While the hot stove will be burning and the Yankees will be heavily involved, the front office will have to take stock of what it’s willing to spend both in price and in prospects. The Yankees have a multitude of interesting pieces in their farm system, and while some may be worth moving this offseason, others have clearly put themselves in a position to contribute to the major league team.
Deivi Garcia was the most sought after Yankees prospect in negotiations at the trade deadline, and for good reason. The 20-year-old shot up through the system, pitching in three levels and displaying a strong ability to strike batters out. Garcia struggled in Triple-A Scranton, dealing with the juiced major-league ball, as well as a shift to the bullpen as the Yankees assessed whether he could potentially help the team in 2019, but he appears on track to debut in the majors if he bounces back to his career norms. Garcia is the top prospect in the system, and after fending off suitors for him in July, it appears likely that he will remain with the club for next season and beyond.
Similarly, Mike King is another arm that the team has had an eye on as he rose through the system. After flipping Garrett Cooper and Caleb Smith to the Marlins for King during the 2017-18 offseason, King flipped the switch into a promising pitching prospect. His 1.79 ERA in 161.1 innings across three levels in 2018 had him approaching a callup, but an elbow injury in spring training derailed his momentum. He worked his way back and even threw a couple big-league innings late in the year, but it was clear that King wasn’t in top shape yet. With a full offseason to recover, King could return to climbing the ladder, and the Yankee brass probably doesn’t want to sell low on the 24-year-old after a bumpy campaign.
The core of the players the Yankees will want to retain from their farm system are mainly pitchers, as that is the area the Yankees have had the biggest need in the bigs, but one name from their Triple-A lineup made a name for himself this season. Mike Ford got more than a look in the majors, playing 50 games for the Bombers, so he’s not exactly a prospect anymore. But after a rough opening stretch in the beginning of the season he proved that he has the big-league power and potential to stay. Ford absolutely raked in Scranton, and was more than serviceable filling in for Luke Voit late in the stretch run, and has in all likelihood earned a shot at competing for a roster spot in camp for 2020.
A more under-the-radar name that hasn’t made it to the bigs yet but could is Gosuke Katoh. Katoh had an odd year, with multiple moves between Scranton and Double-A Trenton, but he produced while up in Scranton. His .279/.382/.443 slash line with 11 homers in 83 games hints at a bat that could play in the majors, and his versatility while playing three infield positions gives him the resume that the Yankees are looking for in constructing their roster going forward. If Didi Gregorius doesn’t return to the team this offseason and Katoh can continue to develop, it’s possible to envision a versatile role for Katoh.
If the right opportunity comes up, the Yankees will look to make moves to improve their team. Rival executives will push hard to get the Yankees to pay, but Brian Cashman has been adamant about not budging on certain prospects. For some of these players, they’re more than likely on that list to hold onto heading into next year.