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Breaking: Yankees acquire LHP James Paxton in exchange for LHP Justus Sheffield, RHP Erik Swanson, and OF Dom Thompson-Williams

The Yankees have made their first splash of the offseason by acquiring the Big Maple, James Paxton, from the Seattle Mariners. Fresh off his second-consecutive season at the top of the Mariner’s rotation, Paxton did not come cheap as the Yankees traded away their top prospect, Justus Sheffield, along with breakout prospects Erik Swanson and Dominic Thompson-Williams.

Creating a Yankees' trade package: Noah Syndergaard

Last year Cashman acquired Sonny Gray, Jaime Garcia, David Robertson, Tommy Khanle, and Todd Frazier before the July 31st deadline, which helped drive the Bombers to game seven of the ALCS, but they gave up some of their better prospect in the process. The team has its sights set on a championship, so GM Brian Cashman will undoubtedly upgrade the starting pitching at the deadline, but who and for what?

Sean M Haffey/Getty Images

The Yankees currently hold the best winning percentage in the league at .667 with an offense that is on pace to shatter the Mariners single-season home run record. While the team seems almost unbeatable, there are some big chinks in the armor, specifically in the rotation. The Yankees lost Jordan Montgomery to Tommy John surgery last week, and Masahiro Tanaka is still out with two damaged hamstrings. Luis Severino is a strong candidate for the CY Young award, and CC Sabathia is still fighting off father time, but Sonny Gray is still unreliable. 

The tricky part on predicting who will be available for the Yankees come July is predicting which teams will throw in the towel. The shortlist of possible available pitchers are as follows:


Player
Hand
Team
Record as of 6/27/18
L
San Francisco Giants
41-39
L
Texas Rangers
35-46
Chris Archer
R
Tampa Bay Rays
39-40
Blake Snell
L
Tampa Bay Rays
39-40
Francisco Liriano
L
Detroit Tigers
36-44
Michael Fulmer
R
Detroit Tigers
36-44
Brad Hand (RP)
L
San Diego Padres
36-46
L
Toronto Blue Jays
37-42
R
New York Mets
31-44
Noah Syndergaard
R
New York Mets
31-44

In this series of articles, we will look into various trade possibilities for the Yankees before the July 31st deadline.

Note: It is incredibly difficult to predict these trades exactly, as preferences of both teams involved are mostly unknown, so guessing prospects traded is not an exact science. What these articles provide is an entertaining exercise to get to know some possible trade targets and pieces. Enjoy!

Yankees ace Luis Severino is electric, a lightning bolt for the Bombers rotation, but how about some thunder too? What if Brian Cashman pries the great Noah Syndergaard from their crosstown neighbors? With all the talk of the Yanks trying to get Jacob deGrom, the New York Daily News reports that the Mets are more likely to trade their long-haired ace than their freshly clipped one. 


The Cycle.com

There are a few hurdles that stand in the way of Thor’s appearance in pinstripes, and no I don’t mean his hair. First off, the Mets are not going to willingly send one of their most promising players in the past decade over to their big brothers in the Bronx and will demand a premium for their young ace.
Syndergaard is only 25 years old and has three more years of arbitration after 2018. He also has a postseason record of 2-1 with a 2.42 ERA in four starts and one game in relief. Thor on paper is a bonafide ace and one of the best pitchers in the game, but an extensive injury history puts more than a few question marks on his resume. Both sides will try to play Syndergaard's value up or down to get the best deal possible, but what does that mean for the Yankees?

Even with his history, Thor is a stud with a career ERA of 2.96 and 10.6 WAR, and his upside is a top three pitcher in league with multiple years of control at a fraction of what he is worth. The flame-throwing righty is not only a short-term piece but a long-term piece who could be a weapon for the team for the next decade as well. Cashman knows this, and if the Mets are willing to be reasonable and have a real negotiation with their American League rivals, Cashman should be willing to give up an excellent package for Thor, as long as he comes with a fresh cut of course.

Where does this start? Similar to the deGrom trade, Clint Frazier, Justus Sheffield/Chance Adams, another MLB ready player like a Brandon Drury or Tyler Wade, along with another decent prospect or player depending on what the Mets are looking to acquire.

First, the Yankees are not, I repeat, are not going to give up Gleyber Torres in any trade anytime soon, so there is no reason to include him in a possible deal. Secondly, if the Mets don’t get Torres, they will likely demand Miguel Andujar, which is a fair price to ask, but Cashman seems bent on keeping both his young infielders. If the Mets want Andujar, they will have to settle on a much smaller package, which is not what their bottom five farm system needs, but if they look elsewhere in the Yankee system, they can grab a treasure chest of prospects to rebuild completely.

The Trade: The Mets send Noah Syndergaard to the Yankees for OF Clint Frazier, Justus Sheffield LHP, Domingo Acevedo RHP, Brandon Drury INF, Tyler Austin 1B

This package will hurt the prospect huggers and prospect indifferent fans alike, but to land a player as young and as talented as Syndergaard, it is worth it. The Mets reportedly want MLB ready and near MLB ready players, like Clint Frazier, Brandon Drury, and Tyler Austin. The hard truth is, no matter how talented or promising many of these prospects are, they all can't contribute and not all of them won't work out, as our writer Andrew Natalizo detailed in his article here.


USA Today
The Mets could look into other prospects instead of players like Austin or Drury, but if these reports are accurate, Drury is an excellent MLB player right now who is blocked in Triple-A for now and could start right now at third base for the Mets. Tyler Austin could platoon with Dominic Smith right now, and would likely benefit significantly by regular playing time while giving the pop that the Mets sorely need from their corner infielder spot.


NJ.com
Justus Sheffield is a top flight prospect and the Yankees top-ranked pitcher in their system; the lefty will provide the Mets a worthy replacement as a high end of the rotation starter shortly.


 Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Domingo Acevedo is an intriguing option for the Mets, as they have are too far behind the modern game. Talented and deep bullpens are the way the baseball is going recently, but the Mets don’t have the bullpen of a championship level team. Acevedo may not have the chops to be a starter, but with his 103 MPH fastball and devastating off-speed pitches, he has all the makings of a dominant bullpen weapon for the Mets. As mentioned in previous articles, the 24-year-old uses a unique arm slot to succeed against righties and lefties, and at an intimidating 6’7” he could be the Mets closer by as early as seasons end.

The headliner, Clint Frazier, is an absolute star in the outfield, he can play all three outfield spots, and his legendary bat speed and power would likely make him the Mets best offensive player. Frazier would also love to regrow his red locks across the Whitestone bridge in Queens.


AP
To recap, the Mets add, a top of the lineup position player, a top end starter, a possible closer or at least bullpen weapon, and two MLB ready infielders. The Yankees add a top-five pitcher for at least the next three and half years, and more than likely even longer. This may be a bit rich for some Yankee fans and Met fans reading this likely want Andujar and/or Torres, but like all good deals, both sides leave feeling like they gave up too much. 

Stay tuned for more trade possibilities, up next a reliever San Diego Padres Brad Hand

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