The Yankees must drop major prospects to land the stars on the deadline

If you love possibilities, this column is not for you.

I think the Yankees should trade what they have in order to bring down slugger Juan Soto to the civilians. Failing that, they should do the same to acquire Reds ace Luis Castillo. Get the best of all worlds for the organization – and their fans – both of them.

Because it’s hard to be among those 50-100 players who really matter in a major league season. And if you think five of them are seeping into your system, you’re almost certainly confused.

The only time in my 30-plus years of doing this that I saw a New York team really have this kind of accumulation at one point was the Yankees in the early 1990s. And the magic of then-GM Stick Michael was that he knew the most important organization to scout was your own. He notably defended Bernie Williams, but then also Derek Jeter, Andy Petit, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera.

Everyone else was available to pursue the championship. I remember in 1995 the minor league wing of the Yankees organization fought like hell for not including a pitching prospect named Marty Janzen in a trade for David Cohn. The Yanks don’t make the playoffs without the Cones for the first time in 14 years. Genzen had a 6.39 ERA in 27 career minor league games.

The following season there was outrage about the trade of a first-round pick named Matt Drews for Cecil Fielder, who only helped the Yankees win the World Series. Drew has never appeared in a major league game. In 2003, Brandon Clausen made his major league debut in the Subway Series, so it was believed that Whitey Ford was sent off when a month later he was dealt to the Reds for Aaron Boone, who later that season. Would be a beautiful hit. You must have seen or heard about the giant Homer.

Juan Soto and Luis Castillo
Juan Soto and Luis Castillo
USA Today Sports; Getty Images

Jean Michel’s disciple, Brian Cashman, has excelled in his own scouting. Their worst trades are probably one of their first big ones (sending Mike Lowell to the Marlins in the nobles for three) and one of their most recent big ones (sending four lucrative prospects to Texas that turned into Joey Gallo). ). It has an excellent track record for more than two decades.

If anything, Cashman’s biggest regret isn’t about the trades he made, but the ones he didn’t—for example: for Justin Verlander during the 2017 season or Gerrit Cole later that year.

They have a very good team to win the championship this year. It’s setting up a bit now. Like every roster, it also has flaws. and must be a cashman Using your system aggressively to fix holes and increase your chances of the title, Because if history is the guide, the Yankees probably don’t have as good a probability base as they believe. Cashman’s success has mainly been in deceiving others that he is better than he is.

Consider that through Tuesday, there were 54 players in the majors who signed their first pro contracts with the Yankees. It was third behind the Astros (61) and the Cardinals (57). But Houston and St. Louis have higher-than-average players who started on their farms. Among position players, the Yankees have Aaron Judge and… the second best is probably the Orioles defensive back which is shortstop Jorge Matteo or Giants second baseman Thyro Estrada (remember Gleber Torres was originally a Cubs). The next best draft position player this year has been Rob Refsneider (has anyone seen Brett Gardner?) with Nestor Cortés, Jordan Montgomery, David Robertson, Luis Severino and Garrett Whitlock pitching better. But it’s not overwhelming.


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So is Anthony Volpe going to be as great as the Yankees believe? Oswald Perazza? Jason Dominguez? Austin Wells? The Yanks have the strong-armed pitcher’s phalanx at the top and bottom of their system? Maybe they upgraded and liked the Astros and Cardinals and now the Dodgers and they have not only volume, but a lot of quality. But history says don’t bet on it.

And if you make a mistake, you make a mistake. The Dodgers are saved by trading Yordan Alvarez for Josh Fields, the Astros trading Josh Hader for Carlos Gomez. Good organizations keep finding more talent. Volpe was the 30th pick in the draft, Judge 31st.

Anthony Volpe
Anthony Volpe
Getty Images

Consider that five years ago, the Yankees were seen as having one of the best systems in the game. If going into that year he was asked for his best-of-five prospects for Mike Trout, there would be screaming that you can’t trade those five players who are also in the top 87 for Trout in the entire game according to Baseball America. are in. , But, of course, you could trade Torres, Clint Frazier, Blake Rutherford, Matteo and James Caprillion.

These lists are incomplete. Judge was sixth on that list and almost won the AL MVP that year. It’s strange to me how many media members and fans who have never seen a prospect raise their hand or swing a bat will scream that a prospect can’t be traded based on where he is on one of these lists. Is. Again, maybe Volp will be great or maybe it will be Jesus Montero.

It is Cashman’s job to separate the judges from Rutherford. But even if it hurts to transfer years of control, low prices and the prospect, there’s no guesswork on Soto. He is 23 years old and one of the toughest in the game. Castillo came to Yankee Stadium a few weeks ago and knew he was munching on the Yankees personnel—enjoying himself during an audition in front of more than 41,000 in the Bronx while subduing the home team to one run in seven innings. Had been.

Soto and Castillo stopped being prospects long ago. They are in that small group that really matters – the major league difference-makers. Whatever chances are necessary to get you the kind of moves you make.

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