Yankees still refusing to trade top outfield prospect

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Miami Marlins
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The Yankees are still holding their breath regarding Gerrit Cole and a recent MRI that will determine the severity of his elbow injury. Cole had been struggling to rebound from his first spring training start, comparing it to the discomfort he would feel after tossing 100 pitches in the regular season.

While many are suggesting that Cole is simply being cautious and getting out in front of a potential injury, the Yankees have been keeping things under wraps the past few days as we prepare to hear the news. Manager Aaron Boone will speak to the media after Wednesday’s game, which could give us more information on the severity of the situation.

The Yankees Are Eyeing Pitching Reinforcements

In the meantime, the Yankees reengaged with the Chicago White Sox on a potential deal involving Dylan Cease. Bob Nightingale of USA Today suggested that the Yankees have made a new offer, but they are still refusing to trade star outfield prospect Spencer Jones.

Even before spring training, the White Sox demanded that Jones be involved in any potential deal for Cease. The Yankees ultimately refused, and negotiations fell apart despite their motivation to get something done. Thankfully, Jones stayed put and has enjoyed a dominant spring training performance that certainly suggests he’s well on his way to being an impact player at the MLB level in the future.

After an inconsistent 2023 season with High-A Hudson Valley and Double-A Somerset, Jones hit .438/.526/.688, including one homer and four RBIs, over 10 spring games. Jones showcased elite plate discipline and displayed his power and athleticism in the outfield.

The Yankees had Jones watching Kevin Kiermaier’s defensive film to improve his efficiency in centerfield. That should go a long way toward bolstering his tracking qualities, but there’s no doubt the Yankees see the upside to Jones as an offensive weapon.

READ MORE: Yankees could sign free-agent starter if Gerrit Cole is forced to miss significant time

Keeping Jones Should Be a Demand

Simply put, the Bombers have no interest in trading a player who has the upside to be one of the best in the game for Cease, who’s coming off of a down season but is capable of pitching over 150 innings on a yearly basis.

Clearly, general manager Brian Cashman is still interested in acquiring him, especially after Cole went down and is expected to miss a significant amount of time, even if he did dodge a season-ending injury. There’s virtually no chance Cole is ready for opening day and will likely miss at least the first few weeks of the season, and that would be a best-case scenario.

However, Cashman also needs to think about the future. Jones has certainly carved out a role in the outfield in 2025, if not this upcoming season if injuries arise and the team needs supplements.

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