Yankees targeting 2 high-upside Marlins starting pitchers via trade

mlb: miami marlins at st. louis cardinals, edward cabrera, yankees
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are once again contemplating the potential trade of their former All-Star and key offensive player, Gleyber Torres. This 26-year-old second baseman has had a strong 2023 campaign, showcasing an impressive performance with a .259 batting average, a .323 OBP, and contributing 16 homers and 44 RBIs. His precise strikeout rate stands at 13.9%, and the walk rate at 9%.

Yankees looking at two Marlins pitchers:

Considering Torres is one of the team’s most invaluable assets currently, General Manager Brian Cashman is aiming for a worthwhile return from the Miami Marlins. The Marlins, according to Randy Miller of NJ.com, are keenly interested in acquiring Torres’s services. Cashman’s strategy is particularly directed towards two of Miami’s young starting pitchers, Eduardo Cabrera and Braxton Garrett.

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In-Depth Analysis: Edward Cabrera

Cabrera, a 25-year-old towering 6’5″ starter, currently posts a 4.74 ERA, 4.13 xFIP, and 10.95 strikeouts per nine. He holds a 73.4% left-on-base rate and a 54.7% ground ball rate across 74 innings. Despite a somewhat lackluster campaign, Cashman is looking to acquire this young talent at a bargain, given Cabrera’s promising potential.

Cabrera is contracted until 2029, making him a highly valuable prospect. He is touted as a potential All-Star and an ideal replacement for Luis Severino. Cabrera’s pitching arsenal comprises a change-up, four-seam fastball, curveball, slider, and sinker sequence. This season, his change-up has generated a .196 batting average against, with a 36.3% whiff rate and a 24.4% put-away rate. His four-seam fastball, averaging 96.1 mph, has produced a .204 batting average against.

Cabrera’s pitch break is worth noting: his curveball generates 75% more horizontal movement than the average pitcher this year, and his four-seam fastball demonstrates 27% horizontal movement. This sort of break is incredibly effective against left-handed batters, an aspect the Yankees have been leveraging under Matt Blake’s guidance.

Braxton Garrett: A Closer Look

Another talent in focus is Braxton Garrett, a 25-year-old left-handed pitcher. This season, Garrett has pitched 106 innings, notching a 4.08 ERA. Despite a good previous year with a 3.58 ERA across 88 innings, Garrett’s current season has seen an increase in home runs, posting 1.27 per nine innings and a 17.6% HR/FB ratio.

Garrett excels as a ground ball-inducing pitcher, achieving a 47.8% ground ball rate this year. Furthermore, he has significantly decreased his walks per nine—a positive indication of his progress. Garrett’s primary three pitches are the sinker at 28.9%, the slider at 27%, and the cutter at 19.3%. He occasionally includes a curveball, change-up, and four-seam fastball in his mix.

His slider has been particularly potent this year, creating a .183 batting average against with a 44% whiff rate, a 24.7% put-away rate, and a total of 56 strikeouts. Intriguingly, his slider generates 55% more horizontal movement and 11% more vertical movement than the average pitcher, providing Matt Blake with an exciting talent to groom.

Conclusion: A Potential Trade with the Marlins?

While the Marlins are not particularly inclined to trade their promising pitching prospects for a second baseman, the Yankees could potentially persuade them with a more valuable offer. The prospect of utilizing Torres’s value to reinforce the pitching rotation represents a strategic move for the future that should not be overlooked.