Late last night, reports surfaced that the Yankees were on the verge of acquiring left-hander Jaime Garcia from the Twins. The two teams agreed to the deal this morning, with Zack Littell and Dietrich Enns heading to Minnesota. The Yankees needed a starter heading into the the trade deadline, and now they have one.
Garcia, 31, is in the midst of a solid season. He’s pitched to a 4.29 ERA with a 4.04 FIP. Those numbers are inflated due to a rough June and July, but given his handedness and propensity to generate groundballs, he’s somewhat of a hot commodity. In fact, the southpaw was traded once earlier this month. The Twins acquired him from the Braves for just one start before lining up a deal with New York.
To make the trade happen, the Yankees are sending Littell to the Twins. He’s pitched to a 2.05 ERA with a 2.31 FIP across 44 innings for Double-A Trenton this year. He also carved up batters while starting with High-A Tampa. All together, Littell sat as the Yankees’ number 22 prospect.
Enns, on the other hand, has been hampered by injuries this season. The finesse left-hander owns a 2.29 ERA with a 2.73 FIP over just 36.1 innings for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Unlike Littell, Enns went unranked on the Yankees’ top 30 prospects list. He’s an intriguing arm, but one the team can spare. Plus, the team needed to clear a space on the 40-man roster.
This deal naturally begs the question of what happens next. We heard the Yankees were making progress on a trade for Sonny Gray, where does that stand now? According to most reporters, it’s still possible.
Deal for Garcia will not preclude #Yankees from continuing to pursue Sonny Gray. Just give them more leverage in talks. #Athletics— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 30, 2017
The Yankees still want Gray, and now have better leverage in their negotiations. They could opt to add Oakland’s ace and overhaul their rotation, or they can hang tight. There are options now. Either way, Garcia shores up the fifth starter spot. Don’t expect to see Caleb Smith getting starts any time soon.
Littell and Enns seems like a bit of a steep price for Garcia, but the Yankees have plenty of prospects left. They posses the ammunition to keep wheeling and dealing. Brian Cashman just picked up one starter, don’t put it past him to land another.