When Justus Sheffield was shipped to Seattle it made Estevan Florial the Yankees top prospect. Brian Cashman is determined to keep it that way.
Pressure is mounting on Brian Cashman to land a big name pitcher to complete the Yankees starting rotation. Patrick Corbin and Nathan Eovaldi’s decisions to sign elsewhere have drastically increased the odds of a trade being utilized to fill that need. The challenge for teams who want to make a deal with New York is that the team’s front office isn’t very interested in giving up their top prospect.
Recent reports emanating from New York claim that the Yankees have responded to teams asking about Estevan Florial’s availability with a hard no. In other words, Cashman and company would need to be blown away to part with the 19-year-old center fielder.
That’s a bold stance to take on a player who’s never reached AA. There are plenty of people inside the Yankees organization who believe Florial can become a star center fielder in the Bronx, but a lot has to go right for that to happen. Even if everything does go according to plan, it’s unlikely he’ll reach the Majors before 2021 at the absolute earliest.
The majority of Yankees fans on social media aren’t in the mood to be anywhere near that patient. They want an ace immediately to help the storied franchise end their World Series drought. It’s clear that several teams who are willing to part with front line starters are going to demand Florial be included in any potential deal.
It’s particularly interesting to contrast the club’s current negotiating stance on Florial with how they’ve treated Miguel Andujar this winter. The Yankees certainly haven’t aggressively shopped Andujar, but they’ve absolutely discussed his inclusion in several trades. That makes it pretty obvious that the organization believes Florial’s ceiling is higher than Andujar’s.
None of that necessarily means either player is going to be dealt anytime soon. The Yankees clearly place a high value on both players. They might be more willing to discuss Andujar than Florial, but that doesn’t mean they’re anxious to trade either youngster.
On the other hand, if Cashman gets a chance to land the ace his team so desperately needs, he may be forced to reevaluate his stance on both players. It’s easy to say a player like Florial is untouchable when teams make their initial phone calls, but it’s an entirely different matter to say that when a premium arm is available. It will be very interesting to see just how committed Cashman is to keeping Florial when the hot stove really starts to heat up.