With the 2016 regular season for Major League Baseball winding down, as is the New York Yankees season, one that likely will result in an early exit home instead of a trip to the playoffs like it did last year.
Now granted, they traded away Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller, Ivan Nova and Carlos Beltran before the August 1st trade deadline. Alex Rodriguez retired/left 11 days later, which paved the way for the new era of the Yankees, which would be featured around the farm system mixed in with some of their veteran players, but for the most part, the youth.
However, let us not forget, they are still the New York Yankees with an over $200 million payroll and a fan base and city that demands results on a yearly basis. Even in the offseason, the Yankees still tried to compete for a playoff spot, but they didn’t have the necessary parts needed, especially after Chapman, Miller, Beltran, Nova and A-Rod all departed last month.
But in 2017? Expect the Yankees to make at least one or maybe two bold moves. For one, some think they’ll be players to bring Chapman back in free agency, as it’s been well documented on how much Chapman loved playing in New York and he’s only on rental to the Chicago Cubs until the end of the season.
But the Yankees are widely expected to make a bold trade in the offseason like they do every winter (like they did for Chapman last Winter), and it’s a name that was mentioned last winter during the MLB Winter Meetings; Miami Marlins ace, Jose Fernandez.
The Yankees wanted Fernandez during the offseason, but they didn’t want to part with Luis Severin. The Marlins didn’t seem to keen on dealing their ace, but reports have said that the Marlins may now take offers in the offseason and the Yankees are expected again to make a play for Fernandez, as Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported.
“There’s more buzz that the Marlins will listen to offers for Fernandez this offseason. Fernandez has long been the apple of the eye of a lot of big-market teams that wouldn’t mind writing that extension check. The Dodgers, Red Sox, Yankees, and Cubs for sure would all be in line. Right now, it doesn’t appear there will be any extension talks early this offseason between Miami and Fernandez’s agent, Scott Boras, if at all.”
So what has changed in the nine months since the Yankees initial interest in Fernandez? The level of prospects and the farm system the Yankees have built up.
Maybe the Yankees decide to part with Severino this time, as they have Justus Sheffield in their system to go along with James Kaprielian. Or they decide that they can part with top infield prospect Jorge Mateo, as they got Gleyber Torres in the trade for Chapman.
And maybe, just perhaps, Aaron Judge is an easier person to consider dealing since they got Clint Frazier in the Miller trade; Frazier, Sheffield, and Torres weren’t a part of the system during the Winter Meetings when Brian Cashman asked the Marlins for Fernandez, but things have changed since then.
What the Yankees need for pitching is a great one, as aside from Masahiro Tanaka, their rotation is rather thin. CC Sabathia is entering the last year of his deal, and he’s aging, Michael Pineda is too inconsistent to rely on, Severino got demoted mid-season and has been used more these days in relief situations. Luis Cessa has been getting chances, but it’s yet to be determined if he can last in the long run
Nathan Eovaldi will miss all of the 2017 season due to needing multiple surgeries, and Chad Green is also missing time due to injuries this season. So where does that leave the Yankees?
Needing pitching, badly. It leaves the Yankees in a scenario where they need Fernandez, and it makes them more likely to offer a bigger package to Miami to get Fernandez from South Beach to the Bronx.
Making a splash in the trade market is always in the Yankees offseason plans. With their need for pitching, Fernandez makes so much sense for them. Only this time, they have a loaded farm system and enough pieces needed to make a deal; one that could net them one of the best right-handed aces in the sport.