Before we all get too gushy about Brian Cashman, remember he’s the same guy who brought in Brian Roberts, Kelly Johnson, Travis Hafner and Lyle Overbay to save the day not that long ago. That being said, a lot of the Yankees recent great run can be attributed to some key trades by “Cash”.
With the caveat that it’s really hard to evaluate a trade at all, let alone a season or two removed from said trades, there are a few that are already huge winners for the Yankees – and for us as they’ve made the Yankees an unbelievably fun watch.
Everyone loves talking about Didi Gregorius for Shane Greene as part of a three way deal with the Diamondbacks and Tigers and rightfully so. Didi has already given the Yankees 10.4 WAR with another season and three quarters coming before he’s becomes a free agent. Shane Greene has given the Tigers exactly .2 WAR. Greene isn’t a bad pitcher at all, but middle inning relievers are a dime a dozen, short stops are not. And if you really want to kick Detroit while they’re down, consider they sent Robbie Ray to Arizona when they received Greene from the Yankees. Ray is currently on the DL but has been a plus major league starter for 4 seasons including a great year in ’17 when he was one of the best in the NL.
I’ve also written in this space that Giancarlo Stanton for Starlin Castro will go down as the most lopsided trade in baseball history. Nothing has happened to change my mind on that point so we won’t re-hash.
How about Aaron Hicks for John Ryan Murphy? Murphy gave Minnesota -0.5 WAR before being traded to Arizona for Gabriel Moya. (Worth noting that Murphy is playing well in a part time role for Arizona this season.) Hicks meanwhile was one of the best CF in baseball last season racking up 3.9 WAR in a little over half a season for the Yankees. Now, in exchange for Murphy, the Yankees have a switch hitting, plus CF fielder and hitter for at least another season and three quarters.
But I’m here to tell you my trade evaluating friends, I love the Gleyber Torres trade more and more every day. This kid is a joy to watch play in addition to the value he’s already provided and most likely will ongoing.
Consider: In 24 games, he’s already given the Yankees more WAR than Chapman did in his time with the Cubs. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure Theo Epstein would make the trade again – the Cubs won a ring in large part to Chapman’s presence on that team. But it is worth looking at what the Yankees lost to get Torres – basically one win in what was a meaningless season.
For some perspective, Torres’ current 2018 WAR translates to between a six and seven win season. Only two Yankee 2B have had a 6 WAR season since integration – Robinson Cano and Willie Randolph. And the list of MLB 2B who’ve had multiple six win seasons is littered with Hall of Famers (Morgan, Alomar), should be Hall of Famers (Grich), and probable future Hall members (Altuve, Pedroia, Utley).
There is the real possibility that the Yankees got six seasons of a player that will perform somewhere between the level of an all-star and a hall of famer in exchange for one win in 2016. Add the highly regarded prospect Billy McKinney and the (also as mentioned here before) criminally underrated Adam Warren to Gleyber and we’re looking at a trade that can impact the better part of a decade for the Yankees.
Thanks Mr. Cashman, we’re looking forward to the ride.
But if you think I forgot about Ellsbury because he’s on the DL, think again.
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