Analysis

Crazy Trade Idea: Yankees Trade For German Marquez

The Yankees need pitching badly, and this crazy trade idea for German Marquez might be exactly what they need to win a title.

The New York Yankees and starting pitching, it’s a relationship that has never really worked out. You think they got it figured out like in 2017 when they posted the 5th best starter ERA and 6th best starter SIERA. Ever since then they’ve been an average staff, ranking between 14-15th in starter ERA. While Gerrit Cole does wonders for that rotation, 2 catastrophic injuries to James Paxton and Luis Severino made them a mediocre bunch again. This time around they have 3 holes in the rotation. They hope Deivi Garcia can step up and fill one of them, but they still lack starting pitching depth. As of right now, their Opening Day rotation would be Gerrit Cole, Jordan Montgomery, Deivi Garcia, Clarke Schmidt, Opener. 

Domingo German won’t be back for 6 games, and Severino won’t be back until June or July. That rotation is quite frankly not good at all, as there are 2 solid but not great starters, and 2 question marks. The Yankees need to get starters obviously, but how can they net a star in a COVID-infested market? Make a trade for an under-the-radar arm, and the Yankees could trade for young stud German Marquez.

German Marquez’s Resume Would Entice the Yankees

Despite pitching in Coors Field, German Marquez has figured out how to remain a very good pitcher. Since 2018 he has posted a 4.14 ERA, 3.63 FIP, 3.40 xFIP, and 3.69 SIERA. His peripherals indicate that he is more of a 3.40-3.60 ERA starter, and his home/road splits are favorable. His ERA is ballooned by his 5.10 ERA at Coors Field, which is actually something that makes sense given that it’s a hitters’ paradise. On the road, his ERA is 3.51, which is really good given that he’s only 25 years old. He’s blossomed into the best pitcher on the Rockies and could be a top 10 pitcher outside of Coors. He is 13th in fWAR since 2018 with a 9.9 fWAR, the very same as Charlie Morton. With him being so impressive, how could the Yankees even get the Rockies to trade him?

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Using Financial Relief To Finalize a Deal

The Yankees could most likely get the Rockies to give up Marquez with enough prospects, but you could save a prospect or 2 through bad contract swaps. While the Yankees do want to manage a tighter budget, they could take Ian Desmond’s expiring contract to try to net some value that could persuade the Rockies. Ian Desmond has been a poor player for the Rockies with bad defense in his primary CF position and a weak bat. His $14 million serves as a thorn in the side of Colorado, who have baseball’s 9th highest payroll. Marquez is owed $11 million next season as well, and if the Yankees take $18 million of that $25 million, the Rockies payroll drops to 14th in baseball at ~$107 million, and we can now look at the players being exchanged in this deal.

Finalizing the Yankees-Rockies Trade

Yankees Receive:
RHP German Marquez
CF Ian Desmond
~$7 million

Rockies Recieve:
LHP Jordan Montgomery
RHP Clarke Schmidt
RHP Luis Gil
SS Oswald Peraza
OF Estevan Florial

This trade is a doozy, let’s try to break it down.

Why Should the Yankees Invest So Much For German Marquez?

This is again a massive deal as the Yankees part with multiple top prospects and a steady arm in Jordan Montgomery. In my opinion, this is a move the Yankees should make only if they have locked up a James Paxton so that their rotation they have (by October with their ages at that time):

Gerrit Cole (31)
Luis Severino (27)
James Paxton (32)
German Marquez (26)
Deivi Garcia (22)

Now I’m no expert on pitching, as I’m some random guy who’s article you decided to read, but that rotation would be the best in the sport. A deal like this would give the Yankees a rotation with 3 guys 27 and younger, and their oldest starter is 32. This is a rotation for 4-5 years, and with Severino and Marquez developing, by the time Cole they’d be elite. Garcia would also be really darn good by then.

The thing is that in this deal, there’s another player involved, who we should get into.

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What Role Does Ian Desmond Serve?

The Ian Desmond contract is bad not because $14 million is a ton, but because he’s been horrific as a Rockie. He boasted a -1.7 fWAR, 80 wRC+, and a .317 wOBA. This is with some of baseball’s worst defense at CF, so how could he even help the Yankees? Well, I actually have a solution for that. Desmond for the Yankees would be used as a corner OF and 1B. He has 2 OAA and an 8% success rate added in LF since 2018. At 1B he’s pretty bad with -2 OAA and a -1% success rate added, but considering that 1B is a very useless defensive position it’s fine. What about his bat?

Well since 2018 Desmond has a .322 xwOBA which is average, but his notable stats are against LHP. He clubbed the 6th most homers against LHP in 2019, and since 2018 has these stats against them

PASLGOBPwOBAxwOBAHRwRC+
389.569.341.377.35323121

His numbers against left handed pitching is really good since 2018, and if they’re getting him as a salary dump, it’s a suprisingly solid fit. The Yankes if they got that for 60 games off the bench and around 190 PA, it would be great. By using a more basic WAR calculator using OBP, SLG, and OPS, he would be a 1.3 WAR player, which solid. Obviously it’s not the most ideal situation to have his contract for a year, but he wouldn’t be useless.

This deal would net the Yankees a star pitcher in German Marquez and would force them to pick up a pretty expensive role player, but it would improve the starting pitching and could help their depth. It’s a crazy move, but it’s one they could try to pull off.

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