To Keep or Not to Keep: Domingo German
Over the next month as we begin to approach the 2021 Trade Deadline season, Ethan will be taking you through most of the Yankees MLB talent (including those on the IL) and his give opinions on what he would do if he ran the team and on what the Yankees will likely do.
Today we’ll be discussing Domingo German.
MLB Postseason/Division/WS Odds for the New York Yankees (2021): Preseason: Fangraphs – 91.3%/71.0%/17.5% BBRef – 84.0%/63.1%/11.8% 538 – 83%/60%/14% On June 14th: Fangraphs – 44.5%/14.4%/5.7% BBRef – 19.3%/0.9%/0.8% 538 – 37%/8%/3%#Yankees #StartSpreadingtheNews — Start Spreading The News (@NYY_Report) June 14, 2021
Understanding This Series:
At the beginning of this series, the Yankees currently sit with a 33-32 record, are 4th in the AL East (8.5 GB of the Rays), and are 6th in the AL Wild Card race (4 GB of the Astros). If they want to win 93 games this season (what they’d likely need for a wild card spot) they’ll have to play .618 baseball, a winning percentage of which just 2 teams (Rays and White Sox) are currently playing at. In this series we’re not believing that the Yankees, under their current roster construction and self-inflicted restrictions, have a shot at the playoffs. Thus, we’re looking at the 2021 Trade Deadline as a place to sell and to look towards 2022 and the future for this team.
Domingo German Background:
After breaking into the MLB with a short stint in 2017, Domingo German was starting to, and ultimately became a household name in 2019 for two reasons. The first was that he was pitching great as a young member of the New York Yankees rotation, especially as he was coming from the Yankees farm system after they acquired him in December, 2014 from the Miami Marlins. The second- and more notable reason- is that he was suspended 81 games by the MLB in 2019 for violating the MLB personal conduct policy, of which was in direct response to an alleged incident at and after a gala event hosted by C.C. Sabathia. This was also the longest ever non-formally charged suspension the MLB has issued. (German served 18 games in 2019 and was set to serve 63 in 2020, which kept him from playing at all.)
Now back with the team in 2021, it is hard to evaluate exactly where Domingo German ranks as a pitcher. Again, he has proven to be a solid contributor to the Yankees starting rotation, and while he has been the Yankees 2nd best starter, it has been just 12 games this season. Though, to be fair, he has continued to show that 2019 may not have been a fluke year. Over the 2019 and 2021 seasons, German has pitched to a combined: 22-8 Record (.733 WP; 36 Starts), 208.0 Innings, 3.98 ERA (111 ERA+; 4.64 FIP), 1.139 WHIP, 210 Strikeouts (9.1 K/9), 52 Walks (2.3 BB/9). He’s showing that he’s an above-average starting pitcher.
On the contract side of things, Domingo German is in his final year of rookie contracts and will be arbitration eligible after this season and will remain under arbitration through the 2024 season. Thus, he has 3.5 years of control left before he can become a free agent.
Outside of the baggage that comes with German, there may also be a concern with him and the sticky-stuff situation going on around the MLB and pitchers. He had a really bad outing his last time out (4.1 IP, 10 H, 7 R) though, one poor outing doesn’t necessarily indicate anything major going wrong.
What I’d Do and What the Yankees Will Do:
If we want to consider the Yankees are out of a playoff spot in 2021 and that they should be looking to retool for the future, then it should seem obvious to hold onto a cost-controlled starting pitcher with promise like Domingo German. It’s so obvious in fact that it’s what the Yankees will do in keeping him around, boasting about him to the fans with his performances especially if he continues to have a sub-4.00 ERA.
To me, this is the perfect time to trade him away.
I don’t want to have to continue to root for him so that the Yankees can do well, while at the same time undermining my morals about what is right and wrong in the world. Yes, I think he deserved a second chance (I think most people should), but I want that second chance to be with someone else now that’s he’s shown that he can be an above-average, cost-controllable starting pitcher.
Think of the teams looking to make a serious postseason run that would be interested in bringing in an above-average and cheap starter to their rotation. With a sub-4.00 ERA over his past two seasons of play, he would instantly be able to help out teams like the: Boston Red Sox (4.50 starter ERA), Chicago Cubs (4.55 starter ETA), or Cleveland Indians (4.70 ERA), as well as others who may need to add another starter to the mix to fill-out the back-end of the rotation or replace an injured starter.
The time is now to trade Domingo German. With 3.5 years of services time the Yankees could command a solid package back for him that would likely include a Top-100 prospect+. (Think Jose Quintana-lite, where he comes with the same amount of control at a cheaper rate.)