New York Yankees News/Rumors: Yankees going west, Taillion ready, Joey Gallo, and more

William Parlee
New York Yankees
Feb 23, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA;New York Yankees right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27), first baseman Greg Bird (33), center fielder Aaron Hicks (31), shortstop Didi Gregorius (18) and teammates stand on the field as they are introduced before the game against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

For the New York Yankees, there has been a shift west. On Monday morning, reporter Ken Rosenthal tweeted that MLB is getting closer to releasing a revised spring training schedule for Florida’s Grapefruit League. The plan calls for the Grapefruit league in Flordia two be in two separate pods. Those teams on the east coast will play only teams on that coast, the teams like the Yankees on the west coast playing teams on that same coast. All this to reduce travel during spring training while being jammed into buses for long rides.

If adopted, that would mean that the Yankees will be playing 24 games with the Philadelphia Phillies, the Detroit Tigers, Toronto Blue Jays, and the Pittsburgh Pirates who are all located from St. Petersburg south to Fort Myers, as noted by MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch. All of this to promote safety as the coronavirus still has its grip on Florida and the Cactus League in Arizona. No plan has been released for the Arizona teams as the fields of play are much closer together. The remaining four games to make up the 28 exhibition games will be intra-squad games.

Jameson Taillon is ready to pitch

The New York Yankees have made several pitching changes after losing Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, and J.A. Happ to free agency after the 2020 season. Only Paxton remains unsigned this offseason. The New York Yankees, in turn, hired the services of two-time Cy Young award winner Corey Kluber. They also traded four prospects for Jameson Taillon and hired one of the best relievers last year, Darren O’Day.

The signing of Kluber and Taillon was a low-risk, high reward deal as if the duo could return to their previous form, the Yankee rotation will be formidable. Taillon did not pitch last year, coming back from his second Tommy John surgery. Per ESPN’s Buster Olney, “Taillon, now 18 months removed from elbow reconstruction surgery, is said to be throwing with exceptional control and appears ready to go for the start of the Yankees’ camp.”

Is Joey Gallo a Yankee trade target?

Joey Gallo is an infielder for the Texas Rangers; he is a lefty bat that the New York Yankees might find interesting. He hit only .181 last season but with 10 home runs, and that is the equivalent of 27 in a normal 162 game season. A trade with Texas would add just over $6 million to the Yankee payroll, which the Yankees can afford with their $9 million left and remain below the dreaded luxury tax threshold.

At this point, the Rangers are not likely to let loose of Gallo, but according to how the season goes, they might be interested in a package at the trade deadline. That also might be a point when the Yankees would be more interested. Gallo hits to all parts of the field. If the Yankees decide they need bullpen help at the deadline, a Gallo package can be expanded to include a potential All-Star reliever like José Leclerc, who went down with a shoulder injury in 2020, but struck out 100 men in 68.2 innings pitched the previous season, and posted a 1.56 ERA the year prior, whiffing 85 in 57.2 innings pitched.

A deal with Texas with Leclerc and Gallo might make perfect sense for the Yankees before the trade deadline. The Yankees could also use Kyle Gibson, who can be ultra-reliable as a back end reliever. Here’s an intriguing deal: Yankees send Luis Gil, Alexander Vizcaino, and Albert Abreu to the Rangers for Gallo, Leclerc, and Gibson. To make that happen, the Yankees might have to sweeten the deal a bit.

Could Asdrúbal Cabrera be a Yankees target?

The New York Yankees are always looking for depth. If the Yankees decide to seek an upgrade to Tyler Wade and Thairo Estrada, Cabrera could be an upside option. Cabrera is a middle field option by trade. He is a 14-year veteran and has added both corner infield spots to his repertoire over the last three seasons, all while posting a 98 OPS+ over the last two years and 108 OPS+ dating back to 2016.

A veteran like Cabrera might seem like an enticing guy for the Yankees to pursue, a veteran infielder whose bat will almost certainly be an upgrade and who has already demonstrated the debatably-existent “ability to play in New York, he played for the New York Mets from 2016 to 2018. He has played his last two seasons with the Washington Nationals, where he racked up 19 homers with a .258 batting average.