The New York Yankees could use a bit more support with their starting pitching rotation, despite Devie Garcia and Luis Gil looking great on Wednesday against the Baltimore Orioles. With most free agents already picked up off the market, the Yankees would likely look to the trade category as a means of supplementing deficiencies.
As noted in recent days, the Oakland Athletics are looking to trade Sean Manaea and Frankie Montas, but they are looking for a significant return. The expectation is that Oakland wants one of the Yankees’ top shortstop prospects, notably Anthony Volpe or Oswald Peraza.
However, there is a world where the Yankees retain both of their star prospects and package together a number of players to acquire one of the starting pitchers.
An MLB Insider told Ryan Ruocco and CC Sabathia on the latest episode of R2C2 that it’s possible for the Yankees to land Sean Manaea without dropping big prospects:
“My expectation is no. I would think you could put a package together without including one of those guys. I would imagine Oakland is going to be pretty adamant about wanting one of those two kids. … I would expect the Yankees do everything possible to preserve both of them and retain their flexibility going forward. Maybe both become stars for the Yankees. Maybe one gets traded for an even bigger pitcher than Frankie Montas. … I do expect Manaea to be moved before the start of the season. Montas, I’m not as sure about.”
Given Manaea has just one year left of service time before hitting free agency, the Yankees could likely get away with packaging one upper-level prospect and a few mid-tier options. Manaea is a legitimate No. 2 starter, though, making him a perfect fit behind Gerrit Cole.
Last season, Manaea finished with a 3.91 ERA over 179.1 innings. He posted 11 wins, 9.74 strikeouts per nine and a 77.3% left on base rate. Despite not being a high-velocity pitcher, Manaea serves as a great breaking ball thrower and has quality location with a fastball that hovers around 92 mph. With solid coaching, it is possible that he could improve his velocity slightly, and the Yankees could use more support with a left-handed starter in the rotation.