How Might Yankees & Padres Line-up in a Potential Hand Deal?

Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

As the trading deadline approaches the San Diego Padres’ most coveted trade piece has begun to draw interest from a team that has the 6th best farm system in all of baseball, according to MLB Pipeline.

The Padres’ left-handed relief ace has continued his career resurgence as a Friar, sporting a career-high 35.3 percent strikeout rate across 41.1 innings pitched in 2018 while also experiencing a one mph increase in average fastball velocity.

Brad Hand has been utilized as a multi-inning closer-type who could enter the game anytime once the seventh inning hits and the Padres have a lead. This unorthodox usage has showcased Hand’s versatility as a reliever as he hasn’t been confined to the archetypal closer role where the pitcher is only usable for one inning before completely melting down.

Relievers have been fetching very impressive returns as of late, with the Andrew Miller and Ken Giles trades standing out in particular. Both were controllable past the year that they were acquired, which added to their value and maximized their former teams’ returns. It sure is a good thing that the Padres signed Hand to a three-year contract extension with a fourth year option prior to the 2018 season, huh?

Hand will not be cheap, nor should he be. A.J. Preller seems to have a price in mind and until that is offered, he will not move the 28 year-old. Preller’s front office moves have been incredibly difficult to predict, but there are a few players that could conceivably come up in talks for the Padres’ top relief weapon.

In recent day’s, that’s right, the New York Yankees have come calling for Brad Hand for the second year in a row. Jon Heyman of Fanrag Sports tweeted the Yankees’ interest in beefing up their bullpen, with Hand in mind:

Taking a look at the Padres’ options.

Third baseman Miguel Andujar probably slots in as an unlikely candidate to be moved as he has amassed some pretty impressive counting stats (12 home runs, 25 doubles) despite posting a below-average walk rate of 3.9-percent through 80 big-league games. Andujar was the Yankees’ fourth-best prospect going into 2018 and has received praise for his above-average power and rocket arm.

He profiles best as a third baseman (a definite need for the Padres) and although his defense has graded out poorly according to various defensive statistics, he is still young enough to figure it out. Andujar would most likely only be moved in a one-for-one trade and that same sentiment probably applies to the Yankees current number one prospect, Estevan Florial.

Credit: NY Daily News

The 20 year-old outfielder is the 37th ranked prospect in all of baseball and possesses intriguing tools such as above-average speed and raw power. Florial has a plus-arm and profiles as a center fielder but he is still very raw and has been aggressively promoted in his short time in the minors. The odds of the Padres securing Florial in a trade are relatively slim but Preller has surprised the baseball world before.

Justus Sheffield should stick out to Preller and Co. as he has dominated both Double-A and Triple-A thus far in 2018. Just 22 years of age, Sheffield is a left-handed starting pitcher who fits the organization’s recent philosophical shift towards targeting left-handed starters. Although he doesn’t profile as an ace down the line, Sheffield has all the makings of a mid-rotation stalwart who could pitch above that profile from time to time.

Trading Hand for Sheffield straight up wouldn’t be a very smart move for the Padres, but if the Yankees include one or two high-ceiling prospects, they could find themselves coming up with a very good return. Right-handed flamethrower Luis Medina or six-foot seven righty Domingo Acevedo as well as an under-the-radar athlete such as outfielder Everson Pereira could entice the Padres enough to pull the trigger as long as Sheffield were to be included in the package. Medina and Acevedo both rely on their overpowering stuff to sit down opposing batters while Pereira fits the same raw, athletic mold as Florial, albeit with much less raw power.

One name to keep an eye on is Clint Frazier, as he may not fit into the Yankees’ crowded outfield picture when all is said and done. Still only 23 years old, Frazier has plus-power and grades out as average or above across the board. This is purely speculation but Frazier is a player who deserves everyday at-bats at the major league level as there is only so much he can do in the minors at this point of his career.

Although the Yankees system is very deep, the Padres won’t just take whatever combination of prospects the Bronx Bombers throw at them. Preller is holding out for a big return that justifies moving a player of Hand’s caliber. The team should be targeting Andujar, Frazier, and Florial in potential Hand returns but receiving a package that includes Sheffield and a few others shouldn’t be out of the question either.

As an organization, the Padres have played a lot of cards close to their chests with Preller in charge and they haven’t made a lot of reactionary sell-off deals, instead choosing to make moves when the return is maximized. Brad Hand is by far the team’s best trade chip at present, so expect the front office to only deal him if they get a return they are 100-percent happy with. Fortunately for Preller and Padres fans alike, these two team might line up on something big.

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Ryan Davis
Born and raised in Vista, Ryan has been a Padres fan since birth. Currently attending Palomar College, Ryan is trying his hand at expressing his passion for baseball through writing. There is no better life than the baseball life.

This article has 19 Comments

  1. I can see the Yankees making a Stupid mistake. Trading Sheffield before he has a chance to show what he has on the Yankees. He could be the pitcher the Yankees need as the #2 pitcher on a team looking for a #2 pitcher. I hear that he’s been in trade talks with other teams for the pitcher the Yankees are looking for. The other teams view him higher then the Yankees do. Is Cashmen not showing him on the Yankees because he does not think he’s got it in him to succeed in Majors and he does not want to kill his trade value. I have seen the Yankees time and time again distroy home grown pitching prospects by not showing support for them. Last few years Chance Adams should have been brought up to take a starting pitcher place but he was passed over each time. This year he’s not the same pitcher. I think depression has got to him. Years before he was blowing bye the competition and Yankees showed no respect. This year Sheffield has been shown the same lack of respect. What awaits him next year. The best the Yankees have as starters being passed over by lower rated prospects from Double A. It seems the Yankees are now giving away the player stock for prospects already on the team that can man the positions needed. Sheffield could be the #2 pitcher the Yankees are looking to trade for. Looks like Cashman is going back to his old ways buying Free Agents and trading prospects to delete the minors stock.

  2. Can’t immediately see the need for the NYY to get Hand. He’s been very good, but by ERA would be the 6th best reliever on the that team, and that’s without factoring in the DHs NY face. Tyson Ross should have very little appeal, his ERA is up to 4.41. It just looks like he’s been wearing down after that 125 pitch outing, what was Andy Green thinking, letting a guy with Ross’ recent injury history pitch that long.
    Not to say these guys aren’t tradeable, but probably a more desperate team like the Indians would be a better fit.

  3. The discussion with the Yankees for Hand is Andujar. Even if it means a one for one swap. The Pads don’t need quantity, they need quality and ML ready is specific spots. If Miguel isn’t in play, move along. Clev, Atlanta, Hou, LA can all put as good or better packages together. Or he can remain a Padre. There is zero reason to move Brad unless someone meets the asking price.

    1. Yanks aren’t giving up Andujar for Hand. Best we can hope for is Frazier. If we don’t get that, then I agree with you, it’s best to move on to another team.

  4. Myers fills the need for the Yanks at First. He’s playing well rt now which is exactly what the Padres need so they can flip him before his contract balloons. The Yankees can fit him in their payroll this year, and can wait til next year to work their luxury tax issues.

    Myers+Hand+Tyson Ross would be an unbelievable get for them. I’d love to package those 3 and get significant haul back. Wishful thinking to trade 3 of our best players to one team at the deadline,but it makes sense. I would love to see Frazier, Andujar and Florial in a Padres uni

    1. No thanks. Myers is incapable of staying healthy over the course of a full season and Tyson Ross, while having a decent year, has also been mired in injuries in recent seasons. No way Cashman would give up three top prospects for those three. Keep dreaming.

      1. Hey Jake, thanks for taking part in the discussion. But know what you’re talking about. Oh wait, youre a typical , don’t know shit about your Yankees. Myerdhas played 150 games the last 2 years before this one. We’d have to eat salary but Hand+Ross would easily command Andujar and Florial, and Myers for Frazier would be depending on salary eaten.

  5. With that starting rotation, the Yankees are going to need to have a loaded bullpen if they want to go deep into the playoffs. Adding another arm the caliber of Hand would make a ton of sense for both this year (the Yankees could essentially need 4 innings out of their starter) and going forward. Unfortunately for the Yankees, Preller and Co. have shown that they will not “give Hand away”, so they have a tough decision to make: give up the prospects to get him and have the best bullpen around or let another team pony up the prospects and have to possibly face Hand in the playoffs?

    As a Padre fan, of course I want the Padre get the best prospect package as possible if the Padres do indeed deal Hand. But reading the article and the comment section, one of Frazier, Sheffield or Florial should have to be in the deal. The Padres are not going to gift wrap Hand to the Yankees, any deal is going to have to sting both sides, that is how you know it is a fair deal.

  6. I think the Yankees should hang on to Frazier. He has played pretty well on the field and at bat and also fits well into the 4th outfielder/DH role if somebody gets hurt. Also, remember that this is Gardner’s walk year if the Yankees do not pick up his option, which they probably will not. Frazier would become a very important cog in the Bronx machine if that comes about.

    1. The only reason I think Frazier is good to move is because Aaron Hicks has shown he’s a pretty good outfielder, especially in CF. I mean if you really want a fourth/CF option we could throw in Jankowski who is excellent in defense. For Hand I think it’s a solid deal and makes sense for a corner OF.

  7. Obviously the author has no idea that while the Yankees would like a reliever, they would never give Florian or Andujar straight up for a closer when they already have one of the best bullpens in the game. And Brian Cashman would never give up Sheffield AND three high-end prospects for Hand.

    1. As stated in the article, Andujar and Florial are both not likely to be moved. I also suggested a package of Sheffield plus two prospects not three, but I can see where the confusion could stem from. Thanks for the read.

      1. Doesn’t make sense to trade Sheffield for Hand. No sense at all, particularly since the Yankees are seeking rotation help. Based on what I’ve read about Sheffield, he projects as a 3, possibly a 2.

        If the Yankees are going to trade for Hand, they’ll deal from a position of depth like OF. Makes far more sense to do so than to give up one of the few near-ML ready arms they have.

        That said, I fully expect SD to land a solid return for Hand, as they should, but I think the Yankees should stay away and focus on the rotation.

  8. I wouldn’t mind having Clint Frazier, who used to be a top 25 prospect. We already have a surplus of outfielders, but none of them are at Frazier’s level of talent. I seriously don’t see the Yankees trading Sheffield under any circumstances, he’s a future #2 for them. The Yankees will never overpay — they are a top team with a top farm system already. We would probably have a better shot a getting a big haul from the Indians, who have a more limited window to the World Series.

    1. I genuinely think Frazier will be a solid OF for years to come once he gets his much deserved shot to play every day.

      I actually kinda hope they hang on to Frazier so he can replace Brett Gardner next season in LF and allow the Yankees to use the DH primarily for Stanton but also as a rotation of sorts between various guys.

      We’ll see. I know Cashman is targeting a legit SP in any trade for our better prospects. But guys like JA Happ won’t fit the bill there. He’s a rental player and while he’s been good the past couple seasons, 2018 has been a bit less compelling.

      Ultimately, Yankees will not overpay for anyone except maybe a guy like deGrom, Syndergaard, Bumgarner or Fulmer. From what I’ve read, none of those guys are A) likely to be dealt or B) dealt to the Yankees (deGram/Thor).

      Wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see Cashman add a reasonably priced bullpen arm and a 4/5 caliber starter and just roll the dice on 2018. Frankly, I don’t think any of the real AL contenders will beat Houston this season unless they go BIG on the trade market.

      1. I agree with you about Frazier. Red Thunder is a very good candidate to replace Gardner. With the progress that German has shown he can likely step into Sonny Gray’s slot and if they can acquire Happ or some other decent veteran rental they are set for the rest of the season and playoffs even if they do not swap for a LH reliever. That, of course, is if there are no serious injuries to the starters.

  9. I totally expect SD to get a solid return Hand in any trade, but I do not want to see the Yankees give up any of the above mentioned names for him except maybe Frazier.

    I just can’t see the real value for NYY in trading a boatload of big prospects for a lefty reliever when they already have one of the best bullpens in baseball. Would rather see them offload those prospects for an ace starter who can go deeper into games and take pressure off the bullpen.

    Maybe that starter isn’t available this season and if not, fine, hold on to the chips until the offseason when someone becomes available.

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