Things are looking good in The Bronx. The Yankees lead the toughest division in baseball, they have the early AL MVP favorite, their bullpen has been lights out.
We knew the Yanks would return to relevance soon, but very few believed it would be this soon. Brian Cashman’s job might be a little more tough come this year’s trade deadline as a result.
At the beginning of the year, the writing SEEMED to be on the wall. The Yankees would probably have a near .500 record and miss the playoffs, but would show signs of things to come in the form of their young talent. If it turned out that way, you’d more than likely see some veterans moved in July.
A perfect candidate would have been Michael Pineda. Still young, good upside, free agent at the end of the year. It wouldn’t have surprised many to see a guy like Pineda shipped off to a playoff contender. However, The Yankees now have the fourth-best record in baseball and guess who’s been a huge part of this success, anchoring their starting rotation.
So now what? It’s still unlikely the Yankees re-sign him in the offseason, although it’s definitely looking more possible. Not to mention, his trade value is likely as high as it will ever be and could bring the Yanks back a sweet return. On the other hand, how could they essentially throw in the towel on the season if they’re still in the thick of things come the end of July?
When the deadline rolls around, even if they’re World Series favorites, it would be silly to not at least listen to deals involving Pineda. Depending on the team, it wouldn’t be outlandish to say the Yankees could receive a team’s number one overall prospect and more for Pineda if he keeps up his current level of play.
A possible solution to this dilemma could be to trade Pineda and then make some lower cost acquisitions to replenish their starting rotation. A guy like Jaime Garcia could do a solid job plugging up the rotation and would be able to keep the Yankees competitive down the stretch. Not only this, but he wouldn’t cost Brian Cashman and Co. a fortune.
Obviously, Michael Pineda is going to be more productive than Jaime Garcia, but the Yankees would have a chance to cash in on a nice prospect return while still staying competitive. While their success is easy to get excited about for fans, keep in mind they’re ahead of schedule and will proceed cautiously. They don’t want to make any drastic moves that might set them back for years to come.