The Tuesday Discussion – One More Transaction?
This week we asked:
If the Yankees can make only one more move (a trade or free agent signing) this off-season,
what would you want that move to be?
Our writers responded:
Ed Botti – The Yankees need to add supplemental players at this point. I think adding Daniel Murphy to the team would help the Yankees in many ways. He is versatile enough to play multiple infield positions and DH. He’s a left handed contact hitter with some power. He would be great late game pinch hitter, fill in infielder, and occasional DH. His contract is reasonable, and he’s a proven post season hitter.
Ryan McMahon seems ready to take on the full time first base job in Colorado, so he may be available, possibly in a JA Haap trade.
Lincoln Mitchell – The Yankees are now a good team with no glaring weaknesses. With the newly acquired Gerrit Cole, the Yankees now have a strong and deep starting rotation, an excellent bullpen and no real holes in their lineup. Therefore, there is nothing they need to do. It is always good to get another bullpen arm. A lefty bat that could play first base would help. Some infield depth would be nice, but they can still win if they do none of those things. Therefore, the best thing the Yankees should do is rather than try to fix a problem, they should simply see what available, what bargains can be had and what player can be picked up in good trades. In short, I want to see the Yankees open to many options but wedded to solving any one problem.
Matthew Cohen – Find someone desperate enough to take JA Happ off of their hands and eat at least some of his salary.
Andy Singer – I’m a pretty happy Yankee fan at the moment. Signing one of Gerrit Cole or Stephen Strasburg was at the top of my wishlist for the off-season, and Christmas came far earlier than I expected. I need to be realistic about what comes next, otherwise I would be stumping for re-signing Dellin Betances. Sadly, a reunion does not look likely.
Choosing just one move is difficult, because there are two things that I want more than even a JA Happ trade: a good utility infielder or a reclamation project pitcher. Both pitching and utility infielders are needs that the Yankees can likely fill from within. I have a lot of faith in one of Tyler Wade or Thairo Estrada to become solid Major League contributors this year. I have also written that I have multiple pitchers on the Yankee roster that I think can help the big club if they are placed in the right role this season. At the end of the day, I think that my preference is a signing or trade for a reclamation project pitcher.
The Yankees signaled a shift in their philosophy with regards to pitching when they named Matt Blake the new pitching coach. I want to see what he can do with a talented, but flawed Major League pitcher. That could mean a trade for someone like Chris Archer, an immensely talented starting pitcher with good velocity and spin rates, but someone who has never quite capitalized on his potential. Archer would be a rental, and the Yankees have starters, but they have prospects to spare and Archer may be had on the cheap.
On the Free Agent front, how about someone like Shelby Miller or Julio Teheran? Both pitchers are guys who were blue chip prospects who have had various levels of success in the Majors. What could Matt Blake or the revamped Minor League staff do with Teheran or Miller, respectively?
I know the Yankees have a glut of near-ready pitchers in the minors, but if last season proves one adage, it’s that you can never have too much pitching. I want a reclamation project on which Matt Blake or the Yankee minor league staff can cut their teeth and prove their chops.
Paul Semendinger – I want a left-handed slugger. The only place to put that player is first base, or I guess DH if Stanton can play left field regularly. I advocated for Carlos Santana, but that was before the Yankees got Gerrit Cole. I figured a swap of his salary and J.A. Happ’s (even if they weren’t traded for each other) would work. That doesn’t seem like an option now. What would it take to get Josh Bell from the Pirates? (Could he really be on the trading block?). Absent of a slugger, I wouldn’t mind seeing Robbie Ray come to the Yankees – another lefty starter would be a good thing.
Mike Whiteman – I’m fairly satisfied with the Yankees’ position players at this point. Should a need reveal itself after the season starts, it isn’t that hard to pull off a deal for a position player by trading prospects. Like the old saying goes though, you can never have too much pitching. The Yankees’ bullpen has been a real asset the past couple of years, but we know that relief pitchers can have wide variations in performances year to year due to health and gain/loss of effectiveness. If I’m the Yankee GM with one more transaction to make, I’m looking to add another relief pitcher, with Dellin Betances at the top of my list.