Over the past week, the Yankees have made two significant free agents signings, Brian McCann, and Jacoby Ellsbury. The Yankees are also apparently on the verge of signing a UT/infield insurance policy by adding Kelly Johnson. Because of the same, taken together with some other needs that remain unfilled, there are couple players that the Yankees should consider centering trades around in order to fill those needs. Those two pieces are Brett Gardner and Gary Sanchez.
I like Brett Gardner but, by signing Ellsbury, the Yankees have basically added a better version of Gardner. Further, the contract doled out on Ellsbury seems to have effectively increased the AAV of Gardner's next contract by a decent amount. Conversely, Gardner is a valuable player to the team, is still fairly young, is a homegrown Yankee and would need to be replaced if traded though the Yankees could then do so with someone with more power possibly. Meanwhile, Sanchez now is blocked by Brian McCann unless of course McCann moves to first post-Mark Teixeira. However, even if Sanchez is ready and could be useful, the Yankees have guys like Greg Bird (who was drafted as a catcher and moved because of Sanchez) , Luis Torrens (a catching prospect the Yankees are exciting about though he is far away), and other options that could be just as useful, but yet other positions with limited options that Sanchez could be used to fill via trading him. In consideration of all said, what are some trade destinations/possibilities to consider attempting.
Gary Sanchez to the Rays in a package for David Price or involving some combination of either Desmond Jennings, Hak Ju Lee and/or Jeremy Hellickson or for David Price. While the Yankees and Rays are in the same division, I still believe they could make a trade with each other under the right circumstances. While I would love to acquire David Price to fill that badly needed pitching slot, Desmond Jennings would seem more likely, though it would only make sense if Brett Gardner is traded in a separate deal. Jennings has not hit with the most consistency and in some concerning ways, reminds me of what ultimately caused the decline in BJ Upton's career. However, Jennings has solid enough power and speed, and is young and under team control for a while more. Because of the same, he is worth considering. Meanwhile, the Rays could really use a nice catching prospect. Hak Ju Lee could be ready to be a solid major league shortstop by the end of 2014 or beginning of 2015 and the Rays have other options in the infield. Hellickson, if he returns to form, could be a nice get for the Yankees and the Rays have plenty of pitching prospects to step in and replace him Meanwhile, if the Yankees even want a chance at Price, the Yankees would likely have to trade something like Sanchez, M. Williams, Tyler Austin or Slade Heathcott, Rafael De Paula and/or Michael Pineda. However, if the Yankees could extend David Price as part of the deal, I think that he is good enough for this type of deal to be entertained.
Brett Gardner to the Rays for Ben Zobrist if the Yankees lose Robinson Cano. The Rays have plenty of infield options in the system but could use an upgrade in the outfield. Since both players will be free agents after this upcoming season. This deal would be fair for both teams as they would be filling needs that both teams have with his quality players.
Gary Sanchez to the White Sox in a package for Chris Sale. The White Sox have a terrible farm system and a terrible major league team. While they added Daniel Abreu they also must realize that they signed him with the hope of putting together a winner, something Sale cannot do with the rest of that cast. If the Yankees were to offer a similar package for Sale as mentioned for Price, the White Sox would be foolish not to consider, while the Yankees would get their ace. Sale or Price together with the addition of Masahiro Tanaka would be a huge boost to the rotation now and for years to come.
Brett Gardner to the Angels for Howie Kendrick if the Yankees lose Robinson Cano. Again both players are close to free agency. Both could fill needs of the teams involved. The Angels would improve the top of their lineup and outfield defense while also freeing itself to trade Trumbo for a starter. The Yankees would get a higher end second basemen to replace Cano.
Brett Gardner plus a prospect or two to the Mariners for Nick Franklin but only if the Mariners could get Brett Gardner to sign an extension. The Mariners are deep in infield options and pitching but are weak in outfield options. While they would not trade someone like Franklin for a rental, they have a difficult time attracting talent to play for them. If they could sign Gardner to an extension, a deal like this could be worthwhile to them while the Yankees get a talent infielder who could fill 2b or shortstop for years to come, as needed.
Gary Sanchez plus possible prospects to the Pirates for either Alen Hanson, James Taillon or Gregory Polanco. The Pirates have a solid farm system but only one solidly rated catcher who is nowhere near a major league thought. Meanwhile, they are deep in outfield options and pitching options and might be willing to part with Hanson to get someone of Sanchez's caliber. Meanwhile, all said prospects of the Pirates are highly rated and would fill Yankee needs.
Gary Sanchez to the Cardinals for Carlos Martinez. The Cardinals have an excellent farm system but no high end catching prospects. Yadier Molina will not be around forever. Meanwhile, the Cardinals have plenty of starting pitching options and Carlos Martinez is an odd man out. Yet, he is major league ready and is on par with Gary Sanchez as a prospect. Both teams could benefit from a deal like this.
Gary Sanchez in a package to the Diamondbacks for Chris Owings and Matt Davidson. Sanchez is the highest rated prospect in this deal but all guys involved have talent. The Yankees fill two major needs with two quality prospects while the Dbacks deal from positions of depth. (Martin Prado and Didi Gregorius are the starters.) Meanwhile, Miguel Montero seems to be on the decline so this acquisition could help a lot while the DBacks hold onto guys like Tyler Skaggs and Adam Eaton should they wish to make any more moves.
Gary Sanchez plus prospects to the Dodgers for Joc Pederson and Zach Lee. This is a deal I like a lot. Sanchez is the best rated prospect of this bunch though all of these prospects are solid. The Dodgers have excess outfield and pitching options with no room for any outfielder to make the team for a few years unless two outfielders are traded. However, they have no legitimate catching prospects. The Yankees have no starter or ouffield prospect who is as polished or has been as good at the upper levels as these two guys.
I do not love the idea of trading either Sanchez or Gardner, but if any of these trades could happen, it would seem worthwhile to do. What do you think?