Argument against the New York Yankees acquiring Francisco Lindor

New York yankees, Francisco Lindor

The New York Yankees have one of the best players in baseball at the top of their offseason wishlist. All-Star shortstop, Francisco Lindor, is on the trading block with the Cleveland Indians wanting to trim payroll before next season.

Lindor is one of the superstars of baseball. He’s incredible defensively, he’s a switch hitter who hits for average and power from both sides. On top of that, he’s got one of the most glowing personalities in all of baseball.

If you were going to build your team around anyone, Lindor would be a great option. Thus you can see the reason why the Yankees are so interested in Lindor. The Yankees are facing an interesting decision with their MVP contending second baseman, DJ LeMahieu.

The bombers would love to have LeMahieu back, but the fact that he’s in his early 30s give the Yankees pause on extending him long-term. Talk is that his agent is seeking a five year deal while the Yankees are wanting to stay in the three to four year range.

To complicate matters more, the bombers have a decision to make on Gleyber Torres. Torres is one of the young stars for the Yankees, however, last year proved that he might not be cut out to play shortstop at the major league level.

Torres looks much more comfortable at second base which is why the Yankees are kicking the tires on shortstops. I really would love for them to acquire Francisco Lindor, however, they should not overextend themselves to do it.

Argument against the Yankees making the deal

Everything I said above about Francisco Lindor is absolutely true. He’s a stud and if the Yankees acquired him and extended him long-term, I would be through the roof. However, they should tread very carefully here.

For one, Lindor is not a need at the moment. The bombers could easily bring back DJ LeMahieu and continue to work on Torres’ defense at shortstop. Maybe he can turn things around with time and more reps at the position.

This option would cost the Yankees nothing in terms of prospect capital. However, there is another big reason why the bombers should avoid going all out for Lindor in a trade this offseason.

That reason is that the market is flooded next year with All-Star shortstops. The list of shortstops available include: Lindor, Javier Baez, Carlos Correa, Trevor Story, and Corey Seager.

Anyone of those would be welcomed additions to the Bronx. I know the Yankees are in a win-now mode, however, that market next year is also reason for them to pause on giving LeMahieu his long-term deal.

The Yankees are looking to trim payroll this year. Cashman and the front office could take the position of looking to sign someone at shortstop like Andrelton Simmons or Didi Gregorious for one year to gap to the free agent class of next year where they have their pick of All-Stars.

Going this way would also not cost the Yankees anything but money. MLB Network was suggesting the Yankees trade Clint Frazier, Miguel Andujar, and two top pitching prospects to acquire Lindor.

I love Franky Smiles, but with the market of 2022 and LeMahieu out there, I wouldn’t do that deal. Cashman definitely should be in on the talks for Lindor, but if the tag is too steep, it’s perfectly fine to walk away from the table.

Brewers listening to offers on Josh Hader; Will the New York Yankees pursue?

New York Yankees, Josha Hader

If there’s one thing we know about the New York Yankees it’s that they love to stack their bullpen. The bombers have boasted one of the best bullpens in baseball over the last few seasons. However, that’s gotten them no where.

Last year, the Yankees were hurt by the loss of Tommy Kahnle and the poor performance of Adam Ottavino. Zack Britton and Chad Green had very good years overall for the Bombers. Aroldis Chapman was solid as well, but definitely appeared shaky at times.

Last year after the Yankees signed Gerrit Cole, there were rumors circulating around the bombers being interested in Josh Hader. Hader is a two-time Hoffman award winner and widely considered one of the best arms in the game.

The Brewers were interested in fielding offers, but nothing ever got close. However, the Yankees were in on those talks for Hader. Well, it’s the offseason again, and the Brewers are once again interested in dealing their star reliever.

Robert Murray of Fansided reported today that the Brewers to intend on fielding offers for Josh Hader. The Brewers are looking for some offensive help in the package that they could get back for Hader.

Will the Yankees make an offer?

If Hader can be had for a reasonable price, I would fully expect the Yankees to be in on the talks. We have already heard that the Yankees are unlikely to spend the money to make drastic upgrades to the starting rotation.

If they are not going to make big upgrades with the rotation, they can always fall back on upgrading the bullpen. Hader would be a dynamite addition to the Yankees bullpen that already includes Chapman, Britton, and Green.

Those four alone would cause massive problems for anyone that would run into the Yankees. Adam Ottavino has the chance to bounce back as a fifth option, but there’s already been rumors around the Yankees looking to unload his contract.

Getting Hader would not come cheap for the Yankees. If I was to guess, Miguel Andujar would likely be the centerpiece of a deal. Clint Frazier is virtually untouchable after securing the left field starting job, but Andujar has no place on the roster. 

Another name that could be in the talks is Gary Sanchez. The bombers have been in talks with Yadier Molina which signals that they might be ready to move on from Sanchez. Perhaps the Brewers would be interested in trying to revive Gary Sanchez.

I would say that a deal between the two is not likely at the moment given Cashman’s stingyness when it comes to deals and the Brewers asking price. However, given the previous interest, I would fully expect the Yankees to be involved in talks.

Francisco Lindor at the top of the wishlist for the New York Yankees

New York Yankees, Francisco Lindor

This week it was reported that Indians All-Star shortstop, Francisco Lindor, would likely be dealt this offseason. The New York Yankees have reportedly put Lindor at the top of their offseason wishlist per Dan Federico. 

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. The New York Yankees have a long-term need at shortstop. Of course, fans could say that Gleyber Torres is their shortstop, however, I think last season taught us that Torres isn’t a solution there long-term.

Lindor is one of baseball’s true superstars. Lindor is just getting ready to turn 27 years old. He’s one of the best defensive shortstops in the game, he’s a switch hitter, and he’s got power from both sides. Not too mention he hits for average.

Lindor has one year left before he hits free agency. One would have to imagine that if the Yankees could pull off a trade for the superstar, they would likely immediately work on an extension. Just like the Dodgers did with Mookie Betts last year.

What should the Yankees do?

If the Yankees were to pull off a deal for Lindor, it would likely mean the end of the Yankees tenure for DJ LeMahieu. The Machine has been the backbone of the Yankees for the last couple of years and for the second straight year, he will finish near the top of the MVP race.

LeMahieu can play all around the infield at a gold glove level. However, it’s been his consistency at the plate that has been where he’s really shined. LeMahieu is a free agent, and the Yankees have been having dialogue around an extension.

However, it’s worth noting that LeMahieu is going to be turning 33 years old during the year next year. That might give the Yankees some pause in offering him a big contract. We’ve seen the Yankees baulk at signing guys in their 30s despite their superstar team status (Robinson Cano).

Federico reported that the Yankees won’t overextend to get Lindor despite him being at the top of their wishlist. However, should they reconsider that position? Lindor is truly one of the best players in baseball and he’s going to be for a very long time.

Imagine building the Yankees future around an infield that includes Gleyber Torres at second and Francisco Lindor at shortstop. I understand I’m in the minority, but if I could pick between LeMahieu or Lindor, I’m going with Lindor. I mean just think you’d have Lindor for nearly six years before he reaches LeMahieu’s age.

Realistically, I don’t believe that the Yankees will do what it takes to pull off the Lindor deal. I think the bombers are going to end up brining back LeMahieu and that’s a great thing. I just think they should strongly consider what Lindor could mean for the Yankees over the next ten years.

New York Yankees’ alternatives to DJ LeMahieu

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

The backbone of the New York Yankees the last couple of seasons has been DJ LeMahieu. LeMahieu has played gold glove defense wherever the team played him and he won the batting title this past season for the Yankees.

For the second consecutive season, LeMahieu will likely finish in the top four for the MVP vote. The 32 year old second baseman also just wrapped up his two year deal with the New York Yankees. He’s about to his free agency for the second time.

There will be plenty of suitors looking to pry LeMahieu away from the Yankees. However, you can expect the Yankees to do everything that they can to bring back LeMahieu. With a team that’s lacked consistency, he’s been the one consistent force they’ve had.

However, the fact that he will hit the open market should show you that it’s not a guarantee that the Yankees bring him back. I fully believe that they should, and I believe they will try, but I don’t expect them to do anything insane to bring back LeMahieu.

Not on the same level, but I’m reminded of the Robinson Cano situation. When Cano hit free agency, I would have bet my life savings he would retire a Yankee. However, Seattle offered him a deal that the Yankees were not comfortable matching. Thus, the marriage between the two sides ended.

What are the Yankees alternatives?

As I mentioned above, Plan A for the Yankees has to be resigning LeMahieu. However, I guarantee they’ve already been kicking the tires on potential replacements for their all-star second baseman. One place to look would be the AL Central.

The first possibility I’ll mention is the sexy move, however, the least likely. That would be the Yankees pulling off a deal for the Indians’ shortstop, Francisco Lindor. Lindor is entering the final year before free agency, and the Indians will likely make him available.

Lindor is one of the superstars of baseball. He’s a switch hitter with power, and he’s one of the best defensive shortstops in the game. Lindor turns 27 next month, and he could be a superstar for the Yankees for years to come assuming they extend him.

Doing this would also allow them to move Gleyber Torres back to second base. Torres struggled in his first season as a full-time shortstop. Many inside the organization have wondered if Torres can play that position moving forward.

The other alternative I’ll mention is calling up the Kansas City Royals about Whit Merrifield. Merrifield would be incredibly cheap financially, but he wouldn’t be cheap from a trade perspective. Merrifield has quietly been one of baseball’s best over the past couple of seasons.

Since breaking out with the Royals, Merrifield has been sensational. He can play virtually anyone on the field, and he led the majors in hits two of the last three years. In a way, he would remind fans a lot of DJ LeMahieu.

Trading for Lindor or Merrifield would cost the Yankees in prospects which is something Cashman is always hesitant to do. Again, the first priority should be trying to bring LeMahieu back. However, if the terms get crazy, there are quality alternatives out there for the bombers.

New York Yankees Trade Target: Joe Musgrove

Joe Musgrove, New York Yankees

The New York Yankees are in need of starting pitching depth, and the main issue isn’t that they don’t have an ace or even a number 2 starter. This free agency, the Yankees have 3 pitchers hitting free agency, and with a tight budget, the Yankees have to make decisions. They need to figure out how they’re going to shore up the rotation without breaking the bank. A way they can give themselves a controllable young starter is through trade. It involves a team the Yankees tried to get another young pitcher blistering with potential from in Gerrit Cole. This time the Yankees can’t just pass up on this kid, who, in my opinion, can be a great #3 starter behind Luis Severino and Gerrit Cole. The Yankees need a controllable arm, and they can have that with Joe Musgrove.

Who is Joe Musgrove?

Joe Musgrove is a 6’5 230-pound right-handed pitcher who started out in the Blue Jays organization. He was part of the vaunted 2011 draft class and picked 46th overall. He has pitched at the MLB level for the Astros (2016-2017) and now the Pirates, as he was part of the Gerrit Cole trade. Musgrove is one of the most underrated starters in baseball and has potential that is through the roof, in my opinion.

Joe Musgrove has an extremely high spin rate on all of his pitches, and this year it blossomed.  He struck 12.48 batters per 9 and was able to have a career-low 3.86 ERA. As a Pirate, he has a 4.23 ERA, 3.69 FIP, and a 4.06 SIERA. While those numbers aren’t great, there’s something you have to note about the Pittsburgh pitching philosophy that gives me hope that the Yankees can make Musgrove into a stud.

Pittsburgh had been infamous for forcing pitchers to be contact pitchers under Ray Searage, and when they got a new one in 2020? Musgrove missed a ton of bats and looked incredible.

Joe Musgrove’s Incredible Breaking Pitches

Joe Musgrove’s slider this year generated a 50.6% whiff% with a .178 batting average against. His curveball registered a 53.2% whiff% with a .050 batting average against. Those are devastating pitches to have in your arsenal, and he can do damage with those pitches. His fastball has good spin but not great velocity, so it’s not the best fastball in the world. In my opinion, his arsenal is very comparable to Deivi Garcia’s arsenal.

If he could find a way to get more swings and misses on that heater, he would be borderline unstoppable. What’s most impressive about his breaking balls is that it generates a ton of spin and therefore gets a bunch of swings and misses. He’s the type of pitcher you want on the mound to back up your big 2, but why should the Yankees trade for Joe Musgrove?

The Yankees Best Chance At Acquiring an Impact Player

He is a dirt-cheap player to add to your roster, and this gives you a solidified #3 or #4 depending on who you retain in the rotation. The Yankees would pay Musgrove around $3 million dollars, and he wouldn’t hit free agency for the next 2 seasons. He is only 27 as well, so he’s a youngster you’re getting. While his price won’t be as high as a Gerrit Cole, it will be pricey to acquire a young promising starter no matter who it is.

The Yankees could see benefit from this as they currently do not have any room for certain prospects and are going to need to make a big deal to get some of their guys out of the farm system and unclog it. If they want an impact player RIGHT now and someone to rally behind in the rotation, it’s time Cashman makes a deal.

What Would the Trade Look Like?

I imagine that you would see a deal somewhat like this for the 27-year-old righty out of Grossmont High School wouldn’t be just the Yankees getting Musgrove. I actually believe (and I’ll hit on this on my next trade target) that Musgrove would be part of a package.

The Yankees and Pirates both have players they could benefit from swapping around, so I can’t make a deal for just Musgrove. You would definitely see some high-level prospects go from the Yankees. Mostly guys in the AAA or MLB level. While the Pirates aren’t a win-now team, they’ve been tanking for a little bit, so they want guys now. Do I see this trade being unlikely? No, as the Yankees will play a little smarter than just throwing cash, and Joe Musgrove is a great fit for the Yankees.

Should the New York Yankees pursue Josh Hader this offseason?

New York Yankees, Josha Hader

The New York Yankees will certainly be looking at way to improve their ballclub entering next year. The bombers flamed out in the ALDS against the Tampa Bay Rays this year after being labeled as World Series favorites before the year started.

Brian Cashman took a lot of heat after the season was over considering the fact that the Yankees did nothing to improve their pitching at the trade deadline. They stuck to their guns and the lack of improvement hurt when it mattered the most.

Now, the Yankees main problem came from their starting rotation. However, their bullpen was not as sharp as it was in years passed. Adam Ottavino struggled mightily in 2020. Closer Aroldis Chapman was shaky at times for the Yankees including in the final game of the season.

There are not a ton of free agent options on the market for the Yankees in terms of starting pitching this year. The highlight is of course Trevor Bauer who the Yankees should pursue. However, the bombers might be limited in their financial flexibility.

With that in mind, the Yankees might look to get creative on ways to improve the team. With that, you could see them pursue upgrades on the trade market. One guy in particular who could be of interest is someone they were after last year and that’s all star closer, Josh Hader.

Will the Yankees pursue?

After they signed Gerrit Cole last year, the rumor mill was buzzing with talks between the Yankees and the Brewers. The Yankees were looking to add Hader if a deal made sense for both parties. However, nothing ever got close despite the Yankees’ efforts.

Hader is going into his first year of arbitration this year and will be under team control for the next three seasons. Given his history of success and control, he wouldn’t be cheap. However, the Yankees might seriously think about pursuing Hader again.

Hader was really good last year, but his numbers looked worse than what they were. He pitched to a 3.79 ERA in 19 innings while striking out 31 batters. That inflated ERA came on the heels of two really bad outings. However, Hader really showed his dominance throughout the year.

Ottavino’s decline was alarming for the Yankees and he’s only signed through next year. The Yankees have Zack Britton (Pending options) and Aroldis Chapman locked up for the next two years. Perhaps they could toss Hader into that mix to build back up a super bullpen.

The Yankees need to do something this offseason to breathe some life into the team. They cannot simply bring back the same squad and expect different results. I think they should focus on starting pitching, but if they can’t, Hader would be a great option to boost that bullpen moving forward.

Should the New York Yankees attempt to trade Miguel Andujar?

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar

I feel like this has been a topic of conversation in the circles of New York Yankees fans over the past couple of years. What will the bombers do with Miguel Andujar? After missing pretty much all of 2019, Andujar found himself without a spot with the Yankees.

The 2018 ROY runner up lost the third base job to Gio Urshela who came out of no where to solidify himself as the starting third baseman. Urshela proving that last year wasn’t a fluke proves he will be the Yankees third baseman for the foreseeable future.

Before the year started, the Yankees had Miguel Andujar start learning the outfield. There’s no questioning his hitting so there Yankees were trying everything they could to get Andujar into the lineup. The transition wasn’t exactly smooth, but it was his first year so it could get better.

People, including myself, believed he could become the Yankees left fielder if he played the position well. However, Clint Frazier has shown this year that he will likely be getting Brett Gardner’s spot ongoing. Boone just said left field is Frazier’s spot even when Judge returns this year.

So where does that leave Miguel Andujar? He’s such a talented hitter, but he’s behind the eight ball at every position that he can play with the Yankees. What should the bombers do moving forward?

The Yankees Options

One option that the Yankees have is just to keep Andujar. The bombers have failed to prove that they can stay healthy for significant portions of time. Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gio Urshela have all spent time on the IL this year.

If the Yankees were to keep Andujar, they would always have someone extremely capable ready to step in. However, would that best serve either party? Andujar wouldn’t be getting regular at bats, and he would simply be injury insurance.

Andujar has shown this year that he’s capable of returning to his 2018 form. After early struggles this year, Andujar was hitting .355/.394/.581 in September. Proving once again that he is a serious weapon with the bat in his hands. Proving his worth there, should the Yankees try to trade him?

I love Miguel Andujar, but what benefit does he give the Yankees without getting regular at bats? He’s not going to take a starting spot away from any of the parties in front of him. He’s reestablished his trade value a bit this year proving that he can still be a dangerous hitter.

I’m not saying that the Yankees should give him up for peanuts, but if they can reinforce their pitching staff or bullpen, I think it’s something you look at. I guarantee there will be calls regarding Andujar this offseason. Will Brian Cashman be offered something that will make dealing him worth it? We will see.

Trade Rumor: Yankees Potentially in on Star Indians Pitcher

New York Yankees, Mike Clevinger

The New York Yankees pursuit for pitching has gotten their wheels spinning on a top-notch starter. While the Yankees have been unable to acquire a starter so far, they still have some time to get this deal done. They’ve eyed guys like Lance Lynn, Kevin Gausman, Taijuan Walker, and Marco Gonzales. This time their attention shifts to Mike Clevinger, who is a 29-year-old hard-throwing righty from the Indians. He has been an elite starter since 2018 and the Yankees are looking for another money arm.

What Does This Deal Look Like?

The report from MLB insider Robert Murray says that the Yankees and Padres are in the talks as (according to Murray) “The initial asking price was believed to be four quality prospects”. While the deal would be a lot for the Yankees, Cashman might be willing to do so. Clevinger would warrant MLB ready talent, so maybe the use of Deivi Garcia against the Mets is a way to showcase him to Cleveland. This deal would involve a lot of key prospects, and it seems like the price is steep.

Mike Clevinger’s Value

Clevinger since 2018 ranks 15th in SIERA, 15th in xFIP, 13th in K-BB%, 8th in FIP, and 6th in ERA. He’s been a top-flight starter in Cleveland, and while his peripherals have looked poor this season, he’s going to be good. His 95+ MPH fastball and renown slider have made for a devastating combination. His hair is long but the list of teams who want to be a suitor for his trade is even longer. He’s an elite caliber pitcher and would fit nicely in the rotation:

  1. Gerrit Cole
  2. Mike Clevinger
  3. James Paxton
  4. Masahiro Tanaka
  5. Jordan Montgomery

In the postseason you’d probably see Tanaka in a game 3 and Paxton in game 4, but in these shortened postseasons this could be deadly.

Will CashGod pay the steep price for an elite starter or will another team get him? The deadline’s been wonky, but only time will tell.

Could the Yankees and the Orioles make a deadline deal?

Mychal Givens

The New York Yankees are clearly one of the best teams in baseball. However, they are not a team that is without flaws. In fact, there are several holes in this team at the moment that might hinder their chances at a 28th World Series.

One of the problems the Yankees are facing is in their bullpen. Before the year started, the Yankees might have had the best bullpen in baseball on paper. However, it’s been a little rocky to start the year.

The team lost Tommy Kahnle to Tommy John, Aroldis Chapman just came back from dealing with COVID, and now Zack Britton has hit the IL with a hamstring issue. The guys who have pitched, haven’t always looked incredible outside of Chad Green.

There is no question that the Yankees have a chance to win the World Series. However, they might need another piece or two to assist in that effort. Perhaps the bombers could look within the division for some help.

Another Yankees – Orioles trade?

If Brian Cashman is going to be active at the August 31st trade deadline, a name that he could realistically target is Mychal Givens of the Baltimore Orioles.

It would be the second time in the last couple of years that the Yankees would acquire a top bullpen arm from the Orioles at the deadline. The Yankees tried to acquire Givens at the deadline last year to bolster the bullpen.

Givens is off to a fantastic start in the shortened 2020 season. In eleven games for the Orioles, Givens has pitched 11.2 innings allowing just one run. His overall line looks like this: 0.77 ERA, 1.029 WHIP, 12.3 Strikeouts per 9 innings.

That is a arm that the Yankees would gladly welcome into their bullpen. There are going to be a lot of buyers given the expanded playoffs so I wouldn’t expect Givens to be given up on the cheap side. If Givens is dealt, the team who gets him will also get him for next season.

We don’t know yet how aggressive Cashman will be at this year’s deadline. The team is suffering right now with injuries, but when healthy, this is a team that can win the whole thing as is. Maybe Cashman plays it safe with the hope that everyone ends up healthy before the playoffs.

My hunch is that the Yankees will make a move this week. I’m not sure if it’ll be a sexy move like landing Givens or if it’ll be something small just to provide depth. Either way, expect Cashman to do something before September 1st rolls around.

 

BREAKING: New York Jets S Jamal Adams requests a trade (Report)

New York Jets, Jamal Adams

Adams once again voiced his displeasure with his current contract situation and now has reportedly requested a trade from the New York Jets.

Per ESPN’s Rich Cimini, New York Jets safety Jamal Adams has requested a trade, reportedly doing so on Thursday.

This marks yet another turn in the roller-coaster saga between Adams and the Jets, one that was spinning on Thursday even before reports of the safety’s request emerged.

Adams returned to an Instagram post released by Bleacher Report’s NFL page (@brgridiron) that featured the concept of Cleveland Browns defender and fellow 2017 draftee Myles Garrett receiving a long-term deal this offseason. Last week, Adams commented on the post, remarking that Garrett’s potential big deal was “well deserved” and added “I can’t even get my first proposal that they said they would send over in January…I was called ‘selfish’ tho [sic]! Lol A lot of talk no action #StayWoke.”

In his Thursday return to the post, Adams made his intentions clear in a response to a fan, who indicated that not even defending Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes, another 2017 draft pick, has received a long-term deal from the Kansas City Chiefs yet.

“I deserve to be paid but when I ask to be taking [sic] care of I’m ‘BEING THAT GUY’ huh?” Adams said.

Only pick from 2017’s first round, Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey, has earned a new deal beyond his rookie contract, having inked a four-year, $64 million extension in April. Such a deal made him the highest-paid running back in NFL history.

Adams referenced both Mahomes and McCaffrey in his Thursday discourse.

“Pat is about to get 40 to 60 (million) a year. Well deserved. But don’t compare me to QB’s if you aren’t paying me QB money. (Expletive), if I was about to get 40 plus u [sic] wouldn’t hear a damn word from me,” he said. “CM22 got paid not too long ago. Well deserved. Great friend of mine.”

“Ima [sic] protect myself just like an organization will look out for themselves at the end of the day & if you guys don’t respect that, cool.”

“It’s all luv [sic]. Maybe it’s time to move on!”

Jets management has been quiet about getting Adams a long-term deal, save for general manager Joe Douglas declaring back at February’s NFL Scouting Combine that preliminary talks had been held and that the goal was to make Adams “a Jet for life”. Cimini indicated that the Jets currently have no plans to give in to Adams’ request, but hints Adams could hold out of training camp.

It has been theorized that Adams wishes to become the highest-paid safety in football. The label currently belongs to Chicago’s Eddie Jackson ($14.6 million a year).

[UPDATE: 6:15 p.m. ET] Adam Schefter, also of ESPN, has revealed seven destinations on Adams’ wish list. The Dallas Cowboys, per Schefter, have reentered the fold after being involved in rumors around last season’s trade deadline. With the exception of the Cowboys, each of the teams on Adams’ list reached the 2019-20 NFL playoffs.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags