As the holidays approach, the baseball world begins to slow down. While there’s no hard-and-fast rule prohibiting moves at this time year, the history speaks for itself. Mark Teixeira signing with the Yankees on December 23rd, 2008 might be the lone exception.
With that in mind, it makes sense to look back on the year in rumors. I searched the Rumors and Hot Stove section on Pinstripe Alley to pull the different entries. I’m sharing the ones I found the most interesting. Feel free to go through and rank your own in the comment section!
Sigh. I wanted the Yankees to trade for Gerrit Cole so badly. After being connected to the right-hander for much of December 2017, the Bombers lost out and Cole went to Houston. A number of versions of this story have emerged, but they all focus on the Yankees not wanting to include Miguel Andujar in the package. Considering how Andujar hit .297/.328/.527 with 27 home runs, it appears Brian Cashman made the right call. Still, Cole would have been a huge get for New York.
The first connections between the Yankees and J.A. Happ popped up in mid-June. Jon Morosi had a rumor noting the interest, and drew attention to Happ’s success against the Red Sox. Between the trade deadline and the offseason, you could argue that Happ was the team’s main focus of attention in 2018.
The Orioles knew they had to move Manny Machado at the trade deadline, and they were willing to make a rare trade with the Yankees. The cost, however, was too steep for the Bombers. The O’s wanted top prospect Justus Sheffield, who was eventually traded for James Paxton in the offseason. Now the Yankees can just sign Machado in free agency, hint hint.
Chris Archer found himself traded to Pittsburgh in one of the more shocking moves of the deadline. He didn’t pitch very well though. A 4.30 ERA and 4.00 FIP over 52.1 innings doesn’t scream successful. The Pirates traded away Cole for pennies on the dollar, then overpaid for Archer. What a weird team.
The Giants thought they could maybe force their way into contention at the trade deadline. That wasn’t the case, though, and the Yankees put an end to the Shane Robinson era by trading for Andrew McCutchen on August 31st. That month and change with Cutch as a Yankee was a lot a fun.
And yet Sonny Gray is still somehow on the Yankees.
Paxton? Check! Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer? Well, there’s still some time to add a top starter, I suppose. For now the team will live with a solid upgrade to the rotation instead of a complete overhaul.
File this one under the FanPost-style trade proposal category. Fans have suggested a Jacoby Ellsbury for Rpbinson Cano swap for years. As it turns out, the Mariners and Yankees actually discussed the idea. It didn’t work out, though, and now Cano plays for the Mets. At least the Bombers got Paxton?
This rumor had to be the best one of the year, right? The Yankees and Mets discussing a blockbuster — with the Marlins, no less — that could send Noah Syndergaard to the Bronx? Holy cow, that’s the apex of all trade rumors. Give me more of these in 2019.