If the Yankees still want to make a trade for Corey Kluber, using the Padres to facilitate a three-way deal may be Brian Cashman’s best option.
The Yankees interest in acquiring a dominant starting pitcher is one of the worst kept secrets in baseball. Obviously, Corey Kluber is a player who seriously interests Brian Cashman.
The challenge for New York is that their best potential trade asset, Miguel Andujar, plays a position that Jose Ramirez currently occupies for the Indians.
That doesn’t mean Cashman is out of options. Reports surfaced earlier this week claiming the Padres have a lot of interest in acquiring Andujar. On the surface, they aren’t a great trade partner for the Yankees.
San Diego doesn’t have a lot of major league talent. They do, however, have a farm system that’s loaded with blue chip prospects.
The presence of those prospects in the Padres system are exactly why the Indians are interested in making a trade that would send Kluber to San Diego. Per John Paul Morosi, Cleveland would be willing to ship Kluber out west for several of San Diego’s top prospects.
Neither MacKenzie Gore or Fernando Tatis Jr. are on the table, but everyone other than the top two Padres prospects is open for discussion.
It’s easy to see how Cashman and the Yankees can take advantage of this situation. A three-way trade involving the Yankees, Indians and Padres could make a lot of sense for everyone involved.
Making a big deal for Andujar makes more sense for the Padres than trading for Kluber. The latter is an excellent pitcher who can help San Diego win games in 2019, but at 32 years of age, he’s too old to help the Padres when their young talent matures to a point where they can really contend.
Adding Andujar to their every day lineup could help them both next season and for future years when the Padres are ready to contend.
Where Kluber moves isn’t a big issue for Cleveland. With this line of thinking, they still receive premium prospects from San Diego’s system. Whether Kluber ultimately ends up with the Padres or Yankees isn’t a real concern for the Indians front office.
The idea for the Yankees here would be to send Andujar, and possibly another meaningful prospect, out-of-town to get Kluber in pinstripes.
He would immediately give Aaron Boone’s rotation the dominant, postseason proven ace they need to mount a serious World Series challenge.
Losing Andujar would sting the Yankees, but moving him would make adding Manny Machado a cleaner fit in free agency. Currently New York is locked in a battle with the White Sox and Phillies to ink the superstar infielder.
Sending Andujar to San Diego would require the Yankees to offer Machado the contract required to bring him to the Big Apple.
The reality here is that three-way trades are always difficult to pull off. The rationale behind this potential move is pretty compelling though. Look for Cashman to try his best to get some traction on this kind of trade before the Indians and Padres agree to terms on a Kluber trade.