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Report: Yankees unwilling to trade “elite prospects” for rental players

We have a glimpse at who the Yankees consider untouchable.

New York Yankees v Cleveland Indians Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images

Earlier today, Jack Curry provided further clarity to the Yankees’ trade deadline approach. He reported that Brian Cashman and company will not move “elite prospects” for impending free agents. While that has been known for some time, he took it to the next level and dropped names of some of the off-limits talent.

According to Curry, the list includes three pitchers and two outfielders. Justus Sheffield, Albert Abreu, and Domingo Acevedo represent the arms whom the Yankees want to keep. Clint Frazier and Estevan Florial, on the other hand, are the outfielders who are off the table. Other players could be in this group as well.

Sheffield and Florial stand out as the team’s top two prospects. Their order is interchangeable depending on which list a person consults. Regardless, it makes sense that they’re not available. Sheffield has pitched to a 2.44 ERA (3.07 FIP) in 62.2 innings for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Florial, meanwhile, has battled injuries for most of the season. He recently returned from a lengthy stint on the disabled list following hamate bone surgery. His talent level, however, is lauded by many evaluators.

Frazier represents more of a known commodity. The Yankees have seen him first-hand, and while the results have been mixed, the potential flashes brightly. Red Thunder has hit .265/.390/.353 at the big league level, and while that’s fine enough, it leaves people wanting more. His 170 wRC+ at Triple-A gives one the impression that he would be a top prospect if eligible for rankings.

The two that make you scratch your head, however, are Abreu and Acevedo. The oft-injured Abreu has a sky-high upside, but he remains so far away. The 22-year-old still pitches for High-A Tampa, and he doesn’t have a history of logging enough innings. Acevedo got a cup of coffee last weekend, and while he possesses electric stuff, questions exist surrounding his delivery and durability.

Nobody expected the Yankees to pay top dollar for a rental arm. It’s interesting, however, to see which prospects they consider elite and untouchable. Some make a lot more sense than others. While this could be posturing on Cashman’s part, his track record suggests he won’t overpay for an impending free agent.