Over the last few weeks, reports have circulated that A.J. Preller asked for the New York Yankees stud shortstop prospect, Gleyber Torres, in exchange for prized lefty, Brad Hand.
While Torres is obviously too much to surrender for a bullpen arm, the two teams may still hook up on a deal, at least that’s what reports on Saturday indicated.
Since the reports neglected to note trade proposals, the fun task falls on us at East Village Times.
That being said, it is interesting to speculate on what each side could ask for in a possible deal.
Who the Yankees would be interested in
Firstly, Brad Hand would be a solid addition for the Yanks. Without Andrew Miller, Tyler Clippard was expected to become a part of New York’s three-headed bullpen monster with Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman. However, Clippard has been horrendous this year, pitching to a 5.24 ERA in 34.1 innings. His problems start with a 4.98 BB/9 and an almost two HR/9 ratio. As a result, Clippard is lucky to even have a low five earned run average, as his batting average on balls in play sits at a low .232. By struggling, the Yankees no longer have a complete late inning shutdown team.
Therefore, Brad Hand makes perfect sense for them. He has put up a 2.30 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in 47 innings pitched. His slider ranks as one of the league’s most effective and devastating, with a .120 batting average against over 327 times thrown, and he uses it to accumulate 11.49 Ks/9. He doesn’t pitch beyond his advanced metrics as his BABIP is .283 and his FIP is 2.79. He dominates both lefties (.192 avg) and righties (.203 avg). He’s great in both short and long relief appearances.
Lastly, he led the league in innings pitched last year with 89.1 frames thrown and is fifth this year with 47 completed. Overall, Brad Hand is one of the game’s best relievers and could be an exceptional addition for the Yankees, especially since Chapman and Betances have both been shaky as of late. While Chapman has been struggling to stay on the field, only starring in 19.2 innings this season and posting a 3.66 ERA because of it, Betances has been rocked to a 11.05 ERA with 8.3 BB/9 in the 7 1/3 innings he pitched in from June 13 to July 7. Thus, Brad Hand could be a necessary acquisition for the Bronx’ late inning pen.
— ESPN New York (@ESPNNewYork) July 9, 2017
In addition to Brad Hand, Yangervis Solarte could be appealing to the team that traded him to the Padres. This year Solarte is hitting .268/.349/.425. With ~15 homers per year, such production has become the norm for the infielder. While he’s at best an average fielder, he’s versatile, able to play third, second, and first base.
All of this makes a player who can easily supplant the Bronx Bomber’s corner infielders, who are among the worst in the league.
At third they have the aging Chase Headley, who’s hitting .247 and is due for some negative regression as he holds a .332 BABIP. The best thing that can be said of Headley is that he’s a positive in wins above replacement (.3). This is due to the fact that his offense has declined every season since leaving San Diego and he is now striking out in 25% of his at-bats, while also only hitting four home runs on the year.
On defense, what was once a gold glove has turned into a below-average one. Thus, the years have not been kind to the Friars’ old star. Otherwise, first base has been a disaster as well. Coming into the year, Greg Bird was expected to use his power to become a mainstay. However, after fouling a ball off his ankle in spring training, the Yanks had to utilize a three outcomes player called Chris Carter.
Although Carter usually provides decent value because of his prodigious power and high OBP, both fell to the point that his normal low batting average was no longer employable. Before getting designated for assignment on July 3, Carter carried a slash line of .201/.284/.370. In 184 at-bats, he struck out 76 times and only homered eight times. As a result, he had a -.7 WAR, making him one of the least valuable players in the game. As such, the Yanks need to trade for a player who can hold down the fort until Greg Bird comes back, and Yangervis Solarte can be that guy.
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