The trade market, as we all know, is a crazy place. Prices are running high, emotions are running amok, teams are demanding ridiculous, unrealistic returns for their superstars, and understandably so. However, when self-obsessed teams like the New York Yankees of 2016 refuse to recognize the fact that this is probably not their year, and that the future of the organization is more important than Hal Steinbrenner’s ego, the fans are treated unfairly because their favourite franchise isn’t looking at the big picture.
Lucas Giolito of the Washington Nationals is a beast. Listed at a hulking, athletic 6’6, 255 pounds, Giolito commands a solid four-pitch repertoire, though substantially overhyped by scouts, is above-average when compared to other major league pitchers. Ranked the top starting pitching prospect in baseball today, Lucas Giolito has become a household name even though his first three Major League starts have been average at best, if not subpar.
As reported by multiple sources, the Nats offered Lucas Giolito for the Yankees setup-man-now-closer Andrew Miller. This mega-prospect for the premier-relief-arm deal is rare, if not unprecedented, and the Yankees have coldly turned down the offer. A Yankee fan for my entire life, I would understand it if this were any other year. But this is 2016, and the Yankees are not doing great by any stretch of the imagination.
Two games over .500 and 6.0 games out of the American League East, it is fair to say that this probably isn’t the Yankees’ best year. While they were able to get a very intriguing return for the flame-throwing Aroldis Chapman, including slick-hitting shortstop project Gleyber Torres and their old friend Adam Warren, they have on their hands, another unhittable lefty bullpen monster in Andrew Miller. Now, Dellin Betances isn’t going anywhere, and rightly so: I’ve always made the case that Dellin Betances is the best home-grown Yankee player since the Core Four (you, the Yankee’s development team isn’t great).
Lucas Giolito offers a world of promises to the slumping, underperforming Yankees that aren’t getting any better or any younger. Not often is the top pitching prospect in baseball not an immediately untouchable organization cornerstone, much less offered in trade talks. In conclusion, the Yankees would be foolish to not accept this once-in-a-blue-moon proposal. The Bronx Bombers have a chance of re-energizing the fan base with a premier power arm in the mould of Justin Verlander and Noah Syndergaard. Instead of holding on to the status quo that obviously has not worked, the Yankees ought to be creative, risk-taking, and apologetic to the fans for an otherwise disappointing season.
A trade for Lucas Giolito will do exactly that. The fans are frustrated with the organization we have come to adore. Hal Steinbrenner should appeal to the fanbase, and this fanbase is desperately looking for new, exciting young blood that will offer promise. It’s been forever since the Yankees have had possession of a bonafide future ace. While Giolito’s apparently “triple-digit-fastball” and “knee-buckling-curve” haven’t exactly showcased in his brief stint in the Majors, there is little doubt that a prospect so highly regarded will go on to have a serviceable career.