Over the last 24 hours, the MLB Hot Stove has burned in regards to a rumored three-team trade that’s been swirling around involving the New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago White Sox.
The rumor, which was initially reported by Brian Bilek of Future Sox, stated that the three teams were talking about a trade that would send Andrew McCutchen to the Yankees, Jose Quintana to the Pirates and top prospects to the White Sox.
At first, some fans thought it was just another internet rumor going around during the offseason, but it may not be just another rumor, as two different sources have come forward to say that there is legitimacy to the rumored trade talks; Carmen DeFalco of ESPN Chicago, who has said that the trade is “semi-close.”
Dave Williams from Bar Stool Sports has also reported the same thing regarding the trade rumors as well and said that all three sides were talking.
Both the Pirates and Yankees have been linked with interest in Quintana, but the Pirates were the latest team to be reported to being deeper in trade talks than the Yankees because of the asking price by the White Sox for Quintana, which has been reported to being very high and why the Yankees have thus far, passed on trying to get Quintana.
The Pirates have been looking to dump salary and would have to if they took on Quintana’s deal, thus why McCutchen would have to get moved; he was mentioned in trade rumors involving the Washington Nationals but they got Adam Eaton earlier in the off-season and the talks of McCutchen going to Washington ended.
For the Yankees, they have a tentative outfield set in 2017 with Brett Gardner in left, Jacoby Ellsbury in center and Aaron Judge in right with Aaron Hicks as the fourth outfielder, so the Yankees don’t have an essential need for an outfielder, but with the Yankees getting trade calls on Gardner and the chance that they could move him, it would open up a spot for them to put McCutchen in the outfield. Plus, it would break up the Gardner-Ellsbury dynamic in the lineup and field, as both are essentially the same type of player; a light-hitting lefty with speed.
On the surface, sure, the Yankees don’t need McCutchen since they have a “set” outfield and have prospects ready to go in the minor league system, but then again, this is the Yankees we’re talking about; the same Yankees who tend to make bold trades in the offseason that come out of nowhere; the deals for Starlin Castro and Aroldis Chapman last winter showed that.
Will the Yankees, White Sox and Pirates pull off perhaps the winter’s biggest blockbuster deal of the off-season? It would make sense for Chicago, who is in full blown re-building mode and looking to sell off, so the prospects rumored to be in the deal going back to them make sense.
For Pittsburgh, it makes sense because the trade allows them to get Quintana in the rotation and unload McCutchen’s deal at the same time.
And while the Yankees don’t need McCutchen, it would make sense because it would give McCutchen a chance to shine in Yankee Stadium and brings a former MVP player to the Bronx; plus a right-handed power bat, which is something the Yankees can always use.
At this point, the rumored talks are still in that point; just talks. But with the way things can move in the baseball off-season, this could heat up quicker than we think, so it’s definitely something to look out for, and possibly soon.