These young prospects could all be on the move if the New York Yankees decide to get busy at the trade deadline.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before — it’s the end of July and the New York Yankees are about to get busy on the trade market. With less than two weeks to go until July 31, the Yankees are beginning to be linked to every big pitching name potentially on the block. They’re after Marcus Stroman. They like Mike Minor if the Texas Rangers make him available. If Noah Syndergaard is put up for auction by the New York Mets, the Yanks will have an offer in.
The Yankees are running away with the AL East and have an easy path back to the playoffs, but their starting rotation still leaves much to be desired. It is not a rotation that can go strikeout-for-strikeout with the power arms of the Houston Astros or Cleveland Indians in a playoff series. The Yankees desperately need Luis Severino’s shoulder to heal in time to get ready for the stretch run as the rest of their rotation continues going in the wrong direction. Of particular concern is CC Sabathia’s 5.59 ERA over his last seven starts and Masahiro Tanaka’s 5.21 ERA over his past eight outings.
The brilliance of Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is sometimes overlooked or written off because he has a nearly bottomless supply of cash to spend on free agents, draft picks and international amateurs. Looking at it that way is a gross oversimplification of the facts. Cashman has totally overhauled a Yankees farm system that was near the bottom of the league at the start of the decade.
Big trades for starters and relievers at each of the last three deadlines have knocked the Yankees prospect depth down a peg, but there is still plenty of talent at the higher levels of the system. The Yankees are going to be wheeling and dealing before the end of July 31. Keep an eye on these five names, who could all be used to bring back a haul that would cement the Yankees as the top World Series contender in the American League.
5. Jonathan Loaisiga
Right-hander Jonathan Loaisiga has taken a circuitous route to the upper echelon of the prospect ranks, but he’s found a way to make it to the big leagues, nonetheless. He was signed by San Francisco out of Nicaragua all the way back in 2012, debuted in 2013 and then did not take the mound again until 2016 after Tommy John surgery. The Giants released him while his injuries mounted in 2015, but he found a home with the Yankees.
Finally healthy in 2017 and 2018, Loaisiga made 29 starts and threw just over 100 solid innings. He earned a call-up to the big leagues at the end of 2018 and gave the Yankees five shutout innings in his debut. The 24-year-old has a power fastball that sits at 95 mph and a solid changeup. He also has quality breaking pitches to give himself a four-pitch mix.
The big issue for Loaisiga is staying healthy, and that’s why he’s not rated higher on this list. He has never thrown more than 100 innings in a professional season and is currently on the Injured List with a rotator cuff strain. He may need to make a move to the bullpen if he is going to have an extended MLB career.