The New York Yankees have several holes on the roster left to fill, one of them being the starting pitching rotation. Relying consistently on Jameson Taillon, Luis Severino, Domingo German, and Nestor Cortes to fill spots may be overly optimistic.
All four of these players are either coming off injury or haven’t sustained prolonged success to justify unwavering confidence. General manager Brian Cashman has failed to add significant talent this off-season, but that doesn’t mean he’s wrapped up negotiations, and he’s willing to let things play out.
The Oakland Athletics are reportedly shopping two starting pitchers, Sean Manaea and Frankie Montas, but the former may fit the bill for the Yankees considering his reliability over the past few seasons and solid stuff.
Let’s take a look at a mock trade that could work out well for the Yankees.
New York Yankees trade prospects:
2B: Oswald Cabrera
RHP: Clarke Schmidt
SP: Sean Manaea
In this scenario, the Bombers trade away Oswaldo Cabrera and Clarke Schmidt, a young infielder climbing the farm system and a 26-year-old relief pitcher who has struggled when called upon in the MLB the last two seasons.
Cabrera spent last year with Somerset and Scranton, hitting a combined .272 with 29 homers and 89 RBIs. At 22 years old, Cabrera is an exciting prospect with plenty of potential, but unless the Yankees are looking to trade Gleyber Torres, they already have the second base position filled for the foreseeable future. If they want to commit fully to Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza, they can afford to leverage one of their prospects, and Cabrera, unfortunately, may be the odd man out.
In addition, Schmidt, who made two appearances last year, is also included in the trade. Schmidt only has 12 innings of major-league play, but at 26 years old, the Yankees may look to take advantage of his value, especially if they feel he’s plateauing. He did record a 2.10 ERA last year in AAA but was batted around when called up by the Yankees. He could still have tremendous value for a team looking to develop him and have the reps to offer, especially since he has five years left of service time before hitting free agency.
In return for Cabrera and Schmidt, the Yankees would get Sean Manaea, who posted a 3.91 ERA last season over 179 innings. At 29 years old, Manaea has one year of service time before becoming a free agent, but the Yankees could extend him quickly and keep him as the No. 2 starter behind Gerrit Cole.
Manaea’s best season came back in 2018 with Oakland, posting a 3.59 ERA, 4.46 SIERA, and 4.32 xFIP. Manaea features a fastball, changeup, and slider. He transitioned from his fastball to a sinker last year, throwing it 60.1% of the time at 92.2 mph.
The Yankees traded for Clay Holmes, who also features a lethal sinker, extracting tremendous success out of him after disappointing with Pittsburgh. If they can do the same with Manaea, he could be a home run addition this off-season, injecting much-needed talent into the rotation.