Rapid Reaction: Yankees boost starting rotation by sending prospects Zack Littell and LHP Dietrich Enns to Twins for LHP Jaime Garcia

The Yankees have been linked to numerous starting pitchers this month such as Texas’ Yu Darvish and Oakland’s Sonny Gray. As reported this morning by FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman, Brian Cashman continues to wheel and deal adding Jaime Garcia and cash considerations from the Twins for the Yankees' 22nd ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline in Zack Littell, and unranked LHP Dietrich Enns.
Photo Credit: Neville E. Guard | USA TODAY Sports
Jaime Garcia
Garcia was a lifelong Cardinal since being drafted in 2005 but was traded to Atlanta during the offseason. However, his traveling was far from over, Garcia was traded from Atlanta to Minnesota only six days ago. He recorded only one start for the Twins, which was a 6 2/3 inning three-run effort in Oakland. 

The lefty owns a 5-7 record with a 4.29 ERA in his two NL stints this season. He sports a five pitch repertoire, a fastball and sinker in the low 90s, a changeup and slider in the low 80s, and a curveball in the mid-70s. His fastball velocity does lose some juice as the game goes on, but the pitch still makes hitters whiff at a 22% rate. 

His inconsistency lies in his breaking ball, but makes up for it with a deadly changeup, which is the primary source of ground balls during his starts. The new Yankee has the fifth best ground ball percentage out of any pitcher who has thrown over 110 innings, which if it continues will bode well in the hitter-happy Yankee Stadium. 

As for his injury history, the 31-year-old veteran has been banged up in his career, undergoing Tommy John and rotator cuff surgeries, but that should not affect him going forward this season. The southpaw does short work in his starts, as he averages 14.7 pitches/inning, which is third best in the MLB. However, it is the third time around the lineup where he starts to struggle, posting a .325/.403/.569 slash line this season. As a short term rental, Garcia may be used to gain leverage over the A’s for Gray, but at worst he should be an improvement over Caleb Smith in the rotation.
Photo Credit: Martin Griff | Pinstriped Prospects
Zack Littell
The 21-year-old is lighting up the minors this season with a 14-1 record, 1.87 ERA and a 105-23 K/BB in 18 starts this season. On the surface, it seems silly to get rid of such a promising young talent, as the 22nd ranked prospect could’ve found his way to Triple-A at some point this season, but he is Rule-5 Draft eligible and could be lost after this season. This move could’ve possibly been a way to make sure the Yankees got something for him instead of losing him for nothing.
Photo Credit: Sean McKeag | Times Leader
Dietrich Enns
The lefty currently owns a 2.29 ERA in Triple-A this season, but due to injuries has only pitched in just over 45 innings. Losing Enns doesn’t seem to be too costly, as the unranked prospect wasn’t a lock to return to the club anyway. At 26, Enns was on the 40-man, but with many Rule-5 eligible players to protect this offseason, the Yankees may have non-tendered the lefty and also lost him at the cost of nothing.

The price may seem a bit steep for Garcia, but with the high chance of losing Littell after the season, it makes sense for the club to improve their shaky rotation. On top of this, if this gives the club more leverage in the Sonny Gray negotiation, it could be worth it. Until then, this move gives the Yankees a veteran starter to round out the end of their rotation, which would help soften the blow of losing Michael Pineda to Tommy John Surgery. With the trade deadline on the horizon, it is doubtful that Cashman is done dealing, and it is possible that another move may be completed by the end of the day.

Article by: Maxx Hotton


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