|Photo: New York Daily News|
Over the past couple of weeks there have been some ‘rumors’ thrown around regarding possible trade options for the Yankees. There was the Andrew McCutchen three team trade rumor (Read BIG TALK THAT McCUTCHEN COULD BE A YANKEE...) and also the many different conversations about Jose Quintana and now including David Robertson, read THAT PESKY QUINTANA NUGGET.
The rumors included the names of several Yankees prospects who could be involved in a deal such as Blake Rutherford and Miguel Andujar.
|Photo: New York Daily News|
Now, there seems to be two general thought processes about who is untouchable and who is not. Let’s just get this out of the way; Gary Sanchez is all but untouchable. He is the current (future) face of the Yankees as of this moment. His throwing arm, his stick and even the nickname ‘Kraken’ and #IamGary make him a New York kind of guy, something the Bombers have been missing.
Back to the two general thought processes now. The first is that nobody should be untouchable because after all this is a business and every player is an asset. Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner receive inquiries all the time and throw their own inquires around the league. If an opportunity arose to better the organization whether it be financially or on the field, it should be discussed, regardless of which assets you would need to part ways with. If it makes sense, go for it.
On that same note, the minor league prospects are just that: Prospects. Having a young player who has not proven himself on the big stage has inherent risks. Not all prospects pan out so there comes an inherent risk is not taking an offer for a proven above-average asset like Jose Quintana. I’m not advocating a trade for him, he is just my example. If it improves the team, brings in some more fans (revenue) and the price is right, it very well could be the right move.
The second thought process is almost every top prospect the Yankees have right now needs to be untouchable. Clint Frazier, Gleyber Torres, Jorge Mateo, Justus Sheffield, Blake Rutherford, Miguel Andujar, James Kaprielian, Domingo Acevedo and Chance Adams top my personal list of players that need to be untouchable right now. Here’s why…
|Photo: Getty Images|
One player like Jose Quintana will not make the Yankees a World Series contender. They are in rebuild mode and need to let the Baby Bombers play whether they fail or succeed. The Yankees are still in transition with CC Sabathia and Alex Rodriguez’s contracts coming off the books this year and plenty of upper level minor league prospects who have either had their cup of coffee or will this year. Holding on to all their young, inexpensive assets is what they need to do right now.
Now if the Yankees were in the Red Sox shoes and were seemingly one or two pieces away from becoming one of the favorites to win the World Series by acquiring Chris Sale for top overall prospect Yoan Moncada, top 100 pitching prospect Michael Kopech and two others, then the conversation definitely changes. The Red Sox utilized their assets to make a run right now when they are built for one.
The Yankees currently are not.
|(Sept. 21, 2016 - Source: Mike Carlson/Getty Images North America)|
The only scenario regarding parting ways with the untouchables I personally would consider right now would be if it includes dropping some dead weight as well. If the Yankees could hypothetically ship Jacoby Ellsbury and his contract somewhere with, say, Jorge Mateo and get a useful, inexpensive, MLB ready arm, that would have to be considered to expedite the rebuild and free up payroll. While it’s an unlikely scenario, if I were a betting man, I’d put my money on Brian Cashman having had talks similar to the scenario I just mentioned.
|(Sept. 25, 2016 - Source: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images North America)|
2017 should be a year to see what Gary Sanchez can really do over 162 games. Can Aaron Judge get over the Mendoza line and cut down his strikeout percentage to a respectable rate? Is Tyler Austin really a long term big leaguer? Is Greg Bird healthy and ready to be the first baseman of the future? What is Rob Refsnyder really capable of? What about Jordan Montgomery and Dietrich Enns on the hill? What will #RedThunder do when given his opportunity? That is what this year needs to be about.
|Source: Getty Images|
For the record, I believe the top prospects right now should be all but untouchable. The Yankees don’t need Andrew McCutchen. Jose Quintana probably makes them a more likely Wild Card contender but at a drastic cost. No free agent with a draft attached is worth it right now.
It’s not the right time. Stay the course.
Follow me on Twitter: @DManLucia