With the New York Yankees looking thin in terms of starting pitching depth, should they go after a marquee name in Jose Fernandez this offseason?
This upcoming offseason, there’s one thing the New York Yankees need to address. Starting pitching.
Don’t think so? Just take a look at what their rotation could look like come Opening Day 2017 if they don’t make additions to their starting rotation: (*stats as of 9-3-16*)
- Masahiro Tanaka (11-4, 3.12)
- CC Sabathia (8-12, 4.20)
- Luis Severino (1-8, 7.05)
- Michael Pineda (6-11, 5.12)
- Luis Cessa (4-0, 4.17)
Tanaka is a reliable arm despite his partially torn UCL, though more of a number two than an ace while Sabathia is a solid number five starter at this point in his potential Hall Of Fame career.
Pineda causes terrible daily attacks of neuralgia and unless Severino improves as a starter — which is no guarantee — this rotation is almost the same as the one that currently ranks 22 in earned run average, just a year older. Not much to look forward to if you’re a Yankees’ fan.
Also, the organization is currently limited after trading Ivan Nova at the deadline, Nathan Eovaldi‘s elbow injury, Chad Green’s elbow injury, and uncertainty in the farm system.
Sure, there are some promising arms like Justus Sheffield, James Kapriellian, Jordan Montgomery, Dietrich Enns, and Freicer Perez but while these youngsters are encouraging, none of them are going to come up in 2017 to have major influence a dismal staff.
Coming into this season it appeared as though Stephen Strasburg would govern the free agent class this upcoming offseason, however, he opted to remain in the Nation’s capital for a fat paycheck of $175-million making the starting pitching market as weak as it’s ever been.
In fact, besides 36-year old (turning 37) Rich Hill, 43-year old Bartolo Colon is among the best free agent options this winter in terms of ERA. That’s how dreadful the market is.
Therefore, the only sensible route to take if general manager Brian Cashman wishes to have an American League East-winning team by next year is to go out and make a deal for a top-notch starter that could be dealt by his respective team.
In comes Jose Fernandez.
An executive told John Harper of the NY Daily News that the Miami Marlins will trade their ace. It’s just a matter of when.
Why are the contending Marlins ready to deal their ace? The foremost reason is because he’s not set to become a free agent until 2019 and since Giancarlo Stanton is making $325-million, there’s not a chance Fernandez will get the deal he wants on the South Beach.
Also, if Miami offers him up to teams now during this mediocre market and with service time remaining, they could start an elite bidding war between dozens of teams in need of a top-tier starter who is only 24-years of age.
The price isn’t cheap, however.
The Yankees will steer away from trading guys like rookie sensation Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird, Aaron Judge, Luis Severino, and maybe James Kaprielian but don’t be surprised if Cashman were to deal anybody obtained from the moves made at this year’s non-waiver trade deadline.
A package that includes the likes of Clint Frazier, one of their highly touted shortstop prospects in Gleyber Torres or Jorge Mateo and one or two starting pitchers would be in play for Cashman to wheel in Fernandez.
Considering the excess of depth the Yankees possess in their system at shortstop, they should be ready to let one of their prized shortstops go and while Frazier is the number one prospect in the organization, New York have seven other outfielders that rank in the top-30 including first round draft choice Blake Rutherford sitting in the top-10.
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The duo of starters will likely include Justus Sheffield with an impressive arm that isn’t necessarily “ranked” high such as Montgomery or Enns.
This trade would flush out a modest value of talent if the Yankees but given the fact that their system is so deep that the talent won’t be completely demolished, the trade should be looked into.
Especially when New York has the potential to wheel in a starting pitcher that can make the Bombers championship contenders just a year after a fire sale.
With the way the offense has performed since the arrival of Sanchez — ignore the back-to-back shutouts against Baltimore — there’s no denying that this Yankees’ team is one ace away from being postseason bound.
On the other hand, as Harper’s report in the Daily News points out, Cashman could test their young talent some more and continue to wait for the huge contracts of Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, and CC Sabathia to come off the books and ink Fernandez as a free agent come 2019.
Hypothetical Trade For Jose Fernandez:
|Yankees Get:||Marlins Get:|
|Jose Fernandez||Clint Frazier|
|Gleyber Torres OR Jorge Mateo|
Would you rather see the Yankees go after another starter such as Chris Sale or Chris Archer? Would you rather see the team be patient and snag the righty when he hits free agency? Would you rather ignore his arm altogether? Let your voice he heard in the comments below.
NEXT: Jorge Mateo’s Prospect Profile
Christian Kouroupakis covers the New York Yankees for ESNY. Interact with him and view his daily work by “liking” his facebook page and follow him on Twitter. All statistics are courtesy of Baseball Reference.com unless otherwise noted. Don’t hesitate to shoot him an email with any questions, criticisms, or concerns.