Good morning, everyone. Hope you all had a great weekend. It was an extremely quiet one in terms of hot stove news, and it’s going to remain that way as long as the lockdown remains in effect. Brian Cashman did rappel off buildings in Stamford, Connecticut, as he does each and every offseason. He couldn’t answer any questions about major league transactions, though.
cashman can’t comment on anything related to the major league side of club operations pic.twitter.com/rfaF5sJNQY— Lindsey Adler (@lindseyadler) December 3, 2021
The Yankees did address some coaching staff vacancies, at least. Dillon Lawson will take over as hitting coach, with two assistants to be determined. He had been in the system for a few years now, and considering the widespread success down on the farm, he makes a lot of sense. Meanwhile, Desi Druschel will be the assistant pitching coach to Matt Blake. Druschel has been in the organization since 2019.
Without further ado, let’s get to today’s mailbag. But first, here’s a reminder to send your questions to viewsfrom314 at gmail dot com. We select our favorites every Monday.
Iron Mike asks: With my favorite Yankee now set to wear another shade of pinstripes, what was the biggest trade that the Yankees didn’t do because they weren’t willing to deal Clint Frazier years ago?
I was able to pull a few potential trades by going through MLB Trade Rumors archives.
Remember when Brian Cashman put his foot in his mouth about Marcus Stroman during the 2019 deadline? Well, had he included Clint, he might have had a deal for the now Cubs right-hander:
“And this year, when the Blue Jays were demanding Frazier be included in a deadline deal for Marcus Stroman, Cashman refused to let the promising but erratic young outfielder go.
“We were interested in Stroman but we didn’t think he would be a difference-maker,” he said. “We felt he would be in our bullpen in the postseason.”
Whoops. Probably take a do-over on that one.
That same deadline, the Yankees were apparently willing to move Frazier in a trade with the Diamondbacks for Robbie Ray. However, the Yanks and Arizona could agree on other names in the deal.
Going back further: Frazier nearly took Gerrit Cole out of the Astros hands. The Pirates supposedly preferred Clint over everyone they actually received from Houston. Meanwhile, the Yankees were willing to include Frazier or Chance Adams, but not both according to Jerry Crasnick. Oof.
Lastly: the White Sox reportedly wanted Frazier or Gleyber Torres to headline a deal for Jose Quintana in 2017.
There may be other reports I’ve missed or forgotten, plus trade discussions that never saw the public eye.
Daniel asks: This weekend marks the 14th anniversary of the Miguel Cabrera trade. Two top-50 players and more went to the Marlins. In that spirit, what would it take (hypothetically) for the Yankees to trade for Juan Soto? And could it work?
The two top-50 prospects Daniel cites are Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller, two former Yankees. In fact, they were ranked sixth and tenth, respectively, on Baseball America’s 2007 top 100 list. Detroit sent a handful of other players, but none of nearly the significance of Maybin and Miller.
Cabrera, then 24, had a .313/.388/.542 (139 wRC+) career batting line and was still nominally a third baseman. An incredible start to a Hall of Fame career, indeed. And yet, amazingly, that offensive line pales in comparison to what Soto’s already done in his young career. The Nats’ outfielder, who just turned 23, owns a .301/.432/.550 (156 wRC+) triple-slash thus far. There are six players ever — ever — with a better wRC+ through their age-22 season than Soto. They are: Shoeless Joe Jackson, Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Mike Trout, Jimmie Foxx, and Ty Cobb.
So, while the return for Cabrera was a haul at the time (Miggy was two years from free agency, by the way), it’s hard to imagine anything satisfying the Nationals in a trade for Soto, who’s still three years away from free agency.
The Yankees could offer everyone: Anthony Volpe, Jasson Dominguez, Oswald Peraza, so on and so forth, and it would not be remotely enough. Maybe when Soto approaches free agency something would be feasible, but right now? Forget about it.