The New York Yankees managed to make the most of their offseason with one of the biggest trades in MLB history. With the Miami Marlins hosting one of the biggest garage sales ever, the Yankees took advantage and snagged Giancarlo Stanton. While Stanton will provide power, Brain Cashman forgot the one ingredient the Yankees were missing to really push them over the top speed. This is where Cashman should have gone after Dee Gordon before he was dealt to the Seattle Mariners.
The Stanton and Gordon combo did not produce any World Series titles or appearances for the Marlins, however, they were one of the best one-two punches in MLB.
During his time with the Marlins, Gordon was by far one of the best 2B in the league. It began with his last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2014. Gordon would make his first All-Star appearance in a season where he batted.289, led the league with 12 triples, hit 24 doubles, stole 64 bases, and had 176 hits.
In 2014, after his All-Star season, the Dodgers traded Gordon to the Marlins where he only got better. His time in Miami made Gordon a household name, but when it came time for the fire sale, the Yankees never inquired. Maybe it was out of respect for then 2B, Starlin Castro, but then he was moved in a trade in which they acquired Stanton. This is where I believe Cashman made a huge mental error.
By the time the Stanton deal was over, Gordon was already in a Mariners’ uniform. But what if Cashman had called the Marlins a week prior? What makes this more intriguing is that Cashman couldn’t blame the non-deal on money. According to Spotrac, Gordon was due to make $10.5 million in 2018 and Castro was set to take home $10 million. The numbers were the same, however, the production was another story.
In 2017, Gordon would end the season with a BA of.308, 60 stolen bases, 33 RBI’s, and 201 hits. Castro, for the Yankees, would end the season batting.300, two stolen bases, 66 RBI’s, and 133 hits. Good numbers but considering what Gordon could do for this new-look Yankees’ offense, that call was worth making.
Imagine Gordon hitting leadoff with his 200 hits and 60 stolen bases followed by the likes of Brett Gardner, Gary Sanchez, Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, and Giancarlo Stanton. Not to take anything away from Gardner, but Gordon is the best leadoff hitter in baseball. He has one job to do and that is to get on base. The issue with his time in Miami was, he didn’t have the offensive support that he would with the Yankees. This is a player who has 148 stolen bases in the last three season and still missed half of 2016 due to a suspension. Gordon has 493 hits in that same span compared to 448 to Gardner. Once again, Gordon is the better option here for the Yankees at leadoff.
The Yankees were just a few days late on making the biggest deal in MLB history if they could have pulled off the Stanton/Gordon trade at the same time. I’ll tip my hat to Gardner and Castro, but compared to Gordon, the Yankees’ offense would’ve been the best in history.