The offseason is here, and it’s time to talk roster moves. When we talk about roster moves, we inevitably bring up potential trades, and when we discuss trades, we have to consider trade value. The Yankees just ditched Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira, two players with absolutely no trade value. With them gone, we can take a look at which Yankees have the most value in any potential deal.
Think: who would other teams want to trade for the most, or even which players could the Yankees get the most out of.
1. Gary Sanchez
Sanchez road his #IAmGary campaign all the way to the top of this list with an absolutely monstrous debut in the second half. When you put up a 1.290 OPS in your first full month in the majors, every single general manager is going to be lined up for a chance to bask in your glorified excellence.
2. Didi Gregorius
The Yankees acquired Didi Gregorius and elevated his stock to a power-hitting and smooth-fielding cornerstone of the lineup. Few in baseball have seen their stock rise to the degree we have seen with him. What makes it better is that he’s just 26 and still has three years of arbitration to go through.
3. Dellin Betances
Despite some fatigue over the last month of the last two seasons, Betances has been one of the best pitchers–not relievers, pitchers–in baseball since 2014. His combination of effectiveness, durability, and flexibility has been a constant in the team’s bullpen, and he is more than qualified to be a closer, if that wasn’t such a waste of his abilities.
4. Aaron Judge
Judge might have struggled in his major league debut, but that doesn’t mean his ceiling is any different going forward. Many see him as a future home run monster, though, by the very nature of his strengths, his weaknesses make his value very volatile. Right now he’s high on this list, but that could change.
5. Brett Gardner
Eternally the most tradable piece the Yankees have on their roster, things are changing for the team and for Gardner. As the roster gets younger, he gets older and his talent erodes. He still has the tools to be a valuable asset for any team, but things are beginning to wind down for him.
6. Masahiro Tanaka
After the season he had, Tanaka should be much higher on this list, however, when you consider the opt out clause that he is sure to invoke next year, his value takes a hit as a one-year addition. It would seem that he was so good that it actually hurt his value in the long-term context of his current deal. Obviously, he’ll be highly valuable beyond this year as well.
7. Chase Headley
It’s no secret that Chase Headley has been a disappointment in pinstripes. However, because of the cheap deal he is signed to, many teams wouldn’t have a problem adding him if the need arose. What he loses in pure talent, he makes up with affordability with a reliable glove.
8. Tyler Clippard
After gutting the bullpen, Clippard proved to be a nice surprise after coming over from Arizona. There is plenty of relief talent available on the free agent market, so he won’t be a huge priority for a lot of teams. However, if the Yankees are engaged in trade talks, he would be a useful piece in any deal.
9. Greg Bird
Greg Bird would normally be much higher on this list, but due to a shoulder injury that kept him out of the 2016 season, teams aren’t going to be lining up for him just yet. He has looked good and healthy in his return this fall, so it shouldn’t be long before he’s a highly sought after talent again.
10. Adam Warren
In the past, Warren has been a reliable swingman for the Yankees, which helped them net Starlin Castro in a trade. 2016 ended up being a weird year for him as he bounced back and forth between the Yankees and Cubs. Add to it the fact that he was strictly used out of the bullpen, and his value to other teams has become a lot more limited than it once was.
11. Starlin Castro
Castro isn’t that great of an asset, but the Yankees are lucky that he isn’t signed to too massive of a deal. He’s relatively cheap on a per-year rate, though teams will likely flinch at the length he has left on his contract. At just 26, he saw a bump in home run power, which should make him a little more enticing for teams.
12. Brian McCann
Will he be moved, or will the Yankees keep him? We should be hearing about this all offseason. McCann offers home run potential and a veteran presence behind the plate, but he is incredibly expensive for someone on the wrong side of 30 who is getting cast off from their team.
13. Luis Cessa
Despite not being a big-time prospect, Cessa has the makings of a solid starting pitcher to fill the backend of the rotation. It’s debatable how useful that is for the Yankees, however, another team might see him as a legitimate solution to their pitching needs.
14. Tyler Austin
After some initial struggles, Austin had a strong finish to his first MLB season. He may not be a starter, but he certainly has the versatility and power to be a useful bench player for any team. It’s possible that this could end up being the highest his value ever reaches.
15. Aaron Hicks
Hicks was not good in his first season with the Yankees, but he showed just enough promise in August to get another chance in 2017. A team looking to add the talent that New York saw last offseason could find use of him as a fourth outfielder with hopes for more.
16. Bryan Mitchell
He missed most of the season to a toe injury, but that doesn’t mean he’s lost all value in a trade. Mitchell has been a starting pitcher and showed promise in relief, so someone could look at him as a potential swingman for their major league bullpen next year.
17. Michael Pineda
The Yankees have tried to turn things around for Pineda, but if another team thinks they have a better shot with him, New York should wish them luck. A team like the Pirates might be able to turn his great peripherals into actual, consistent success on the mound.
18. Austin Romine
It’s hard to believe, but there are teams with worse starting catchers than Austin Romine. That’s not to say Romine is particularly any good, he’s just there-and that has value. If the Yankees go with a tandem of Sanchez-McCann, the out-of-options Romine will need somewhere to go. Someone will bite.
19. Mason Williams
Mason has been MIA for the last year now after undergoing shoulder surgery. At one point it didn’t look like he would ever make the majors, and now it looks like he will never have a significant role. Maybe another team likes him as a fourth outfielder because his glove is still great.
20. Rob Refsnyder
Despite all the attention he gets, Rob Refsnyder is really not all that good. His bat is decent enough for a bench player, but his lack of a real position makes him too much of an enigma to be that sought after. The Yankees are unlikely to get many calls about him, though some team might think they can make him useful.
21. Ronald Torreyes
There’s not a whole lot of value attached to utility infielders, unless you’re referring to the actual value of utility. Torreyes had the optimal year that all bench players dream of having–he stayed on the roster all season long. Another team might like his ability to play all over the field, but he’s really not that important to warrant much attention.
22. Ben Heller/Jonathan Holder
Both Heller and Holder have become highly regarded relief prospects in the Yankees system, however they both struggled in their major league debuts. At this point they are more like thrown-ins, but they have the potential to be a lot more. Let’s just hope the Yankees can still develop relievers.
23. Random Middle Relievers
The Yankees had a bevy of middle relievers go through the major league roster over the course of the season. Of the ones who actually survived the experience, the likes of Nick Goody, Johnny Barbato, and James Pazos had varying levels of success. None of them are likely to be valued as anything other than a throw-in.
24. CC Sabathia
It’s funny to think that after several years of disappointment, Sabathia finally turned in a season that could actually be seen in a positive light. It feels like he could be of some use to a team that is closer to contention, however, there is no way that anyone is taking on $25 million owed to him in 2017. The Yankees would have to eat a whole lot more money than they would ever want to.
25. Jacoby Ellsbury
Oh my god, no one is trading for Jacoby Ellsbury. Like we all said when the Yankees signed him to that awful contract a few years back, outside of that one really good season, he’s just not that good. He’s also fragile, and now he’s super expensive at $21 million a year for the next four seasons. Fun!