Everybody has a favorite prospect or two, a player you hope and pray doesn’t show up on any breaking news alerts come late-July trade season. With the Yankees in full contender status, nobody’s safe. That doesn’t mean some of the Yankees’ top prospects aren’t less likely to be dealt than others, due to a number of factors. I decided to highlight a few players I believe have a bit of trade armor and are most likely to have a future in pinstripes.
The Yankees acquired King from the Marlins when they dealt Garrett Cooper and Caleb Smith to create 40-man roster space last year. King went on to lead the Yankees’ system with a 1.79 ERA in 161.1 innings across three levels. He was in line to be the team’s first call-up for starting pitching help, but suffered an elbow injury in spring training that set him back until at least July.
With injuries to CC Sabathia, James Paxton, Domingo German, and Luis Severino already this season, trading an MLB-ready 23-year-old starter with substantial minor-league innings under his belt seems unlikely. King might even find his way into the Yankees rotation at some point this season, if he’s able to recover from the stress reaction in his elbow. The young right-hander has also received attention as another diamond in the rough discovered by Brian Cashman and the Yankees front office. Whether they’ll admit it or not, MLB front office executives have players they’re just a little more invested in than others, and it’s easy to see King falling into that category.
The Yankees invested a lot in Seigler when they made the catcher their first-round pick in the 2018 draft. There’s a certain level of commitment that comes with a $2.8 million signing bonus, and Seigler is a talented prospect at a premium position. Gary Sanchez is firmly cemented as the Yankees catcher of the present and future, but Austin Romine is on a one-year deal as the backup and won’t be holding Seigler back from a big league job if he excels over the next couple years in the farm system.
If a potential trade partner seeks a catching prospect, the Yankees can offer another 2018 draft pick, second rounder Josh Breaux. The 21-year-old catcher is a good prospect in his own right, and is much further long as a hitter than Seigler, especially in the power department. If the Yankees front office agrees with MLB Pipeline’s higher valuation of Seigler than Breaux, they can offer the latter as trade bait for any team that comes calling. Seigler is not a lock to make the big leagues, but a teenage catcher with an advanced all-around game and good defensive skills certainly has a good chance. My money’s on his future being in pinstripes.
MLB Pipeline ranks Deivi Garcia as the Yankees’ fourth best prospect, but his performance this season likely has him even higher in the minds of prospect evaluators around the league. There’s no doubt Garcia will be a top target at the deadline, so he’s not entirely safe, but it’s becoming increasingly hard to envision the Yankees parting ways with the 20-year-old right-hander. There’s even been talk of the Yankees using Garcia as early as this year if they need a late-season jolt, like the one Severino gave them in 2015.
In six starts since his promotion to Double-A, Garcia owns a 2.97 ERA, a 13.65 K/9, and a 2.65 xFIP. Those numbers are indicative of the 5-foot-9 prospect’s dominance at such a young age, and give you an idea why he’s unlikely to be included in any trade discussions, barring the availability of an ace like Max Scherzer. The Yankees’ top overall prospect, outfielder Estevan Florial, is probably the only Yankees prospect with an asking price as high as Garcia’s, but the Yankees outfield is under contract for years to come, so you’d have to think they’d at least discuss Florial in the right trade negotiations.
As we know, anything can happen on the MLB trade market, and clinging onto prospects can be a dangerous game, but it’s hard to imagine the Yankees parting with any of these three prospects before they make their Yankee Stadium debuts.