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Yankees Mailbag: Rule 5 aftermath, slow market concerns and trade pieces

Check out the answers to your latest questions in this week’s mailbag.

New York Yankees v Houston Astros Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Good morning everyone, it’s time for another round of mailbag questions. Remember to send in your questions for our weekly call by e-mail to pinstripealleyblog [at] gmail [dot] com.

larry s asks: Shouldn’t the Yankees have tried trading some of those players that were at risk of being taken in the Rule 5 Draft, or bundle them with a player such as Tauchman or Ottovino?

We won’t hear about any almost-deals when it comes to prospects, but I’m going to assume they shopped around some of the players that they left available for the Rule 5 Draft. That being said, the deals probably just didn’t materialize. It would be especially hard after a year of prospects not getting any playing time for teams to come together on deals for minor leaguers who aren’t highly rated. It is also possible that they simply thought that they would get by with only a couple of losses, though based on the glowing reports on guys like Kyle Holder, I don’t know how realistic that would’ve been.

imramet asks: Other than the big-money KC Royals out there signing Minor, Santana and Taylor, this has been a very slow market. Where is the one place you think the Yankees should dare to imitate the Royals and spend some money early, instead of listening to the music and waiting to see whether DJL will come come ask them to dance or not?

The Royals and the Mets are the early bird shoppers of the free agent market. What is the world coming to? On a more serious note, Kansas City has made some nice pickups so far, and they’ve managed to do so by cleaning up in the lower levels of the market while the top players are waiting things out. The Yankees are, of course, interested in the fate of their own top free agent, but they need to make multiple signings beyond that.

From what we’ve heard out of Brian Cashman, it doesn’t sound like the Yankees will make a push on the starting pitcher front. If something falls in their laps, they’ll make a move, but otherwise, they’re content to sit on what they’ve got. I hope that isn’t the case, but regardless of whether if it is or isn’t, there are a ton of relievers available now that they should make a move for. I mentioned Brad Hand last week as the name I’d be most interested in, but Archie Bradley is another good option and they’re interested in Ryne Stanek. Shore up the pen so that there are some reliable arms to form the bridge to Chapman and Britton again, and then at least they’d be heading in the right direction.

The idiot that said, “Harper is coming” asks: What Yankee would you be most willing to trade for a quality starting pitcher — Luke Voit, Gio Urshela or Clint Frazier?

I’d like to preface this by saying that I don’t think they should move any of these players for a pitcher unless it’s an ace or 1b type of starter, and since those guys probably aren’t moving in the offseason, I’d hold off on trading from the starting lineup. That being said, I’ll go with the prompt and say Luke Voit.

Of the three listed, Urshela is the one I’d absolutely not move, since he’s proven himself to be a solid piece of the lineup and has played valuable defense at third for over a year now. That leaves it to be a toss-up between Frazier, who has the upside but less track record, and Voit, who has established himself but plays a less-important position. Both players are under team control until 2025, but Frazier is three years younger and therefore can be counted on as part of the long-term roster plan. You could argue that these reasons give Frazier higher trade value, but I’m more interested in holding onto as much production on the major-leaguer roster as possible.