Word on the street is that the Chicago White Sox are considering a full rebuild after yet another disappointing season. As the Yankees look to begin their offseason work, the South Siders becoming sellers could make things very interesting. Like I previously wrote about the Tigers selling, who on the White Sox roster would the Yankees target if this becomes a reality, and who should they avoid?
After a rough first year with the White Sox, Melky rebounded to have one of his best offensive seasons yet. Despite this, his value is still limited because he is actually one of the worst fielders in baseball. On top of that, he’s owed $15 million in 2017 and would be an ineffective designated hitter with his limited power. The Yankees don’t really need an outfielder this year, but if they were to go for a one-year stopgap, Melky is not the ideal candidate.
The Yankees need pitching, but they are not desperate enough to take on James Shields after the season he had. The White Sox acquired him from the Padres last year, and he allowed a 6.77 ERA with his new team. It’s too bad they will still be stuck paying $20 million over the next two years, even as San Diego continues to eat another $22 million themselves. New York needs to stay far, far away.
Only 25 and under team control for another three seasons, Garcia sounds like an ideal fit for a younger Yankees team. It’s too bad, though, that this righty bat has just not been very good over his career. He possesses limited power, struck out 25% of the time in 2016, and hasn’t hit left-handers much better than he has right-handers. Garcia is young enough to possibly turn things around with a change of scenery, but the Yankees already need to figure out Aaron Hicks, they don’t need to add another project on top.
Worth A Look
Normally Chris Sale would be a pitcher I would stop at nothing to acquire. However, given Chicago’s demands for their ace in a trade (Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge, Justus Sheffield, Jorge Mateo...it goes on) it’s hard to see the Yankees agreeing to those terms. As much as I’d be willing to sacrifice some of those players for three years of Sale, losing all that talent–especially Gary–would be counterintuitive to the creating of a playoff-caliber team. The Yankees should definitely keep a dialogue open, but don’t expect much.
Anderson could be one of the best young players in the game soon and, if things go according to their plan, a part of the next great White Sox team. They have no real reason to move him, and they really shouldn’t. If they do decide to take offers, though, the Yankees should check in. They don’t really need him with Didi Gregorius entrenched at shortstop and Jorge Mateo and Gleyber Torres in the wings, but you should never say no to more talent up the middle.
If the Yankees need a new designated hitter, Jose Abreu could be the answer. He’s a power hitter whose value is hurt by his time in the field, and he should add some right-handed power into a lineup that is lacking in it. The only thing to worry about is the fact that he is approaching his 30s and will still be owed $38 million for the next three seasons. I’d contemplate the idea of him being worth the money if his power numbers weren’t creeping in the wrong direction. Since joining the league, his offensive output has decrease each season. It’s not what you want.
Go For It
Despite his elite pedigree, Rodon’s time in the majors has been a mixed bag as he’s hovered around league average over his first two seasons. Despite this, the left-hander can hit 99 with a four-pitch mix that should give him an arsenal for success. He just pitched 180 innings this season, so if the Yankees think they can unlock his potential, they could be acquiring an innings eater only to turn him into something more.
The Yankees already have a third baseman, but Todd Frazier is better and younger than Chase Headley. Coming off a season where he just hit 40 home runs, Frazier could spend time as the team’s designated hitter and third baseman, while also using Headley to grab a starting pitcher. Depending on his price, Frazier could be a very good grab as he enters his final year of arbitration.
Right now the Yankees don’t have a bullpen. If they decide to bolster it through trade, Jones could be an under the radar target. The 30-year-old righty has been a solid pitcher throughout his career, though he missed most of 2014 and 2015 to Tommy John surgery. In 2016, his 2.29 ERA and 10.2 K/9 in 70 innings seem to suggest he is back to his old self and ready to serve as an effective setup man. The White Sox signed him to an extremely team friendly contract, paying him nearly $6 million over the next two seasons with another $15 million over three team options. His options also decrease in value depending directly on his health.
Do Whatever It Takes
A prospect in the Yankees system years ago, Quintana fell through the cracks and went on to become one of the to pitchers in all of baseball for the White Sox. If he’s on the market, New York needs to make a major push for him as a pitcher who has been worth nearly 5.0 WAR each of the last three season, thrown 200 innings each of the last four, and will only be 28 next season. He is on a very team friendly deal that will pay him $20 million over the next three years with two additional team option years through his age-31 season. Quintana could be the solution to the rotation problem without necessarily breaking up the farm system.
Another recipient of a team friendly deal, Eaton offers a balanced bat that can play all three outfield positions. After a 6.0-WAR season, he would fit right in as the team’s everyday right fielder, or could be the new left fielder if Brett Gardner is dealt. His contract pays him $18 million over the next three years with another $19 million in two team options. Despite the presence of Aaron Judge and Clint Frazier, the 27-year-old Eaton would still fit well on this team.
If the Yankees want to strengthen their bullpen, they should bring back their former closer. Robertson has remained effective over his first two seasons in Chicago, and would be an easy addition in the Bronx. The $25 million owed to him over the next two seasons might be steep, but it’s a financial commitment that pales in comparison to whatever Aroldis Chapman ends up getting. Bring him back.