By the time this post goes up, we will be barely over 48 hours until the 2021 MLB Trade Deadline at 4pm on Friday. So far, the Yankees have been relatively quiet aside from shuffling middle-relief arms, but this afternoon had them involved in some fascinating rumors.
The biggest trade so far today involved the Marlins sending Starling Marte to the A’s for the lively young arm of Jesús Luzardo. The Yankees have a need in the outfield and were thus one of the teams to have previously checked in on Marte after he turned down Miami’s extension offer. They remained in on Marte, and Erik Boland of Newsday reported some details around the trade talks.
The juiciest bit is that the Marlins asked the Yankees for perhaps their top infield prospect Anthony Volpe.
In the end the Marlins didn't like enough in the Yankees' system when it came to a Marte deal. Asked for Anthony Volpe & were not impressed enough w/ what the Yankees were offering. This is a reoccurring theme with rival teams & how they view/evaluate the Yankees' system overall— Erik Boland (@eboland11) July 28, 2021
The 2019 first-round pick has been one of the biggest risers among minor leaguers around the game in 2021, as he’s hit .302/.446/.621 with 24 doubles, 15 homers, and 22 stolen bases between High-A Hudson Valley and Low-A Tampa, and he recently cracked both Keith Law and Baseball America’s top prospect lists.
For half a season of Marte though, the Yankees thought that this was too tall a demand. They made counteroffers, but the Marlins didn’t bite. Honestly, the note about both them and other teams thinking that the Yankees had too high an opinion of their own system is fascinating, and not in a particularly good way. It’s either that or GM Brian Cashman only wanting to offer paltry prospects in exchange for upgrades.
Both these decisions seem fair. I’m normally someone who encourages buying at the deadline, but the Yankees choosing not to send Volpe for two months of Marte is perfectly reasonable. Volpe’s an up-and-comer in the organization and not just in the Yankees’ eyes; at the very least, they could probably find a better return for Volpe if they’re not simply keeping him to themselves.
Of course, the Yankees also shouldn’t be overvaluing their prospects in tiers below Volpe, and if dealing Volpe can get them a useful player who could also impact 2022, then they should consider it more. They’ve held minor leaguers a bit too close to the vest in years’ past, and middling trade deadline results have probably cost them at least a handful of playoff wins.
The other rumor of the afternoon is that per Jon Morosi of MLB Network, the Yankees and Giants remain among the teams keeping tabs on Rockies shortstop Trevor Story:
The Yankees are known to have already placed on Story, so this, well, “story” simply confirms that they’re still hoping to land him. Will they actually pull the trigger though? That probably depends on the aforementioned prospect valuation debate. Story’s not worth Volpe, either, but plenty of other names in the system are worthy of consideration.
Lastly, the Yankees recalled both Estevan Florial and Albert Abreu to take the roster spots of Luis Cessa and Justin Wilson, who were traded to the Reds late last night. They were demoted when the Yankees made various activations prior to the game, but they’re back already. Rejoice if you so see fit.
Prior to tonight’s game, the Yankees recalled RHP Albert Abreu (#84) and OF Estevan Florial (#90) from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.— New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 28, 2021