects to put together a nice package, or will they increase payroll for SP..... question is will they do either? We'll find out within the next couple of weeks!


Jan 05

if the Yankees are going to reach agreement with Bellinger, they are going to have to do so


1) on a veeery long-term deal


2) at a veeery high annual salary


3) toward the end of the month

such is the way in which Mr Bellinger's representative conducts business.

he has great patience and few jitters. he allows the buyers' anxiety to build and work against the buyers.

when those silly people say that "The Yankees have to first address the pitching,"

they might have in mind that acquiring a pitcher not represented by Mr Boras can be accomplished soon

while the bidding for Mr Bellinger's service will not be resolved, on reasonable terms, until later.


Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Jan 05
Replying to

Your argument, is tedious and boring.

In short - You said that Boras will not make any deal. You were deliberate and emphatic on that point. There was no question what you were saying.

And he might not, but he might. You left no room for any possibility that Bellinger (or Snell) might sign sooner than later.

I have said that Bora has had his clients sign early. I proved that fact.

Will Bellinger sign early? He might. He might not.

But the absolute you present is simply wrong. Argue all you want, but that is the fact.

You are the one speaking in absolutes - "Boras will not have his client sign."

Boras is a smart business man. I…


Jan 05

System is depleted, most likely a trade will include MLB roster players. I'd be on the phone with Miami. Both teams match up well.

Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Jan 05
Replying to

We'll disagree, it seems they have a lot to offer, no?

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