As the Yankees seek to fortify their starting rotation, teams will come calling in search of major league ready talent. There’s still surplus for a deal…
The Yankees farm system, otherwise known as the Baby Bombers, has all but been depleted through trades, ongoing injuries (Greg Bird), or absorption into the regular lineup (Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar, Jordan Montgomery to name a few).
The perception remains that the pickings are mighty slim if Brian Cashman intends to trade from within the organization to secure a front-line starting pitcher, capable of carrying the team through October.
But when you take a closer look at the roster of the Yankee’s Triple-A team, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders, it becomes apparent that Brian Cashman has some wiggle room and some special talent to offer other clubs. And the kicker is that it’s all surplus. Here are a few examples:
Ryan McBroom, 1B
Throughout 653 at-bats at the Triple-A level (roughly a full season), McBroom has put up some outstanding offensive numbers. Averaging .303, McBroom has produced 69 extra-base hits, including 28 home runs and 86 RBI. His OPS over that span of .854 zooms above the major league average of .853 in 2019.
Currently blocked at first base by Luke Voit and several Yankees at DH, McBroom allows Cashman to deal a player who can step in the day following the trade. As a player who is not on the 40-man roster, Cashman can trade McBroom at will with no complications.
Tyler Wade, SS, Utility Infielder
With the emergence of Gleyber Torres (2B), the return of Didi Gregorius (SS), and the combination of DJ LeMahieu, Gio Urshela, and Miguel Andujar (next year) at 3B, there is no place for Tyler Wade as a Yankee.
Wade’s demotion to Triple-A at the end of Spring Training hurt. But to his credit, Wade has rebounded and is having a solid season this year.
Over 56 games, Wade is batting .315 with a .365 on-base percentage, and a respectable .830 OPS.
Wade’s versatility is bound to open a few eyes. He can and has played all infield positions, and was also used in the outfield by Aaron Boone last year.
Breyvic Valera, 2B
A good guess might be the Yankees were showcasing Valera on July 7 when they were playing the Tampa Bay Rays.
One-fourth of his base hits have gone for extra bases during his time with Triple-A Scranton. At 27, the Venezuelan is blocked at second base by Gleyber Torres, making him expendable in a trade.
In 52 game with Scranton, Valera is batting .339 with an almost equal number of strikeouts (20) to walks (19) over 189 at-bats. Scrappy, Valera can be counted on to put his bat on the ball, a disappearing talent in baseball today.
Billy Burns, OF
Billy Burns was signed as a free agent by the Yankees in January of this year. He was assigned almost immediately to Triple-A Scranton where he has played in 57 games while accumulating 176 at-bats.
With top Yankees prospect, Estevan Florial ahead of him (if he can ever play a full season), together with the plush outfield talent already with the Yankees, Burns would appear to have no future with the big club.
Burns reminds of Brett Gardner. He’s swiped 11 bases and only been caught three times. A .290 batting average is offset somewhat by an on-base percentage of only .350.
But much like Valera, Burns strikes out at a rate of just once in every eight at-bats (24-176).
Around The Remaining Yankees Triple-A Roster
I’ve purposely ignored pitchers on the Scranton roster, wondering why the Yankees would trade the commodity they are seeking.
Nevertheless, Ole Reliable, Chance Adams, has been in the Yankees system forever, or so it seems. He was a 2015 fifth-round selection of the Yankees. Throughout his minor league career, Adams has compiled a rather astounding 39-14 record with a 3.10 ERA.
Primarily a starter over that span, the Yankees are trying Adams as a reliever this season. A good soldier, Adams was brought up for a cup of coffee with the team a few weeks ago.
Over four relief appearances with the Yankees, Adams had a so-so experience (1-0, 6.75 ERA). For whatever reasons, pitchers like Jordan Montgomery and Jonathan Loaisiga (both currently injured) have caught the attention of the Yankees, leaving Adams expendable.
A Final Note
Noticeably absent in this report is possibly the Yankees biggest trade chip and rapidly making himself surplus, Clint Frazier, the subject of an article written earlier today…