The New York Yankees' 2015 season is over after a 3-0 loss to the Houston Astros in the wildcard game.
In the final month of the season, the Yankees' offense struggled mightily to produce runs and ended up being their downfall. But after their early-exit, GM Brian Cashman revealed a trade proposal he turned down at the trade deadline that would've improved the offense, per Chad Jennings of LoHud.
Brian Cashman said he turned down an offer of Adam Warren and Rob Refsnyder for Ben Zobrist at the deadlineZobrist, 34, was one of the most popular hitters on the trade block this season. An impending free agent, Zobrist brought switch-hitting capabilities along with the versatility to play all-around the diamond. He was connected to the Yankees, New York Mets, and several other teams in the weeks leading up to the deadline.
— Lohud Yankees Blog (@LoHudYankees) October 7, 2015
However, the Oakland Athletics eventually traded Zobrist to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for pitching prospects Sean Manaea and Aaron Brooks, per MLB.com. With Zobrist in their lineup, the Royals offense immediately grew stronger, with incumbents such as Eric Hosmer, Alex Gordon, Salvador Perez, and Lorenzo Cain in the fold.
The Royals finished with the best record in the American League at 95-67, winning the AL Central 12 games ahead of the next closest team. Zobrist hit.284 with seven HR and 23 RBI in 59 games as a Royal. He finished the season a.276 hitter with 13 HR and 56 RBI between the Royals and Athletics.
Now, Zobrist and Royals will play the same Astros team that defeated the Yankees in the ALDS.
Meanwhile, in the Bronx, the Yankees had a relatively quiet trade deadline. While the rumor mill connected them to big names such as Zobrist, David Price, Cole Hamels, and others, the only significant move for the Yankees was acquiring outfielder/infielder Dustin Ackley from the Seattle Mariners.
A huge disappointment in Seattle after being their second overall pick in the 2009 MLB Draft, the Yankees expressed interest in the 27-year-old numerous times. However, he landed on the disabled list almost instantly and missed a month of action. But when Ackley did play, he showed life in his bat, the same bat that warranted the Mariners drafting him with their top pick.
After hitting just.245 in 85 games with Seattle, the former Tar Heel hit.288 with four HR and 11 RBI in 23 games.
The Yankees' production at second base was a question mark all year long. Stephen Drew saw the most playing time at the keystone in 2015, and despite mashing 17 HR, his only mustered a.201 average.
Rob Refsnyder is one of the Yankees' top prospects and viewed by some as a possible long term fixture at second base. Cashman made it clear that he had no intention of trading any of the Yankees' top prospects. Yet, the team did not give the 24-year-old an extended look at the position and let Drew get the most playing time.
But Refsnyder showed promise in his 16 game cameo, batting.302 with two HR and five RBI while looking comfortable at second base. It should be noted that Refsnyder started the wildcard game on Tuesday evening against left-hander Dallas Keuchel.
As for Adam Warren, he was one of the Yankees' most reliable pitchers in 2015. Bouncing around between the rotation and the bullpen, Warren finished the season with a 7-7 record to go along with a 3.29 ERA in 131-and-one-third innings through 43 games (17 starts). He is also under team control through 2018, so trading him for tw0 months of Zobrist likely did not appeal to Cashman.
yanks have 4 untouchables on prospect list: severino, judge, bird, mateoIt's hard to say if the addition of Zobrist would've changed much in 2015. Injuries and inconsistencies hampered the Yankees for most of the year but they outperformed expectations.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) July 26, 2015
Yet, not upgrading at the deadline and allowing their competition to acquire premier talent enabled the Yankees to lose a 7.5 game lead in the AL East, barely make the postseason, and suffer an frustrating end to their season.
[Images by Jim McIsaac, Jamie Squire, and Elsa/Getty Images]