Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press
New York Yankees Get: LHP David Price
Tampa Bay Rays Get: C Gary Sanchez, RHP Luis Severino, 3B Yangervis Solarte
It is a well-documented fact that the New York Yankees need starting pitching.
See, even before the rotation was beset by injuries to CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda and Ivan Nova, they were an ineffective group. Sabathia simply isn’t the pitcher he once was, and Vidal Nuno and Hiroki Kuroda are having very poor seasons.
True, Masahiro Tanaka is lighting it up and Chase Whitley is pitching better than most expected, but the rotation likely isn’t capable of carrying the team into October.
One of the latest names associated with the Yankees is Tampa Bay Rays left-hander David Price. ESPN.com’s Jim Bowden (subscription required) provides the details:
Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner has made it clear that he will provide GM Brian Cashman the resources he needs to make a blockbuster deal at the trade deadline, and the Yankees won't be seeing the postseason if they don't deal for another legitimate starter who doesn't have health or decline questions. The Yankees' system is loaded, and though they would decline the inclusion of Dellin Betances, the Rays' first choice, they would give up what they have to in the minor leagues to acquire Price. The Rays have a long-term need at catcher, and Gary Sanchez would be the perfect acquisition in a Price deal.
Now in the package Bowden worked out, the Yankees would send Sanchez, Luis Severino and Peter O’Brien to the Rays in exchange for Price. That doesn’t seem like it would be enough.
Truth be told, the Yankees don’t have enough minor leaguers that matter to make a deal happen, so they are going to have to include at least one player from the 25-man roster to make this move go down.
Would a package that includes Sanchez, Severino and Yangervis Solarte be sufficient for the Rays?
Sanchez (.259/.327/.421, 8 HR, 38 RBI) would satisfy the need at catcher for the Rays that Bowden pointed out. Severino (3-3, 2.99 ERA, 78 K) is a young righty who has put up very nice numbers over parts of three seasons. He is being groomed as a starter but could also fit in the bullpen to start his career.
Now while the prospects are nice, Solarte would be the key.
Yes, the Rays have Evan Longoria at third base, but manager Joe Maddon would certainly be able to find playing time for Solarte. It also stands to reason that at some point, Longoria is going to make the move to either first base or designated hitter. Why not have his replacement on the roster already given the struggles Richie Shaffer has had adjusting to pitching at Double-A?
The question becomes, is Cashman willing to part with such an intricate part of the offense? Probably not, but he is going to have to make a concession in that vein for Price’s services.
There are other teams like the St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox, San Francisco Giants and Seattle Mariners with much more pitching depth in the minor leagues that would appear to be likelier suitors.
Either way, Cashman has ownership's blessing. If he wants the Yankees to make this thing official, he needs to be willing to give up more than what he has stowed away in the minor leagues.
All of this said, I don’t see how the Yankees walk away with Price, but this trade is built around the rumor, not the reality.