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Yankees Mailbag: Lindor reactions, 2021 clarity and Gio Urshela

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

Cleveland Indians v Chicago White Sox

Good morning everyone, let’s jump into 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: What would have been a comparable group of players the Yankees would have given up for Lindor and Carrasco?

The headliners for the package that the Mets sent to Cleveland are shortstop Andrés Giménez and infielder Amed Rosario. Rosario is a major-leaguer already, though one that hasn’t had much success at the highest level, and his listing as an infielder despite playing almost exclusively shortstop means that Cleveland likely envisions moving him around a bit. Giménez probably plays a bit part in that, since he’s a shortstop as well and a likelier case to stick there.

Our in-house prospect expert Dan Kelly noted that Deivi García or Clarke Schmidt would’ve had to headline in a replica package from the Yankees in place of Giménez when our writing staff discussed the trade internally yesterday, but a major problem arises there. Cleveland wants position players rather than pitching prospects, and the Yankees simply don’t have a middle infielder of Giménez’s caliber in their system. Devoid of context a comparable package could be built, but it means nothing if the prospects aren’t useful enough to Cleveland to get them to consider.

The idiot that said, “Harper is coming,” asks: The players settled for pro-rated pay last season. With the potential for another shortened season, could the slow market be partially because they’re waiting for clarity on the 2021 season?

It’s definitely been a factor on the market that so many details are still unclear about next season, but I think it’s a factor for the owners rather than the players. If you’re a player who had to hit the free agent market right now, with so much uncertainty ahead not only with the pandemic but also the upcoming CBA talks, the only goal in your mind should be to get locked down to a solid deal and avoid becoming backwashed into next year’s class. Plenty of guys who had down years or random injuries will have little choice but to bet on one-year deals, but the established players at their peak value right now should be getting sizeable contracts.

Owners, on the other hand, are negotiating with a number of things in mind. As Josh noted yesterday in his article on the subject, a delay on determining whether the league will go forward with a universal DH freezes the market for certain players, who might be of use to NL teams with the rule but can’t afford to negotiate without that information being clear. As long as things remain in flux, owners can sit on these concerns and apply pressure to the market, potentially deflating it as the waiting drags on.

Chris W asks: Why did Gio Urshela wait until December to get surgery if the recovery time is expected to take three months? Did the Yanks think he could rehab without surgery? This seems like another mishandled injury by the Yankee training staff, no?

For once, this really isn’t on the Yankees. The injury in question is one that Urshela sustained back in September and briefly sidelined him on the Injured List. Urshela returned from it and managed to play out the rest of the season. The story, as Ken Davidoff reports it, is that Urshela believed that the injury was dealt with at the end of the season following a cortisone shot and traveled home to Columbia. However, started feeling it again after a couple of weeks and decided that it would be better to deal with it then.

Unfortunately, at that time Urshela came down with COVID. Any travel back to the States for surgery was out of the question, as Urshela had to quarantine and wait to test negative, and thus the delay formed. It’s truly bad luck for the Yankee third baseman, but the three month timeline for recovery means that he should still be in line to play by Opening Day even if there are no delays on the season. If the season starts later, no harm — Urshela will be 100% by then.