The New York Yankees are not done pursuing talent this offseason, and the latest mock trade sends them a strong arm to bolster their pitching staff.
Bleacher Report’s Zachary D. Rymer put together a list of teams that Houston Astros RHP Framber Valdez could be traded to and proposed a deal that would bring him to the Bronx in exchange for CF Everson Pereira, RHP Chase Hampton and SS George Lombard Jr., saying:
“To this end, Valdez would fit the Yankees on paper because of how his ground ball style would mesh with an infield defense that racked up nine Outs Above Average in 2023. They also just plain need another top-of-the-rotation type, and Valdez is certainly that.”
Would the Astros Trade With a Yankees Team Trying to Unseat Them in the AL?
Valdez went 12-11 in 2023 and was one of only 16 pitchers in the MLB to notch 200 strikeouts behind a 122 ERA+.
As one of the elite talents out there for the Yankees to pursue, Valdez would be yet another ideal complement to reigning 2023 AL Cy Young winner Gerrit Cole in the Yankees’ pitching staff.
Though, the Yankees and Astros are bitter rivals, having seen one another in the playoffs in three of the last seven years. The likelihood of the Astros giving the Yankees one of their best players in exchange for a deal centered around Pereira may not come to fruition.
Additionally, the Astros reportedly don’t want to trade Valdez, though five teams have inquired about the Dominican ace already.
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Yankees’ Young Talent May Not Be Enough For a Contending Astros Ballclub
Pereira is a valued prospect for the Yankees, posting a perfect fielding percentage with 44 putouts and one assist across 234 innings in center field. At the plate, his .151 batting average and 40 strikeouts to 14 hits indicate that he needs more development, despite being a highly-rated prospect.
The Astros are still in World Series contention, with much of their championship nucleus still intact. The Yankees could offer a package for Valdez, but they may need to up the ante and offer more ready-now players above what Rymer proposed if they want to make their pitching unit the best in baseball.