New York Yankees News/Rumors: Does a Yankees trade for SS Trevor Story make sense?

First, let me say that if the New York Yankees can finally re-sign DJ LeMahieu, this story will be irrelevant because they, at that point, will not take on Trevor Story’s $18 million contract.  Should the Yankees not sign DJ, it would free up money for a tremendous upgrade at shortstop. The Yankees have had success with Colorado Rockies players in the past, particularly and most recently DJ LeMahieu.

The Colorado Rockies have made it known that they will listen for offers from both Story and third baseman Nolan Arenado. Other than Story’s large contract, he will become a free agent after the 2022 season. For the Yankees to acquire the talented shortstop, they will have to give up something they don’t want to give up. The Yankees might have to give up a Clarke Schmidt, Adam Ottavino, the most underrated prospect for the Yankees Antony Volpe, or some combination of the three. The Yankees have no use for Arenado.

The Athletic’s Jim Bowden named Volpe one of the most underrated prospects in baseball with this statement:

“Volpe can flat-out hit with a short, compact swing, loud sweet-spot contact, above-average exit velocity and the ability to hit line drives from foul pole to foul pole. He can hit high velocity, breaking balls and off-speed pitches as well as any teenager in the minor leagues. Defensively, he’s an above-average defender with plus range to both sides, soft hands, good first-step quickness and an average quick-release arm from the hole. He’s an above-average base runner and has a chance to be the next long-term shortstop for the Yankees. He could also end up being a top prospect included in a blockbuster trade for a star player like Trevor Story or Nolan Arenado if the Yankees decide to go that route.”

So why would the Yankees want to make this trade? It’s pretty simple, without LeMahieu, the Yankees will need a second baseman, and Tyler Wade or Thairo Estrada just won’t cut it and would be a tremendous downgrade from DJ. The obvious answer is to move Gleyber Torres to his natural position at second base, leaving a hole at short. Trevor Story could fill that position with excellent defense and with a hot bat. The New York Mets just upgraded their shortstop with Francisco Lindor; many compare Story to Lindor, who is generally regarded as the best shortstop in baseball.

Trevor Story is one of the few players that had an excellent campaign during the 2020 shortened season. He hit 11 home runs and had a batting average of .289 in 59 games played. Story also would not have to be an injury concern for the Yankees as he has played in at least 145 games per season in his last four seasons. So the Yankees would get a Silver Slugger player that stays on the field, hits for contact and power while providing All-Star quality defense at shortstop.

As I said, the New York Yankees won’t make this trade if they sign LeMahieu, but if they can’t, this is one trade they should at least kick the tires on.

 

Could the New York Yankees pivot from DJ LeMahieu to Trevor Story?

The New York Yankees have been very transparent about what their top priority is this offseason. Their top priority is resigning their MVP candidate, DJ LeMahieu. However, resigning him is proving to be harder than expected.

A few weeks ago, we reported that the Yankees and LeMahieu were making progress on a deal. Jack Curry has since reported that the parameters that we laid out in the article is what he believes the final deal will be.

A four year deal for LeMahieu to return to the Yankees with a option for a fifth year. However, LeMahieu’s camp is adamant about getting a fifth year guaranteed. As of now, the Yankees are not comfortable doing that.

This is becoming a staring contest with both sides waiting for the other to blink. Both sides seemingly want a reunion, however, they are not willing to give in just yet. With things dragging on, other teams are growing more optimistic about their chances.

The Blue Jays are seen as real contenders to take LeMahieu away from the Yankees. With no guarantees, the bombers are likely exploring options outside of LeMahieu. They would be stupid not to. A real possibility lies within the same organization that LeMahieu came from.

The Yankees and Rockies Megadeal?

MLB.com’s Matt Kelly posted an interesting article yesterday regarding trade deals that could ignite the Hot Stove. One of those deals that he mentioned involved the New York Yankees and Colorado Rockies.

The proposed deal would send Clarke Schmidt and Adam Ottavino to Colorado for All-Star shortstop, Trevor Story. Story is entering his final season before free agency, and by all accounts, the Rockies would love to keep him.

However, if they get the sense that he might walk, they will look at dealing him when they can get the highest return. That’s where the New York Yankees could enter the picture. However, the trade price above might be too steep for the bombers to pay for Story.

As mentioned, the bombers are currently trying to resign LeMahieu to play second base. Gleyber Torres would stay at shortstop if they resign DJ, but even Brian Cashman has said that Torres is better at second base.

The longer the negotiations with LeMahieu go, the Yankees might seriously look at the shortstops that could be available. If they pulled off a deal for Story, they could move Torres back to his best position, second base.

By all accounts, Cashman and the front office will continue their full-court press on LeMahieu. Just keep in mind that the longer this situation goes, the lower the odds will get. We might be hearing the Yankees mentioned with available shortstops more and more.

New York Yankees News/Rumors: The Colorado Rockies Trevor Story could move Torres to 2nd base (video)

At this point, it doesn’t appear the New York Yankees are going to be spending much money to improve the team. Their main priority is re-signing DJ LeMahieu, but at the moment are still relatively far off in accomplishing that. It has been reported that the Yankees are one year shy and $25 million short of what LeMahieu wants to remain with the Yankees. Much of what the Yankees do this offseason will depend upon that deal. For a short audio version of this article, click the audio at the bottom of the page.

The Yankees are likely holding off on other offseason moves until they see if they can re-sign LeMahieu. With the Yankees not likely to spend much money after huge losses last year and an unclear picture of what the 2021 season will look like, that does not preclude them for several trades to improve the team. There have been many rumors out there that made no sense. For instance, many say the Yankees should trade for Josh Bell, a first baseman that the Yankees just do not need.

One intriguing move to think about is if the New York Yankees didn’t sign DJ, leaving the second base unmanned. A second notion could very easily solve that void, that is, to move Gleyber Torres back to his natural playing position, where he is considerably better defensively than at shortstop. If they do that, Trevor Story of the Colorado Rockies could be a great fit. Story is a better shortstop than Torres, and the Yankees have successfully gotten players from the Rockies before, think DJ LeMahieu.

The Colorado Rockies have let it be known that they are at least thinking bout making Story available. Story could fit the Yankee’s bill as it wouldn’t break the bank, and the Yankees might get away with trading low-value units for him.  Likely, trade could include Miguel Andujar as the lead value. The Yankees don’t have a need for Andujar, and possibly a change in scenery could develop him into the star the Yankees always thought he would be.

Although Andujar would headline that trade, it would also have to include more. Possibly the addition of Clarke Schmidt could make it a great deal for the Rockies. It is likely for the Yankees that they wouldn’t cry losing Andujar, but Schmidt would be a hard loss to take. However, any good and successful trade usually involves some pain for both parties in the trade. Maybe a combination of Luis Gil and Yoendrys Gomez would be more palatable for the Yankees.

Trevor Story is a two-time All-Star and Silver slugger that came in eleventh in the MVP voting. The 28-year-old right-handed shortstop had an excellent season in 2020 that saw many players suffer for one reason or another. For the Rockies, he hit .289 with an OPS of .874. He has a career fielding percentage of .980 compared to Torre’s .949.

Trevor Story is one of the best shortstops in baseball. The below video shows his range.

 

EmpireSportsMedia.com’s Columnist William Parlee is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research. Follow me on Twitter @parleewilliam.

 

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.