What If The Yankees Are Buyers? Part II: The Orioles (Guest Post from Cary Greene)
Would Brian Cashman Consider an In-Division Blockbuster with the Birds?
Guest Post by Cary Greene
July 11, 2021
Friday night’s 4-0 win over the Astros could be just the spark that the streaky Yankees needed in order to push through the next 19 days and sizzle into the July 30th Trade Deadline with Brian Cashman firmly positioned as a “Buyer.” Last night’s 1-0 win didn’t hurt either!
There are teams that may have varying degrees of willingness to sell, should they find a deal they like (we covered them on Friday – the Indians, Reds, Cubs, Nationals, Cardinals, Braves and Phillies), we can easily identify teams that are in the midst of complete rebuild modes – the Tigers, Royals, Twins, Rangers, Orioles, Marlins, Rockies, Pirates and Diamondbacks. Any of these teams will likely part even with their most tradable players and more than likely, every GM in a buying position will be lighting up their phones as the posturing sellers get serious about adding pieces to their farm systems.
Brian Cashman will scour this tier of teams and be looking for absolute difference makers – players who could help the Yankees in glaring areas of need. In Thursday’s article, I examined two of the worst teams, the Diamondbacks and the Pirates and identified Bryan Reynolds and Ketel Marte as two difference making players who could ignite the Yankee offense. In a separate article, Andy Singer identified Ian Happ from the Cubs and Andrew Benintendi of the Royals as two other potential trade targets. In the comments of my article, Boca also identified a potentially larger trade with the Royals, increasing scope from just Benintendi to include the switch-hitting Carlos Santana.
Let’s examine another team that should be in absolute “deal-making” mode at the Deadline – the Orioles. Would the Birds of Baltimore pony up a true difference maker that Brian Cashman couldn’t resist?
Trading within the division for a true difference maker is inarguably one of the “Classic Blunders.” (The most famous is “Never get involved in a land war in Asia.” But only slightly less well known is this: “Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!) Would this stop Cashman? Naaaah. He already gave Bloom and the Red Sox Adam Ottavino and Garrett Whitlock. I’m pretty sure he’d do business with the Birds.
Which brings us to the 26-year-old, left-handed Cedric Mullins, who plays a steady centerfield and is hitting .315 with 16 HR, 15 SB with 48 Runs Scored this year. Notably, he’s raking Major League right-handed pitching while also smoking left-handed pitching as well. Mulllins is a balanced player and he’s under team control until 2026. Better yet, he hasn’t even hit arbitration yet. Would the Orioles deal him? They’d need to be blown away but he really is their most tradable asset.
Baltimore also has a trio of intriguing strikeout artists in their bullpen: 31-year-old Cole Sulser, a righty who is under control until 2026, and two lefties, 29-year-old Paul Fry and 27-year-old Tanner Scott – both under control until 2025. However, the Yankees have Zack Britton coming back any day now and the bullpen has been the greatest area of strength for this Yankees team.
Baltimore and the Yankees really match up nicely. The Birds need to move the needle on their rebuild to keep pace with the rest of the beasts in the AL East. The cruel reality is that they have to consider moving their most valuable, current assets. Meanwhile, the Yankees desperately need a centerfielder and a starter they can slot in behind Cole.
Cedric Mullins would be an amazing fit for the Yankees. He’s a difference maker for sure. It would take a significant prospect haul to land him. Here’s a conversation starter: Yankees get Cedrick Mullins and the 28-year-old lefty John Means (the Orioles best starter by a mile) in exchange for Domingo German, Deivi Garcia, Luis Gil, Estevan Florial, and Oswald Perazza.
This would be a painful trade for sure but the Yankees would come out with a solid #2 starting pitcher and a really good centerfielder. Both players have plenty of team control.
“For it is in giving that we receive ” – Saint Francis of Assisi.
This trade would be an in-division blockbuster for both teams, but with it, perhaps the Yankees two biggest needs would be satiated in one, painful swoop.