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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.

In Cashman We Trust (2018 Trade Deadline Edition)


Yankees fans have witnessed an incredibly fast turnaround over the last two plus years. An old, overachieving team that didn’t stand a chance against Dallas Keuchel in the 2015 Wild Card Game has been transformed into one of the most exciting young teams in baseball. The Yankees of 2018 are overflowing with good young players –– several who would be starting on many MLB teams (lol Mets) are buried in AAA with no clear fit on the 25 man roster.

Going back even further, this was a lineup the Yankees trotted out exactly five years ago. A dark time between the Murderers Row Plus Cano of the last truly contending Yankees team from 2009-12 and where we are today.
 
Photo Credit: NJ.com


At the center of this on the fly rebuild is Brian Cashman, who is now by far the longest tenured GM in the game. Cashman has transcended the uninformed, Yankee-hater view of “they just buy championships” by emphasizing youth and athleticism in line with modern MLB trends.

The organization has invested in analytics and player development, and the proof is in the pudding –– the Yankees simultaneously have one of the best teams in baseball and a top-tier farm system according to all independent rankings. He’s also made some pretty amazing trades (Didi for Shane Greene and Hicks for JR Murphy, anyone?)

Which brings me to this trade deadline. As we do, Yankees fans have been shouting their hot takes on Twitter and talk radio about what we should and should not do. My hot take is that I trust Cashman to make the right decisions in the best interest of the team this year that do not mortgage the near-term future.

The Yankees window to win it all is now. They are also set up to be strong contenders over the next half-decade. But when you have a chance to win it all, you go for it. That’s the benefit of building a strong and deep farm system –– to convert it into impact talent that helps the MLB team win.

Three years ago teams demanded Aaron Judge and Luis Severino in deals for top starters including Cole Hamels and David Price. Cashman wisely said, hell no. I trust him to make the same calls when evaluating the right deals to strike between now and July 31.

Despite the clear need for starting pitching, there are no top-flight starters equivalent to 2015 David Price or Cole Hamels on the market. If Cashman believes that adding strength to strength by slotting Manny Machado into the middle of the order and/or replacing Chasen Shreve with Brad Hand to shorten the game even further gives them the best chance to win the World Series, then let’s do it. While the price on Hand will be high since he has multiple years of control, reports are the Yankees won’t include their best prospects for a rental –– even if he is a superstar like Machado. Good.

The great thing about the position the Yankees are in is that they can potentially get Machado and a starter (or two) without giving up Clint Frazier and Justus Sheffield.

The depth of the system gives the Yankees leverage. They can offer teams attractive MLB-ready pieces like Tyler Wade, Brandon Drury, Jonathan Loaisiga and Dillon Tate as well as high-end talent in the lower levels like Albert Abreu, Estevan Florial, Clarke Schmidt and Matt Sauer. The 40-man roster crunch is real and they can’t keep all of these guys. So, trade some of them who are not viewed as long-term fits for players who can help us win it all this year.

Of course if Blake Snell is obtainable, then go get him. But, the price will be justifiably high if the Rays decide to sell on him –– he is under control through 2023 and the Rays likely view him as a long-term piece to build around. deGrom, Syndergaard, and Bumgarner would cost even more than Snell, but there is no credible reason to think they will be moved before July 31.

The Yankees of 2018 are the most exciting team we’ve seen in the Bronx since the early part of this decade. Cashman will do what it takes to put the team in the best position to win the division and succeed in the postseason. Anticipating the coming moves to fortify the club, I feel good about going up against any team in October with the best lineup in baseball, the best bullpen in baseball and a rotation fronted by Severino, CC, Tanaka and whoever we get to bolster the rotation before the deadline. 

Article by: Matt Calderone

Comments

  1. It has been the case for a while now that the best solution for the starting rotation is Gray straightening himself out.

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