Even after dealing Aroldis Chapman earlier this week, the Yankees aren’t committing to being sellers at the deadline. The team has gotten hot over the last ten days or so, and they are using those wins to justify at least staying in it for the time being.
Although a long shot, Jon Heyman writes that the Yankees could be a “surprise entrant” in the Chris Sale sweepstakes if he is made available by the White Sox. Sale is one of the best pitchers in baseball, and is on a very team-friendly contract. Chicago has no real reason to part with him, even after his jersey-cutting temper tantrum, but sources say they are at least listening to offers.
The White Sox are in need of prospects to boost their farm system, and they haven’t been able to escape mediocrity with Sale on the team. Getting back five or so prospects could help more than keeping Sale for a team that isn’t competing right now. The question is whether or not the Yankees have a farm system that can compete with the packages other teams could offer. Probably not, but who knows which players Chicago’s front office has coveted.
In other Yankees rumors from Heyman, Andrew Miller seems like a good bet to stay put at the deadline. Seeing the haul that trading Chapman as a rental returned certainly gets one thinking about what could be obtained for Miller from a desperate team, but the Yankees aren’t so far out of it that they think they need to further dismantle their team’s biggest strength.
Carlos Beltran’s name has been discussed a lot as a player who could be on the move between now and Monday, but Heyman notes that he isn’t receiving a lot of buzz on the trade market. Whether that is because the Yankees haven’t actually indicated they’ll be selling or because Beltran’s positional value is pretty limited to the DH role is unclear. Maybe a bit of both. The Yankees are unlikely to trade their best offensive player if they intend to try and go for it, so it may all be a moot point.
Still, it seems strange that Beltran wouldn’t be drawing more interest. He is having a fantastic year for a club that isn’t exactly knocking on the door of a playoff spot. Even as a rental, his bat should be valuable for a competing team. Maybe his lack of ability in the outfield is an issue, limiting interest to clubs in the American League without a DH already in place.
If the Yankees decide not to sell any additional players, it seems unlikely that they will make further moves before Monday. It’s possible that they could decide to swing a trade for a middle reliever to strengthen that part of the bullpen, but it doesn’t seem like there would be any big moves left to make. It would be helpful for them to find a starting pitcher, but Sale obviously seems like the longest of long shots.
Never rule out Brian Cashman pulling off a trade that no one predicted between now and Monday, as that is his specialty. Aside from that, it could be a pretty quiet trade deadline for the Yankees between now and then if the team decides they can compete with the players they already have.