SSTN Weekly Mailbag: Multiple Trade Proposals, A Plan For The Infield, And A Trade Target!
By Andy Singer
It’s a tough thing to sit here in mid-late October and realize that the Yankees aren’t playing baseball right now. I wasn’t sure that I was even going to watch playoff baseball this year after the Yankees were out, but I’m glad I have. Yes, the games take too long, there are way too many commercials, and some of the broadcasting crews are brutal to listen to for any length of time. Despite all of that, I’m glad I’ve tuned in to the Championship Series games. They’ve been exciting, back-and-forth affairs, which is good for the game. I guess I just couldn’t stay away – I always tell people that I’m a baseball fan before I’m a Yankee fan, which is hard for people who know me to believe. Despite that, I really hope we’re writing about Yankee games this time next year.
As always, thanks for the great questions, and keep them coming to SSTNReadermail@gmail.com. In this week’s SSTN Mailbag, we’ll discuss multiple trade proposals, a trade target, and a plan for the infield! Let’s get at it:
downingjo asks: Jasson Dominguez(sp), would he be a fit in a trade,say for Olsen and Chapman, from Oakland. Throw in on the Yankees side Torres,Urshela,Voit and a handful of guys like Andujar and German?Keep in mind that prospects are just that,prospects.
No matter what the framework looks like, I have a really hard time believing that the A’s will be willing to part with both Olsen and Chapman this offseason. I think the A’s will look at creative ways to get better given their tight budget, and it may very well be that Beane would be willing to part with one of Olsen or Chapman (in that order) to shake the lineup up, but trading both is unrealistic. Of the two, I think Olsen is more likely to be dealt, just given how little teams value first base in the modern era. I actually have already noted that I think that Olsen is a realistic trade target for the Yankees, and I would prefer even a slight overpay for Olsen over re-signing a declining Anthony Rizzo.
There are more interesting value conversations to have here, though. You mention Jasson Dominguez, Gleyber Torres, Gio Urshela, Luke Voit, Miguel Andujar, and Domingo German. We’ll leave Dominguez off to the side for a moment. Despite an awful year, Torres still has the most trade value of the guys on this list, and is likely too much for Olsen, even straight up. Torres looked more than competent at 2B, and was sneaky good at the plate from mid-July on. I have no doubt but that the Yankees will hope for a bounce-back this year, and if they did trade him, they’d have to be blown away. After Torres, I think Urshela has some value, as does Voit despite down seasons due to injury. Again, their value is certainly depressed versus a year ago, but they still could be part of a useful trade. German is a wildcard; he has talent and good stuff, the performance has been inconsistent, but solid, and he’s been relatively healthy throughout his MLB career. The flip side is that we have no idea how the domestic violence incident in his recent past, combined with his social media posts in the aftermath of that incident, have affected his trade value. I wouldn’t be surprised if German was valued similarly to Urshela, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if he had less value than Voit. Andujar has almost no value, sadly – he’s damaged goods at this point.
Trading Dominguez is one card the Yankees have that could drastically impact the 2022 roster, should they choose to use it. Dominguez’s stats in the minors don’t necessarily jump off the page, until you realize that he held his own as an 18-year-old in his first professional action stateside. He is an absolute physical specimen who proved that the tools we’ve heard about for years are for real. There are some concerns now that we’ve seen him, however. His strikeout rate is really high; too often, Dominguez didn’t look like he had a plan at the plate. To be fair, this is not uncommon at all for a young player, and Dominguez was often facing older, more experienced pitchers. The additional concern some scouts have raised is with his incredibly muscular upper half. Some scouts question whether his athleticism will decline as he ages due to his expanding size, making him a corner outfielder as opposed to a centerfielder. For now though, Dominguez has speed, range in CF, an arm, light tower raw power, and a mechanically sound swing. He is pretty clearly a top-50 prospect in baseball, and that carries significant value. Yes, he could probably be the centerpiece of any blockbuster deal you can come up with this offseason.
Balancing 2022 with the future is going to be one of Cashman’s greatest challenges this offseason, and those decisions will have wide-reaching ramifications for years to come.
Michael S. asks: I see a lot of chatter around who the Yankees are going to play at 1st and Short next season, and should they go after external players for those positions. To me, the question should be around 3rd Base, using existing successful players at 1st and Short; DJ goes to first and Gio goes to Short. In this scenario, they only have one glaring hole at 3rd while upgrading the infield overall (pre-Rizzo at least). What does the 3rd Base market look like this off season, and could a trade for Matt Chapman be feasible? This could also allow them to save a little of their “limited” funds for Hal, or spend it on pitching.
I wrote in great depth a year ago about why playing DJ LeMahieu was a bad idea. My point on that front has only been strengthened by what we saw in 2021. Might LeMahieu bounce back to some extent in 2022? Sure, he might, but we are never going to see near-MVP numbers from him again. I’ll come as close as I ever come to guaranteeing that. The juiced ball contributed at least somewhat to DJLM’s homer output, so I think to expect him to hit more than 15 again is a fool’s errand. I have a hard time believing that he will hit nearly enough to justify playing him at 1B, and with the defensive hit he takes from a value perspective, I just can’t get behind that idea.
It’s a similar story for Urshela. Urshela proved that he can fill in at SS on a stopgap basis, and that in and of itself was impressive. However, SS is certainly not Urshela’s defensive home, and the Yankees should be looking for a defensive upgrade there.
However, I do agree that 3B is a possible area of improvement for the Yankees. It is possible that we’ve already seen Urshela’s best baseball, so I’m not opposed to finding other options. Michael asks about Matt Chapman, and I addressed that in the previous answer, but it’s not a bad idea. Personally, I’m in favor of signing a big SS (Corey Seager), who is likely a 3B long-term, playing him at SS in 2021, prior to hopefully shifting him to 3B in 2022 because Volpe or Peraza push for a starting role.
breakatoms offers the following trade: Joey Gallo to the San Diego Padres for Adrian Morejon.
Morejon is a fascinating arm who got to the Majors quickly. He has plus stuff across the board, most interestingly a high-90s fastball and a devastating split-change that you can dream on. However, Morejon’s command is well below-average and his results have not matched his stuff. Additionally, scouts believe his hard fastball plays down due to shape and spin. Lastly, he tore his UCL this year and will be out for at least all of 2022 with Tommy John Surgery.
I understand the urge to trade Gallo, and I’m not completely opposed to the idea (though I’d like to give him another shot). However, the Yankees need to be looking for moves that improve the 2022 team, and this move doesn’t get us there.
Nolan opines: Yankees should look to get Taylor Trammell.
I know I seem negative today, but I’d pass on Taylor Trammell. I really liked Trammell when he was drafted, but the signs aren’t good right now. He strikes out a lot, is running less every year, is likely a left fielder in the Majors as opposed to a centerfielder, and can’t tap into his significant raw power in games due to a light hit tool and a swing that just isn’t built with enough loft to hit for power.
Now, he is a former top prospect, so maybe he can be salvaged by someone else, but the Yankees shouldn’t bank on that happening in 2022.