The Yankees are primed and ready to make some big moves during the Winter Meetings. Here are five trades Brian Cashman can make.
Brian Cashman needs to get some sleep while he still can. Once Sunday’s Winter Meetings begin he’s going to be one of the most popular guys in the room. The Yankees aren’t the only team interested in making big deals next week, but they might be the franchise with the most motivation.
Clearly, the Yankees are still short one starting pitcher. Both Patrick Corbin and Nathan Eovaldi have gone off the board via free agency this week. There’s a substantial chance that New York simply elects to re-sign J.A. Happ, but there are superior options available on the trade market. It wouldn’t shock anyone to see the Yankees pull off another big deal to strengthen their starting rotation.
There are still spots to fill in the bullpen too. Neither David Robertson or Zach Britton seems overly likely to wear pinstripes again next year. It’s more likely Cashman will address his relief needs via free agency, but if the right trade opportunity comes up look for him to jump on it.
Don’t forget that the team’s infield is still filled with uncertainty too. Didi Gregorius is going to miss a chunk of the season due to Tommy John surgery which leaves Aaron Boone without a starting shortstop at the moment. Unlike pitching, making a trade looks like the most likely way for Cashman to fill his need up the middle. That doesn’t necessarily mean the Yankees will acquire a big name, but it could be an under the radar move that makes a big impact.
In this piece, we’ll take you through five trades we believe the Yankees could realistically make during the Winter Meetings. We’ve done our best to be fair and plausible here. Our first deal allows the Yankees to get rid of a player they have no interest in retaining.
5. Yankees ship Sonny Gray to the Royals
Brian Cashman has made no secret of the fact that Sonny Gray’s future lies away from the Yankees. It would be a major surprise if he’s still a member of the organization when 2018 ends.
In fact, we like his chances to be moved during the Winter Meetings. There are lots of teams who will be interested in rehabilitating his career. The Royals are certainly one of those teams. They’d love to add a potential No. 2 or No. 3 starter to their rotation.
Whit Merrifield and Danny Duffy
Sonny Gray and Albert Abreu
Kansas City also has pieces that can interest Cashman. In this suggested trade, Whit Merrifield comes over to play second base while Didi Gregorius is on the shelf. Moving Gleyber Torres to shortstop isn’t ideal, but it’s workable for half a season. Merrifield also can provide significant value to the Yankees as a utility player once Gregorius returns. That fact that Merrifield will be a free agent next winter makes now the time for the Royals to deal him.
The inclusion of Duffy in the deal gives the Yankees a potential lottery ticket for their rotation. He’s been wildly inconsistent during his career, but you can’t argue that he has really good stuff when he’s on.
This isn’t a trade that would excite the fanbase, but it could easily provide the Yankees with a swing starter and a super sub all in the same deal.