The New York Yankees’ trade of Aroldis Chapman was a necessary baseball move and a smart one at that. It also proved that the Yankees must listen to any and all offers on Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller moving forward.
Less than half a season of Chapman got the Yankees the Chicago Cubs’ top-rated prospect in Gleybar Torres, their fifth-rated prospect in Billy McKinney, a proven Major Leaguer in Adam Warren, and a potential five-tool guy in Rashad Crawford. That is an immense haul and it sets the bar insanely high for the reliever market moving forward. There are plenty of buyers out there in need of relief help and the Yankees held the top card and hold two more in their hand with Miller and Betances.
Let me clear, the Yankees don’t have to trade Miller or Betances. However, given what the Cubs gave up they can demand even more for Miller and Betances because they are both under contract. Miller would be the prize and he is under contract through next year. Keeping them and still trying to compete is fine. However, if a team offers them a huge package you can’t pass it up. They are relievers after all and the chance to add a piece that could be a cornerstone for years is just something you don’t do.
The Washington Nationals come to mind as needing a reliever. So do the Texas Rangers. Both have some really great prospects that fill positions of need for the Yankees. The Nationals have a potential future ace and one of the top prospects in all of baseball in Lucas Giolito. MLB.com has Giolito ranked the top overall prospect in baseball. They also have SS/2B prospect Trea Turner who is ranked ninth overall on MLB.com. The Yankees have also been reported to like OFer Victor Robles who ranks 54th overall.
The Rangers have 3B Joey Gallo, who is ranked seventh overall, and OF Lewis Brinson, the 13th overall prospect. They also have 2B Jurickson Profar who the Yankees have loved for years. The Rangers would have to include at least one or two of those in order to pry Miller away and while it isn’t likely to happen the Yankees have to listen. The same goes for the Nationals.
It isn’t likely Miller or Betances will be traded. The Yankees believe in a strong bullpen and if Chapman hits free agency it wouldn’t be surprising to see him back in Yankee pinstripes next season and No-Runs DMC back together. It also wouldn’t be a shock if a team, seeing its World Series window closing go all-in and dump major prospects in an effort to win now. The Nationals definitely fit that bill and their owner might get a little anxious to win a World Series before Bryce Harper hits free agency.
On top of Miller and Betances the Yankees could explore trades involving Brett Gardner, Ivan Nova, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, Chase Headley, Carlos Beltran, and also look at using their newfound prospect windfall to improve the Major League club. While another major trade isn’t likely the Yankees are keeping their eyes and ears open and could leave this trade deadline set up for years to come. GM Brian Cashman just needs to get Hal Steinbrenner on board and allow smart baseball decisions to be made.