Over the past few seasons, it was well known that the Yankees would clear salaries in order to get under the luxury tax threshold so that they could take advantage of the robust 2018-2019 free agent market. However, now that the time has come, there are only a few free agents who seem to fit the Yankees needs.
Several teams, however, have unexpectedly announced that they are rebuilding and all of a sudden there is a burgeoning trade market that the Yankees need to take advantage of. There are so few elite free agents available and so many teams with money to spend, it would be wise for the Yankees to explore offseason trades to bring in stars like they did last winter with Giancarlo Stanton.
The Yankees still have an incredible farm system and some major league trade pieces like Sonny Gray, who actually performed well outside of Yankees Stadium in 2018.
Here are some of the top players the Yankees should target via trade.
There were rumors last season that the Mets would trade Degrom to the Yankees, but nothing materialized. Now, Degrom’s former agent is the Mets general manager (conflict of interest anyone?). The Mets seemingly have two options: (1) Sign the potential NL Cy Young winner or (2) Sign him. At 30 years old and with one year remaining on his contract it would be wise for the Mets to trade Degrom while his value is so high. They’re in a division with resurgent Phillies and Braves teams along with a still strong Nationals team.
With only one year of control, Degrom may not command prospect commensurate with his talent, however, his season was so dominant that the Mets should get a very good haul if they decided to trade him. The Yankees have a fantastic farm system including studs like Clint Frazier, Justus Sheffield, and Estevan Florial. The Mets would do well to receive a package including any of those three players.
Making the complex simple: Jacob deGrom for NL MVP? It’s a longshot, but the numbers say he deserves it. pic.twitter.com/h0q4ieDxT3
— MLB (@MLB) September 20, 2018
The Cleveland Indians
The Cleveland Indians shocked the baseball world by announcing they were willing to part with some of their star players including ace Corey Kluber, near-ace Carlos Carrasco, and pretty much anyone not named Jose Ramirez or Francisco Lindor. This was so shocking because the Indians are only a few seasons removed from a World Series appearance and they are clearly the best team in a weak AL Central division.
That being said, they do have a few players on the wrong side of 30 and they could restock their team with younger major league ready players immediately. Could the Yankees pull off a trade that includes Kluber and Carrasco? Perhaps. That might be too steep a price for the Yankees, although if they also took on Edwin Encarnacion and his large contract, they might not have to give up as much.
If the Yankees don’t sign Bryce Harper and have him split time between 1B and OF (please do this Cash, please), then their next best option at first base might be trading for Paul Goldschmidt. Goldschmidt is the perennial NL MVP candidate and he’s coming off another solid season. Goldschmidt is 31 years old and is owed $14.5 million in the final year of his contract.
He would be an immediate upgrade at first base and give the Yankees another superstar in the lineup. Sure it’s another right-handed batter, but Goldschmidt is a top-10 bat overall in the league, let alone first base. With only one year left on his contract, like Degrom, Goldy may not command the prospects he would have cost in years past.
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) June 11, 2018
With all the World Series and postseason experience, it’s hard to believe Madison Bumgarner is only 29 years old. Bumgarner is also entering the last year of his contract and the San Francisco Giants are in a precarious position. Many thought they would trade off talent last season and rebuild. That didn’t happen. Will they do the same this year? Hard to tell.
They have a loyal fanbase who fills their ballpark, and they have a smart management team that may have money to spend. It’s probably more likely that the Giants re-sign Bumgarner instead of trading him.
On this day, 4 years ago #MadisonBumgarner cemented his #postseason legacy and became a legend @sfgiants #sfgiants #worldseries @FareedNBCS @PavlovicNBCS @JohnSheaHey @extrabaggs @hankschulman @Bruce_Jenkins1 @BruceBochy @sfgiantsbeat pic.twitter.com/YirLgQ3nPB
— Morse Fans (@MorseFans) October 30, 2018
Just kidding. Greinke just doesn’t have the personality for New York. If Randy Johnson can’t pitch well here, Greinke has no shot.
Zack Greinke pretty much describing "good pitching" in 4 seconds. pic.twitter.com/3F7irYkTs0
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 11, 2018
I have a feeling Cashman will once again get the best of both worlds and will acquire elite talent on the free agent market and via trade.