The Yankees have been without a regular second baseman since December 12, 2013, when Robinson Cano signed his blockbuster deal with the Seattle Mariners. We've seen some real schlock since then: Brian Roberts, Stephen Drew, Jose Pirela, Brendan Ryan--it's all been pretty bad. Yankees' second basemen put up a collective .223/.277/.372 slash line with -1.1 fWAR in those two years, so at this point, I'm ready for anything.
It was also clear that the Yankees were not going to rely on the free agent market, stating their new mantra: get younger, and get cheaper. They did just that, as they have reportedly acquired 25-year-old Starlin Castro from the Cubs in exchange for Adam Warren and Brendan Ryan, according to Jon Heyman. This deal, so far, is just agreed upon and both teams are still waiting on medicals, so stay tuned for the deal to be official.
The implications are obvious, and there will be plenty of analysis and discussion in the coming hours and days about how this will affect the team. Adam Warren will definitely be missed, but I'll take that in exchange for someone who can fill the hole at second and provide legitimate upside. Warren had a 116 ERA+ in his 289.1 innings in New York, tallying 5 rWAR. He could be useful both out of the Cubs' rotation or bullpen, and he has three years of team control left. Brendan Ryan has been worth -1.1 fWAR with the Yankees in 96 games, so happy trails.
Castro is projected by Steamer to hit .272/.313/.404 with 1.4 fWAR--if you believe the defensive evaluation. I buy the defense a bit more than it does. He immediately replaces the Rob Refsnyder/Dustin Ackley platoon, and with the inclusion of Ryan in the deal, he can easily serve as a backup to Didi Gregorius. Castro is owed $38 million through 2019, and he has a $16 million option for 2020. Stay tuned for more updates, as I'm sure we'll be talking about this deal for a long time.