The trade deadline came and went and the Yankees stood pat after acquiring Dustin Ackley on Thursday. There was much talk about who the Yankees were willing to move and what they were looking to add, but nothing ended up turning into anything of substance. There was a lot of negotiations between the Yankees and Padres over closer Craig Kimbrel, but San Diego claimed there would be no deal without the inclusion of top shortstop prospect Jorge Mateo. While Brian Cashman seemed to have balked at that request at first, it seems that he changed his mind at some point and was willing to move his 'untouchable' prospect if it meant he could add another elite-level relief pitcher. For whatever reason, A.J. Preller and the Padres decided to keep all there assets by that point and now deal could be reached. In the end, it might have been a good thing that the Yankees couldn't pull this deal off:
yankees were willing to put in jorge mateo and take back gyorko and eat a good part of it to get kimbrel. pads said no.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) July 31, 2015
Craig Kimbrel is obviously a great pitcher, but the bullpen wasn't exactly something they needed to improve upon, let alone give up their best assets for. Kimbrel is owed $25 million over the next two seasons and has a $13 million option for the 2018 season, so paying any portion of that money wouldn't be too big of a burden for a team like the Yankees. The real problem would have been also taking on Jedd Gyorko's deal, which has him being paid $32 million through the 2019 season, plus a $13 million option or $1 million buyout, making him at least a $32 million investment. Unfortunately, for the Padres, Gyorko has hit a measly .214/.282/.336 over the last two seasons, showing that it might not always be a good idea to lock up your young players early.
Taking on that money would have likely been a bad move for the Yankees, considering they just acquired another bad hitting "second baseman" in Dustin Ackley and they already have Stephen Drew and Brendan Ryan. He had no place on the roster and there was really no need to take on so much dead money for such a small boost to the club's overall talent pool. Jorge Mateo was claimed to be untouchable, but it's certainly clear from this proposed trade that he is not. He might be their fourth-best prospect, but he's also a 20-year-old weak-hitting shortstop in the lower minors, so that's a very movable piece in the right kind of deal. The benefit of holding onto him now is that he gets more time to develop and either turn into someone the Yankees want to keep or he could end up netting them something even better further down the line. We can only guess at why the Padres weren't interested.
Yankees fans are going to be upset that no move was made, but if this deal was something that they were seriously willing to do, it might end up being a good thing that nothing got done. This is already a strong team with several top prospects on the cusp of a major league promotion. The team is also in first place. Things are looking up, now and in the future.
Or maybe this was all a bunch of lies?
Cashman said he was "not close" in completing a deal— Erik Boland (@eboland11) July 31, 2015