New York Yankees trade rumors still involve players like Brett Gardner, Andrew McCutchen, and Jose Quintana as the 2017 MLB season approaches. What happens at the MLB trade deadline might be even more interesting. A report by baseball analyst Ken Rosenthal for FOX Sports points out how the Yankees could be a team looking to conduct a fire sale if they fall out of contention early in the year.
The Yankees have done a lot to try to work back into contention in the American League East, including signing free agents Matt Holiday and Aroldis Chapman. But has the team done enough to immediately become one of the five playoff teams in the AL? The answer to that question relies entirely on a starting rotation that wasn’t very good during the 2016 MLB season. If it cannot bounce back in a discernable way, the Yankees may look to deal a high number of veterans before the July trade deadline.
Four veterans on the team are going to be free agents during the MLB offseason and they could receive a lot of interest as the deadline approaches. They come up in the latest New York Yankees trade rumors because the team can no longer receive a compensation pick if they decide to leave in free agency. The qualifying offers are gone as well, completely shifting the landscape as teams approach the midseason months. It will lead to more trades involving teams that have fallen out of playoff contention.
Starting pitcher CC Sabathia, outfielder Matt Holliday, starting pitcher Michael Pineda, and reliever Tyler Clippard are in the final year of their current deals with the Yankees. Several other players, including outfielder Brett Gardner, could also become available if the Yankees aren’t near the top of the American League East standings. Dealing the veterans to get younger would make a lot of sense, even if fans don’t want the franchise to start looking into a rebuilding process after some late season success in 2016.
Tyler Clippard will make $6.15 million this season, with the team hoping he will duplicate what he did in August and September after coming over from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Clippard pitched 29 innings down the stretch for the Yankees, posting a 2.49 ERA, a 1.224 WHIP, and 9.2 strikeouts per nine innings. He will again serve as a setup guy for the Yankees, likely seeing most of his work in the seventh inning, with Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman slated to pitch the eighth and ninth innings.
Matt Holliday signed a one-year deal worth $13 million during free agency. He played in only 110 games last year, posting a .246 batting average, 20 home runs, and 62 RBIs for the St. Louis Cardinals. Now he will likely serve mostly as the designated hitter for the Yankees, giving the team another bat in the middle of the order. If he can start the season off well, Holliday is going to create a lot of additional trade value. That will become extremely important if Yankees general manager Brian Cashman does decide to cash him in for a prospect or two at the MLB trade deadline.
Teams looking for an arm could show interest in CC Sabathia and Michael Pineda, though they might lead to a limited return at the MLB trade deadline. As the Yankees give additional at-bats and innings to the young core of players, it could lead to the veterans losing out on playing time. It could make someone like Brett Gardner very expendable, but also enticing to a team one piece away from contending this year. While there are still a lot of New York Yankees trade rumors about the team adding talent right now, July could also be a busy month for the front office.
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