The Yankees most probable route to improvement this offseason will be the trade market. With a roster jam, and a big payroll already, the free agent market is probably not a place they will make a big splash. Let’s take a look at the trade possibilities and impossibilities.
Impossible To Trade
If you listen to any sports radio, these guys are typically the ones you can “trade for Mike Trout”. The reality is their contracts, age, and no-trade clauses mean they aren’t going anywhere:
A-Rod- 41-years-old, no-trade clause and some additional “issues”.
Teixeira- Coming off an injury and a no-trade clause.
Sabathia- Arthritic knee and a no-trade clause.
Tanaka- Torn ligament in pitching arm, no-trade clause, can opt-out after 2017.
Almost Impossible to Trade
I will say their is a small, small chance these guys could get traded, but huge obstacles stand in the way.
Ellsbury- Has a no-trade clause and $110-million on contract. Yankees could possibly eat a huge portion of that to make him go away, but I doubt they would.
McCann- Has a no-trade clause and $51-million left on deal. Considering how much Yankee Stadium enhances McCann’s power numbers, why would he want to be traded?
Beltran- No-trade clause, and limited outfield ability. I can’t see him accepting a trade, nor can I see the Yankees wanting to trade him right now since Aaron Judge isn’t ready to play right.
Those seven guys will make $144-million combined next year. So, unless you can pull off a miracle and trade one of them, let’s start the payroll there.
Tradeable Players with large-ish contracts
Gardner- Here’s the guy who is a prime candidate to be traded because he does not have a trade protection, and he has a reasonable contract ($12M per) for the next three seasons with an option for 2019. I know the Yankees love him, but I could definitely see Gardner being traded.
Headley- Owed $39-million, and didn’t have a lot of success with the glove surprisingly this year, but he is definitely tradeable.
Miller- After the way Andrew Miller pitched this year, I think the Yankees could get a lot for him. I don’t think they would ever trade him though.
Tradeable Players with small-ish contracts
Pretty much everyone else. I don’t think the Yankees would trade a Betances or Eovaldi, but they could. More likely would be someone like John Ryan Murphy, or Ivan Nova. And of course prospects like Refsnyder could be sent away, though I don’t think Bird or Severino are going anywhere.
I would expect at least one trade, and based on recent history, possibly multiple ones in the next few months.