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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 8/5/22

Players Yanks didn’t want to trade for López; Cashman on Soto rumors, Bader addition; Monty rumors; Carpenter reflects on return to St. Louis; Former Yank Gregorius released

New York Mets v Miami Marlins Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images

New York Post | Jon Heyman: Leading up to the 2022 MLB Trade Deadline, there were a lot of rumors circulating around the Yankees and Marlins right-hander Pablo López — particularly in the final hour. The hold-up seems to have been that the Yankees balked at including any of Gleyber Torres, Anthony Volpe, or Oswald Peraza in a deal for López.

Torres has had a tremendous bounce-back year for New York as their fourth-most valuable player in terms of Baseball Reference WAR (2.7), and Volpe seemed like a talented enough prospect to only be discussed if the return involved a true star. Peraza is a Top-100 guy and crushing the ball in Triple-A right now, but — to editorialize for a moment — if this report is accurate, then I would’ve had a hard time saying no to getting a quality pitcher with two and a half years of team control like López if including Peraza was the hold-up. What else would’ve been involved in such a package? Who knows, but it’s interesting to consider.

Newsday | Brian Heyman: From one Heyman to another, this Newsday report delves into GM Brian Cashman’s comments in a post-deadline WFAN interview yesterday. He said that the Yankees were never really close on Juan Soto because the Nationals didn’t seem interested enough in what the Yankees had to offer (which seems to jibe with previous reports that the Nats weren’t as high on Volpe). The specific quote was that GM Mike Rizzo’s “heart and eyes were set on a certain few locations more so than others.”

Cashman also chatted about the most eyebrow-raising addition of the deadline: outfielder Harrison Bader. Although currently on the IL with plantar fasciitis, the Yankees’ GM sees the defensive whiz as an “everyday player when healthy,” though the 2022 edition of the team could certainly use him in a number of different ways upon his planned return in September. The other Heyman’s article in The Post (linked above) noted that the Yankees had been shopping the now-Cardinal Jordan Montgomery for awhile and that he probably wouldn’t have made their playoff roster, so clearly they deemed him expendable* for even a gamble like Bader.

*Are they right about this? I’m not 100 percent sure if Montgomery would’ve made the playoff rotation either, but this still seems like a weird risk to me with the suspect Domingo Germán filling Monty’s old spot at the moment. We shall see.

New York Daily News | Kristie Ackert: Speaking of St. Louis, Matt Carpenter spent 14 seasons in the Cardinals’ organization, growing from a 13th-round pick out of TCU in 2009 to a three-time All-Star and pivotal figure on their 2013 NL pennant-winners. But by 2021, his game had plummeted so far that he didn’t even play in the Cardinals’ Wild Card Game loss to the Dodgers and St. Louis declined to offer him any kind of contract for 2022.

Still, Carpenter doesn’t bear any ill will toward his old team. He wishes that he could’ve found this recent power stroke during his last couple seasons, but he’s glad that he’s been able to prolong his MLB career anyway. He really thought that the 2021 season might have very well been the end of his days in The Show.

MLB Trade Rumors | Darragh McDonald: On a similar note, one well-liked former Yankee could be nearing the end of his MLB days. The Phillies released Didi Gregorius on Thursday afternoon, cementing his most recent two-year contract with Philly as a disappointment. The 32-year-old has hit just 210/.267/.345 in 166 games with a 64 wRC+ and -1.3 rWAR since the start of 2021 — numbers worse than Kyle Higashioka. Sir Didi isn’t much of a defender anymore either, so unless a struggling team picks him up or someone offers him a minor league contract, who knows if he plays in the majors again?