Yankees GM Brian Cashman has acquired countless assets to make his team better throughout the years. As the 2019 trade deadline draws near, I’d like to revisit some of the more recent deadline trades and find out how the players Cashman traded away are doing now.
Austin had some memorable moments in pinstripes. In his first at-bat in the majors, he blasted a home run, followed by an Aaron Judge bomb. The two became the first rookies ever to go back-to-back in their first major league plate appearances. You also may remember Austin for charging the mound after being drilled by Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly last season.
However, the Yankees needed pitching help, so they dealt Tyler Austin to the Minnesota Twins for Lance Lynn in late July of 2018. He rode out the rest of the 2018 season in Minnesota. He made the opening day roster in 2019, but unfortunately for him, the Twins added C.J. Cron and Nelson Cruz clogging up the first base and DH slots. With no room left for Austin, Minnesota bounced him to San Francisco to play for the Giants. He has appeared in 50 games for them this year with a .200/.279/.440 slash line.
As for what could have been for Tyler Austin in New York, it doesn’t look like it would’ve worked out. Luke Voit is doing more than enough at first base, who was brought to New York three days before Austin was dealt.
The Yankees and Chicago White Sox made a big trade a couple of weeks before the deadline in 2017. The Chi Sox sent Todd Frazier, David Robertson, and Tommy Kahnle to the Bronx in exchange for Blake Rutherford, Ian Clarkin, and Tito Polo. Rutherford was the biggest piece headed to the Windy City as he was the Yanks’ fifth best prospect and ranked as the 51st best prospect in the entire league in 2016. Now, the 22-year-old outfielder is the Sox’s eighth overall prospect and playing with their Double-A affiliate. Rutherford has slashed .252/.291/.349 in 65 games this season. With Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, and Yankees’ top prospect Estevan Florial, the outfield is stuffed and Rutherford would have no room to play.
As for the other pieces of the trade, Clarkin was DFA’d by the White Sox and is now a free agent. Tito Polo became a free agent at the end of 2018 and signed with the Seattle Mariners. He was released in mid-April of this year after being suspended indefinitely by the Pacific Coast League for intentionally spiking an opposing player. Polo now plays in the Mexican League.
Dustin Fowler/Jorge Mateo/James Kaprielian
In a last-minute trade deadline deal with the Oakland Athletics, the Yankees traded Dustin Fowler, James Kaprielian, and Jorge Mateo for Sonny Gray. We unfortunately all remember Fowler for when he made his MLB debut in Chicago against the White Sox and crashed into the wall, rupturing his patellar tendon. Coincidentally enough, Fowler would get his first major league hit off of the pitcher he was dealt for, Sonny Gray, in Yankee Stadium. He now patrols the outfield in Oakland while batting .224/.256/.354.
James Kaprielian, at the time, was the Yankees’ ninth overall prospect and their third best pitching prospect. However, he would undergo Tommy John surgery putting him on the shelf for the rest of 2017. He has worked his way back from the injury and now pitches for the A’s High-A affiliate. Kaprielian owns a 3.66 ERA with 19 strikeouts and a WHIP of 0.97 in six games.
Jorge Mateo has been impressive in Triple-A this season. In 74 games, he is batting .316 with 12 homers and an OPS of .896. With Didi Gregorius and Gleyber Torres up the middle in New York, the 24-year-old Mateo may have been blocked from a future in pinstripes.
This was a trade Brian Cashman may regret, especially since he chose to acquire Gray instead of Justin Verlander. Gray went 15-16 in New York with a 4.51 ERA and was booted from the starting rotation towards the end of last season. But it may not all be bad. Gray was traded to the Cincinnati Reds for Shed Long, who the Yankees flipped to Seattle for outfielder Josh Stowers. Stowers has turned some heads in the Yanks minor league system, but we’ll see if New York can fit him into their future plans.
Dillon Tate/Cody Carroll/Josh Rogers
Brian Cashman made a trade with a division foe in late July of 2018. He acquired Zack Britton from the Baltimore Orioles for three minor league pitchers in Dillon Tate, Cody Carroll and Josh Rogers. Tate and Carroll were two of the Yankees’ top 30 prospects when they were shipped to Baltimore.
Tate started the year in High-A, but has worked his way to Double-A. He’s started two games, and has come out of the bullpen in nine. Tate has thrown to a 4.30 ERA with 21 strikeouts in 23 innings.
26-year-old Cody Carroll has a career 2.73 ERA in the minors, but that success has not translated into the majors. He pitched in 17 innings out of the ‘pen for the O’s in 2018, but allowed 17 runs and surrendered six long balls. Carroll has not pitched at any level this season as he is dealing with a lower back injury.
Josh Rogers never escaped Triple-A while with the Yankees. He only needed five minor league appearances with the O’s to crack their major league team, as he hurled 11.2 innings for Baltimore towards the end of 2018. He started this season in Triple-A, but returned to the major league squad in April. Unfortunately, Rogers was diagnosed with a strained UCL and will receive a second opinion on whether he should get Tommy John Surgery.
Brian Cashman has been a genius of trades, but the last two trade deadlines haven’t reflected as bright as others. He has not been able to find a reliable starting pitcher via trade and now the Yankees GM faces pressure to deal for a top pitcher on the market.