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Early Predictions For Players Traded By Yankees At Trade Deadline
- Updated: March 9, 2017
Spring Training and the World Baseball Classic are in full swing right now. The New York Yankees are performing quite well in the Grapefruit League, which honestly means not too much for the regular season. However, certain players are standing out this spring. Greg Bird, Matt Holliday, Gleyber Torres, and Clint Frazier are among the players turning heads in Tampa. Does this mean a successful 2017 is in store for the Bronx Bombers? That I cannot answer. However, there are certain developments that are occurring that hints at which current Yankees might not be around much longer. No matter how well the Yankees are doing, expect the team to be very active during the trade deadline this year. The only question is who will be shipped off?
Somewhat of an underwhelming choice, Chase Headley’s time with the Yankees has been ticking since last season. His poor start to last season did not help matters and he has been on the trade block since. It was heavily expected that Headley was going to be traded during the offseason. Though that did not occur, Headley must still be feeling the heat of those rumors.
This spring, Headley has continued to show his struggles. Despite his bounce back at the tail end of last season (where he batted .278 during a four-month stretch from April to August), Chase Headley’s days are numbered. Whether the Yankees are in contention or not, the Yankees will ship Headley to a team that needs a veteran presence. In addition to Headley’s poor performances, the emergence of Torres, Miguel Andujar, and Jorge Mateo during Spring Training has pushed their expected MLB call-ups earlier than once thought. Andujar could be a direct replacement for Headley or Torres will push Starlin Castro to third.
A move that surprised most, the Milwaukee Brewers released NL home run leader Chris Carter early in the offseason. Carter and his 41 home runs signed with the New York Yankees for $3.5 million on a one-year deal. The thought of the signing was that Carter would be the insurance for Greg Bird and Tyler Austin if they did not perform well. When Austin went down with an injury, Carter was penciled in as the first baseman against left-handed starters.
However, Greg Bird has been impressive during Spring Training so far. Bird is batting .389 with 3 home runs and a 1.000 slugging percentage. Bird’s strong spring might spell a short tenure for Carter in pinstripes. It is assumed that Bird might become a full-time starter, even against left-handed pitching. This means that Carter will be a $3.5 million backup. With Matt Holliday likely the full-time DH, expect Carter to shipped elsewhere at the trade deadline. Hopefully, Carter receives enough at-bats to show off that power in order to get a good deal for the power hitter. This trade deadline, Chirs Carter might fetch the best prospect.
Before the talent overhaul of the past couple of seasons, Rob Refsynder was considered one of the best prospects in the organization. Now, Refsnyder is the main utility guy for the Yankees. Last season, Refsnyder played all the corner positions (LF, RF, 1B, 3B) and second base. In 74 games, the utility player has slashed .262/.348/.612 while only striking out 37 times in 221 plate appearances. Refsnyder has been a valuable asset to the Yankees’ depth at the MLB level.
However, when the trade deadline approaches this year, Rob Refsnyder will be on the move. According to George A. King III of the New York Post, the Yankees are shopping Refsnyder around to other teams. Similar to Carter, Refsynder’s need is not going to be around much longer. There is so much talent waiting to be called up from the minors, Refsynder is the odd man out. In the eyes of scouts, Refsynder’s bat has potential to be a solid MLB player. However, his potential will not be realized in pinstripes.
Jorge Mateo or Tyler Wade
At some point in 2017, the Yankees will make a move to acquire a starting pitcher. Whether it is Jose Quintana or not is yet to be determined, but the Yankees will look to add a starter; especially if the Yankees find themselves in contention for the postseason. That acquisition will come at the cost of at least one prospect. Tyler Wade or Jorge Mateo would probably be the one to be part of that deal. Both of them are considered a couple of the best infield prospects the Yankees have. However, the organization is currently loaded with infield prospects.
Mateo is ranked higher than Wade according to MLB Pipeline, but I think Brian Cashman will try to keep from trading Mateo at the trade deadline. Wade could bring in a good starting pitcher by himself (along with other minor leaguers), but not the level of Quintana. Mateo would be a part of a deal that would bring in a better pitcher. The determination of which pitcher is traded is how desperate the Yankees are for a starter. If the Yankees are contending, one of these two prospects will be in the deal.
Could be Dealt at Trade Deadline
There are two other players who might see their days in pinstripes over at the 2017 trade deadline. Those would be Brett Gardner and Aaron Hicks. Gardner, much like Headley, has been in the rumor mill dating back to last season. Meanwhile, Hicks, who was acquired last offseason in a trade, had a disappointing year with the Yankees. Gardner is more likely between the two to be traded, but both could pop up in the rumor mill come trade deadline time. With Clint Frazier expected to be called up this year, an outfield spot will have to be opened up for the prospect. A poor season by Aaron Judge could open up that spot, but it is more likely that Gardner or Hicks will be shipped off to accomplish that.