With just over an hour to go before the trade deadline, the Yankees have unloaded their best offensive player. Carlos Beltran had always seemed like a lock to be traded after putting together a strong season at the plate, and the Yankees have agreed to send him to the Rangers in return for right-handed pitcher Dillon Tate.
Tate was selected fourth overall by Texas in the 2015 draft out of UC Santa Barbara. The 22-year-old has struggled in 2016 after performing well in his first half-season last year. Tate currently owns a 5.12 ERA at Low-A Hickory, so the Yankees are buying low with the expectation that he is better than he has been this season. He has been hampered by a hamstring injury this year, and has struggled with fatigue as his innings are ramping up to starter level after being a reliever until 2015 at UCSB.
If a hamstring injury has caused Tate's drop in numbers, the Yankees would be getting a steal. Beltran was headed for free agency at the end of the season with no return for the team. Trading him now gives them a pitcher with high upside in Tate and two additional prospects. The Yankees have done enough to be acknowledged as having one of the best, if not THE best, farm systems in baseball at the moment. That's exactly why selling was the right call.
The additional players coming back to the Yankees aren't known yet, but we'll have them for you as soon as that information is available.
Some will inevitably not like the deal because Tate's numbers aren't good this year, but he was a preseason Top 100 prospect and certainly has the upside to improve. Rumors circulated for a while that the interest in Beltran was tepid, despite his good season so far, and teams he could be traded to were limited to basically American League teams with a DH spot open. The Yankees were going nowhere this year and needed to finish selling off their assets to look toward the future. When you can get a high first round pick for a couple months of a DH, you do that every time.
The Yankees are getting a pair of right-handed pitchers to go along with Tate. Erik Swanson and Nick Green. Swanson is a 22-year-old eighth round pick from 2014. He has pitched to a 3.53 ERA as a professional and currently has a 3.43 for Low-A Hickory. Green was selected in the seventh round back in 2014 out of Indian Hills Community College. He has struggled in his time as a professional, spending the last year and a half in Short Season-A. He has a 4.98 ERA in 34.1 innings this season for the Spokane Indians.