There is plenty of time for them to acquire a left-handed reliever, but teams such as the Yankees do not just settle for players. They instead prefer to hand-pick athletes that fit their mold.
Brad Hand certainly fits what they need as he is capable of getting both lefties and righties out and also has the track record of closing out games successfully in the majors. Hand is a valuable trade chip, but the Padres had reservations about moving him last July. It remains to be seen exactly what his trade value is. With two complete years of control at a very reasonable price, Hand has value. He would be a tremendous addition to the Yankees’ right-handed-dominant bullpen.
The Yankees are currently exploring options in the infield. Greg Bird and Chase Headley are the starters at first and third. Both are question marks moving forward. The Yankees will probably part ways with Headley, as he is due $13 million dollars in 2018, which is his last year under contract. Bird looks to be the first baseman of the future, but he is still young and the Yankees are showing a little frustration with his growth. Another option for the team is possibly moving Starlin Castro to third and picking up a second baseman. The team has options and the ability to make moves in several different directions.
The Bronx Bombers also presently need starting pitching, but this is something that the Padres can not help them with. Players like Dinelson Lamet and Luis Perdomo should not be dealt at this point by the Padres, as they need all the young, controllable, major league pitching they can stock up on. Dealing some of the Padres’ top pitching prospects to the Yankees could be enticing for the Bombers though.
Jacoby Ellsbury is an interesting option. The Yankees are trying to get rid of the veteran outfielder. He is due $63.5 million for the next three seasons with a $5 million dollar team option on a buyout after the 2020 season. That is a hefty sum for a 34-year-old player that is nothing more than a bench option for the Yankees currently. Aaron Hicks and Clint Frazier emerged in the 2017 season and Brett Gardner was also extremely productive for the Yankees. They could move Ellsbury without missing a beat. There are multiple reports they are exploring that option and a lot of it centers around eating much of his contract.
So would a deal of Brad Hand for Gleyber Torres and all of Jacoby Ellsbruy’s contract be possible? Ellsbury and his value have taken a hit, but he can still be productive. Hand has value, but Torres is an absolute stud. The Yankees would undoubtedly want more, and this is where it gets real tricky. The Padres have the money to take on $65 million in obligations. They can easily eat that money if the return is worth it. Landing the likes of Gleyber Torres is worth it. So let’s explore some options.
Perhaps a package of prospects to go along with Brad Hand would deserve Gleyber Torres and Ellsbury. Would the team be willing to move a Cal Quantrill, Joey Lucchesi, Eric Lauer, or Enyel De Los Santos? Would any of that foursome be tempting enough to get a deal done? Would Franchy Cordero help offset the loss of Ellsbury. Enough to pull the trigger? Perhaps if the Padres threw in a few more lesser-named prospects.
If the Padres included a top pitching prospect (or two), the Yankees could be enticed to sit down and negotiate. Let’s face it, the Padres are stacked with young pitchers. Losing one would not be catastrophic to the rebuild. Torres could play for the Yanks next season at third or second, but he is still a rookie. An uncertainty for the most part. Yes, the ceiling is tremendous., but the Yankees could view him as a trade chip because of their farm system depth and excess of current, young, major league talent. They could easily find a veteran to man third and second for 2018 and beyond. Someone with a proven track record.
Dealing Gleyber Torres would be very difficult for the Yankees. If not impossible. The Padres have the talent and the ability to eat money. Both are of tremendous value to the Bombers, but in the end, trading the overall #1 prospect is just too much of a risk. The likelihood of a deal is minimal at best, but the Padres have a ton of flexibility at the moment. That is the point of this piece. The Friars have a flourishing farm system and money to spend. Gleyber Torres might not be possible, but the Padres are going to be aggressive when it comes to improving the future of this franchise. I believe in Preller. Perhaps he can wave a magic wand and pry Torres away from the Yankees at a reasonable price. Stranger things have happened in the game of baseball. Then again, I’m a dreamer. What would it take for Gleyber Torres to be dealt to the Padres? A Miracle. Plain and simple.