The non-waiver trade deadline has officially come and gone, and the Yankees turned out to be sellers after all. After spending weeks waffling about whether they would buy, sell, or stand pat at the deadline, it was revealed that Randy Levine and Hal Steinbrenner were holding everything up because they still thought the Yankees were still in contention. Even after they traded Aroldis Chapman earlier last week, it was said that the front office wanted to see how the Yankees played over the next few days before they decided whether they would continue to sell.
Then the Yankees were swept by the last-place Rays over the weekend. That seems to have been the reality-check that the team needed in order to make a few more last minute trades just before the deadline passed. Here is a recap of all of the moves the Yankees ended up making:
Yankees trade Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs
On July 25th, the Yankees flipped Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs and broke up the Yankees’ terrific bullpen. Although he missed the first month of the season while serving a suspension for his involvement in a domestic violence incident, Chapman still took over as the Yankees’ closer in early May. He made 31 appearances, earned 20 saves, and was sporting a 2.01 ERA before the trade. Chapman is set to become a free agent at the end of the season, so it was in the Yankees’ best interest to trade him so that they could net some sort of profit.
In exchange for Chapman, the Yankees received Cubs’ top prospect Gleyber Torres, former Yankee Adam Warren, and outfielders Billy McKinney and Rashad Crawford. 19-year-old Torres increases the organization’s depth at shortstop, and scouts have positive things to say about him despite the fact that he is still playing in High-A. The Yankees are hoping that a reunion with Warren will be positive for both sides, because even though he struggled in Chicago, the Yankees’ middle relievers have also been shaky.
Yankees trade Andrew Miller to the Indians
With Chapman gone, Miller was all set to slide back into the role of closer. However, that didn’t last long as the Yankees sent Miller to the Indians on July 31st. From a fan perspective, it was difficult to see the Yankees part ways with Miller, but he is set to make $18 million through 2018, and it would be pointless to hang onto him when the Yankees may not contend for a few years.
In return, the Yankees acquired a package consisting of Clint Frazier, Justus Sheffield, Ben Heller, and J.P. Feyereisen. Frazier was the fifth overall pick of the 2013 draft, and the outfielder had recently been promoted to the Indians’ Triple-A team prior to the trade. He has hit .278/.360/.452 during his time in the minors. Sheffield is a 20-year-old left-hander with the potential to become a mid-rotation starter. Heller and Feyereisen both project as middle relievers.
Yankees acquire Tyler Clippard from the Diamondbacks
In an attempt to soften the blow over losing Miller, the Yankees quickly announced that they made a deal to bring Clippard over from the Diamondbacks in exchange for prospect Vicente Campos. The move is a homecoming for Clippard, who was originally drafted by the Yankees back in 2003. Although he made his debut as a starter, Clippard has since transitioned into a reliever and he could help to shore up the Yankees’ bullpen.
Through 37.2 IP with the Diamondbacks, Clippard had a 4.30 ERA (and an identical FIP) with 10.99 K/9, 3.58 BB/9, and 1.67 HR/9 prior to the trade. He will need to reduce the number of home runs he is giving up if he wants to be successful in Yankee Stadium. On the plus side, Clippard is only signed to a $12 million deal from 2016-2017, so he is a fairly cheap option. In return, the Yankees sent Campos to Arizona. Campos split most of this season between Tampa and Trenton, though he did make one start in Scranton. He pitched to the tune of a 3.20 ERA with 1.17 WHIP in the Yankees’ system this year.
Yankees trade Carlos Beltran to the Rangers
With just an hour to go before the deadline yesterday, the Yankees sent Beltran to the Rangers. After a less-than-ideal first season with the Yankees, Beltran really turned things around in 2015 when he finished the season hitting .276/.337/.471. The 39-year-old was somehow able to kick things up another notch this year, too. Although his defense left something to be desired, Beltran was easily the best hitter on team. Yet, with his contract set to expire at the end of the season, it made the most sense to flip him to another team while the Yankees could still get a return.
In exchange for Beltran, the Rangers sent over Dillon Tate, Erik Swanson, and Nick Green. Right-handed pitcher Tate was the Rangers’ fourth overall pick in 2015, but he hasn’t lived up to expectations so far this season (5.12 ERA and 4.43 FIP in Low-A). Swanson and Green are fellow right-handed pitchers. The former has pitched to a 3.43 ERA in Low-A this year, and the latter was actually drafted by the Yankees in the 35th round in 2013, though he didn’t sign. Green has a 4.98 ERA through seven starts in short-season Single-A.
Yankees trade Ivan Nova to the Pirates
Approximately fifteen minutes before the trade deadline, Nova was in the Yankees’ clubhouse and didn’t think he was going to be traded. The Pirates have been most interested in acquiring Yankee catchers over the past few years, but now they have a shiny new Nova. Hopefully he’ll be able to turn things around with them. Nova just hasn’t been able to right the ship since undergoing season-ending Tommy John surgery in 2014. Over 180 innings later, his ERA is hovering around 5.00, and he has given up 1.76 HR/9 this year. The Yankees likely have better options available in Chad Green or Luis Severino.
There is still no word on who exactly the Yankees are acquiring in exchange for Nova, but it sounds like the Yankees will receive two (!) players. We will be sure to let you know when we find out.