Yankees Trade Deadline Grades

The Deadline has come and gone and the Yankees made a plethora of trades. The ATB Yankees team is here to give you their thoughts on Cashman’s week. Luke, Sanket, and Peter will all be grading every trade made by The Yankees this week.

Yankees receive RHP Clay Holmes from Pirates for Hoy Park and Diego Castillo.

Luke’s Grade: B+

Listen, Hoy Park is my guy, but this was a great move. With rumors that the analytics department hates him, it was best for him to get move. I hope Hoy Park succeeds with he struggling Pirates. Holmes is a contact manager, something the Yankees needed, Holmes will thrive in our bullpen. This is a great trade for the Yankees

Peter’s Grade: B-

This is not the most exciting trade the Yankees have made, but it adds an arm with a good potential to the pen. Holmes, who is 28 will not be a free agent until 2025. Holmes has struggled this year but has a SIERA of 3.72 on the year and 3.78 FIP. His high groundball rate of 73.1% is what stood out to the Yankees the most as they try to stock up on arms that keep the ball on the ground. The Yankees sold high on Park, who is 25 and hitting .327 at AAA Scranton prior to the trade. As for Castillo he is a 23-year-old lower-level prospect who has a .682 OPS in his 6-year minor league career. Overall, the Yankees traded two players who likely did not have a future in New York for a controlled reliever who can offer immediate help.

Sanket’s Grade: B

I know many fans were upset to see Hoy Park leave considering the fact that’s he’s been raking in the minors. However, there was no place for him on the major league infield. He has some experience in the OF, but not enough to where he can be trusted. Getting back Clay Holmes, who has the highest ground ball percentage in MLB, was great especially considering the next move that the front office made.

Yankees trade LHP Justin Wilson and RHP Luis Cessa to the Reds for a player to be named later.

Luke’s Grade: B-

This trade its self, stunk. However, if you look at it with the Holmes trade this is a good move. The Yankees wanted to trade Wilson, Cessa is collateral. A PTBNL is a clear sign of a salary dump. This opened up room for the rest of the trades the Yankees made. Cessa’s goodbye message made me tear up a bit not going to lie.

Peter’s Grade: C-

This trade looks to be a pure salary dump of Wilson’s $2.6M AAV and attaching Cessa to make it worthwhile for the Reds. There is not much to say about this other than it allowed the Yankees more flexibility to make moves and stay under the luxury tax number. Hal Steinbrenner has been adamant about resetting the tax penalty this season and this allowed them to do that. The only reason this is a C- and not a D or F is because of the moves that followed.

Sanket’s Grade: B-

Getting rid of the contract of Justin Wilson was a huge plus for Brian Cashman. Wilson had been struggling this year and had a player option for next year. This trade gets a B because the Yankees had to throw in Cessa to get the Reds to accept but it is a price worth paying. The addition of Holmes helps to cancel out the loss of Cessa. 

Yankees acquire OF Joey Gallo and LHP Joely Rodriguez from the Rangers for RHP Glenn Otto, 2B Josh Smith, SS Ezequiel Duran and 2B Trevor Hauver. 

READ MORE: YANKEES GET GALLO

Luke’s Grade: A+

I have been peddling the Gallo wagon for a long time. Finally it happened and we gave up a lot less than I thought. Gallo was in a slump before he got traded so it’s going to take him some time to get going. As for the prospects the Yankees gave up, none were super amazing, it only hurts because of how many there were.

Peter’s Grade: A

The Yankees did not have to part ways with a top 10 prospect and got the Rangers to eat money in the deal. Gallo has a wRC+ of 135 which would rank 2nd of Yankee starters while adding phenomenal outfield defense providing 14 DRS on the year. Gallo will slot into the top of the order nicely with his .374 OBP and provides a lefty bat the Yankees desperately need. The Yankees also acquired Joely Rodriguez who has struggled this year with a 5.93 ERA. Much like Holmes the Yankees are counting on him bouncing back and look to his groundball rate of 63.9% and a 3.41 SIERA. He will also fill the role of a lefty specialist after Justin Wilson’s departure. As for the prospects given up, they all have solid potential, but it is a win for the Yankees.

Sanket’s Grade: A+

Brian Cashman did not hesitate when trying to acquire Joey Gallo. He got the much needed left handed power bat for the Yankees. A huge plus is also that Gallo plays exceptional defense in the OF and has a great arm. The Yankees also get back Joely Rodriguez, a LHP that can be an option for them in the bullpen. They gave up 4 prospects who were buried down in the system, but are thought of very highly by executives and scouts. A balanced trade for both teams.

Yankees trade for 1B Anthony Rizzo from the Cubs for RHP Alexander Vizcaino and CF Kevin Alcantara.

Luke’s Grade: A-

This trade is as fair as fair gets. Yankees get a veteran who has been to the big show, the Cubs get 2 guys to start their rebuild. Rizzo’s defenses is a consistency the Yankees needed, and is first weekend has made him a cult hero in NYC. People are already calling for him to be extended and I agree.

Peter’s Grade: B+

Rizzo is slashing .256/.358/.470 with 16 home runs and a 124 wRC+ on the season and should only improve playing in Yankee Stadium. The addition allows them to give some players more rest down the stretch and DH Luke Voit and move Stanton to LF which is a position the Yankees have lacked production from. To get Rizzo the Yankees parted with RHP Alexander Vizcaino and CF Kevin Alcantara. Vizcaino is a 24-year-old starting pitcher with a career minor league ERA of 4.95. As for Alcantara he seems to be the main piece Chicago wanted. The 19-year-old OF is slashing .357/.455/.500 in the minors and had drawn attention from fans and teams in 2021. Rizzo has made quite the impression this past weekend by playing a big part in all 3 wins, but I will grade this a B+ because as of right now Rizzo is a true rental.

Sanket’s Grade: A

Wow. Almost nobody saw this coming. Throughout the week it seemed as if Rizzo was headed for BOS due to their need of a 1B. Instead, the Yankees swooped in and nabbed the lefty first baseman. Having two powerful left handed hitters is a huge plus for a Yankees lineup that’s been right hand dominant for the past few years. The Yankees likely shifted to Rizzo after talks with the Rockies for Trevor Story weren’t progressing anywhere. Great job by Brian Cashman. 

Yankees acquire LHP Andrew Heaney from the Angels RHP Janson Junk and RHP Elvis Peguero.

Luke’s Grade: C-

I mean. I’ll give the guy a chance… but a guy with a high ERA for two decent prospects feel wrong. I really have nothing to say other than we need Heaney to step up with Cole and Monty out now.

Peter’s Grade: C+

This is another case of the Yankees buying low on an arm they think will bounce back down the stretch. Heaney has a 5.27 ERA in 94 innings in 2021, but his SIERA is 3.72 and his FIP is 4.05 so there is reason to believe he will improve. Heaney will be slotted into the rotation for the time being and will likely stay in a spot starter or long relief role once Luis Severino and Domingo German return from injury. Peguero and Junk are both having solid seasons in 2021, but they still rank below several Yankee pitching prospects and were not highly touted arms. The Yankees added someone who can eat innings at the least and could even develop into an effective arm down the stretch at a low cost. It is not a fancy move, but one that fans might look back on in a few months.

Sanket’s Grade: C+

Many fans thought the Yankees would make a splash move for a high end starting pitcher or another bat. Instead, Brian Cashman gets Andrew Heaney. Heaney does not have a good ERA this season but he does have some potential to be a quality starter in the Yankees rotation until Severino and Kluber come back. I would expect him to become a long reliever for the Yankees later in the season. The Yankees likely had their eyes on Jose Berrios, but weren’t willing to one up the Toronto Blue Jays who gave up their #2 and #4 prospects to get him. 

The trade deadline was a success. Now the Yankees make look to make a playoff push as the season comes to a close.

Xavien Howard Requests Trade

Courtesy of Miami Herald

BREAKING NEWS: Miami Dolphins star cornerback Xavien Howard requests trade.

With the day starting on a positive note after Xavien Howard arrived at training camp, things have sure taken a turn for a worse. This evening Xavien Howard, a finalist for DPOY coming off a career season, has put the Dolphins on notice of his intention to be traded.

Such breaking news comes off the back of weeks of speculation as to Howard’s stance after held out of mandatory minicamp in June. In his post, Howard highlights the proposed solutions that many fans thought possible, including more guaranteed money providing better job security past this season. Nevertheless, it seems Chris Grier was firm in his stance after signing Howard to an extension only in May 2019.

Head Coach Brian Flores has always spoken about Howard with the highest admiration, acknowledging the value he brought to the team.

If Xavien Howard is traded he will carry a dead cap of $1.4m against the 2021 cap, with savings of $12.1m. The question now falls to when the Dolphins will trade X, to who and for what compensation? Check out Tanner Elliott’s article as to potential trade suitors. The New Orleans Saints and Dallas Cowboys have been some of the loudest rumors, only time will tell before we know whether such rumors materialize.

Knowing the kind of coach that Brian Flores is, such news and distractions at the very start of camp will inevitably irritate him, and if the situation is beyond repair, the Dolphins may be wise to trade Howard over the next week. Furthermore, the Dolphins front office have not been shy to trade away players in the past following discontent with the organisation. Minkah Fitzpatrick and Kiko Alonso being the prime examples.

The question on everybody’s mind over the past weeks has now become a reality. What are the Dolphins going to do without Xavien Howard? Who is the heir apparent? Byron Jones is now inevitably CB 1. The question is who steps up? Training camp has just gotten a lot more interesting. Fins Up!

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The Tigers Keep Winning, The Deadline Keeps Looming

Okay, Tigers. You have our attention.

7-3 in their last ten games and 20-15 dating back to May 28th. A far cry from May 7th when they were 15 games sub .500.

They have momentum.

Enough so where a decision must be made before the July 31st trade deadline. Albeit an easy one.

Currently, the Tigers boast a record 39-46, putting them 10.5 games out of the lead and 9.5 games out of a Wild Card spot. So yes they have momentum, not enough to turn them into buyers, unfortunately. But they DO have enough to turn current pieces into quality future assets, which they should strongly consider.

Jonathan Schoop

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Schoop has been on a rampant tear, hitting .343 for June with ten big johnsons. At age 29, it’s not likely he will be included in the Tigers five-year plan, and as a free agent after this season, he could draw a handsome return from a contender.

The Brewers could be very interested in reuniting with Schoop, plugging him at first base where they desperately need some production. The Tigers may be overly ambitious in requesting any of the Brewers top hitting prospects such as Garrett Mitchell or Brice Turang, but additional bats are needed.

Specifically, bats that are ready in the next few seasons, if not now.

Boston is also starving for production at first base. And with the best record in the American League, adding even an average bat would greatly bolster their lineup. 22-year-old Jeter Downs would check all the necessary boxes for the Tigers and would be ready to contribute immediately if needed. However, yes, another overly ambitious request.

Maybe.

If Boston gets desperate, we have them throw in Blaze Jordan and the Tigers could rob the Red Sox blind of any incredible future marketing that Manfred would eventually ruin.

Nomar Mazara

(Kirthmon F. Dozier/Detroit Free Press)

Mazara’s abysmal production and bad defense would be more about opening a spot up in the lineup for somebody that would benefit the Tigers more. However, he is still a lefty bat with incredible power. Any team making a move on him would simply be looking at a pinch-hit role or a platoon spot.

So far it’s worked out for the Dodgers and Pujols. He’s playing like he’s 41 again.

Think Astros or Rays in this scenario.

But If They Were Buyers…

Now just because we can, we are going to say the Tigers erupt in July, The White Sox implode, and Terry Francona has an existential crisis, plugging himself in at shortstop every game.  

Suddenly, the Tigers are only three games back.

It will be tough to make moves while maintaining most of their future pieces, but let’s try it anyway.

Trevor Story is set to be a free agent and would provide a steady upgrade both defensively and offensively. It’s not likely the Rockies will trade him, especially after the Arenado debacle, but they are on the verge of another overhaul.

Joey Gallo would play the role that Nomar Mazara was expected to. If the Tigers wished to go with more seasoned hands in the outfield, Gallo would fill in nicely, and at a much lower cost than the next two.

If for some reason the Cubs find themselves in a selling position, teams will be hounding Jed Hoyer about Kris Bryant and Javier Baez. Detroit would most likely have to part with two of their top prospects for the Cubs to even return their phone calls.

They would have a chance at resigning one of the two for a longer deal, signifying the Tigers will officially be making their push for the next window.

As long as the Tigers keep winning, they will have the leverage.

What to do with Xavien Howard

On June 15th, all Miami Dolphins players and coaches reported to mandatory minicamp; well, all players with the exception of All-Pro CB and 2020 INT leader Xavien Howard. It became clear early on in the day that he wouldn’t be showing up due to what Coach Brian Flores called “a contract situation.”

Howard was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2016 NFL draft by Miami, but his rookie year was plagued by injuries. He won the battle for the second starting position opposite veteran Byron Maxwell, but missed weeks 5-14 after reaggravating the knee injury he had in training camp. In 7 games, he ended with 40 tackles, 6 PBU’s, and a forced fumble.

The Dolphins knew they had a potential star in him after that season, although he needed to improve.

In his second season, he started to gain some notoriety when he took over as the starting cornerback. In Week 13, he picked off Trevor Siemian twice, with one being a Pick 6.

Week 14 was his coming out party as he picked off Tom Brady twice on National TV. He won AFC Defensive Player of the Week. After having 7 interceptions in 12 games in 2018, Miami decided to pay their star CB.

 In May of 2019, he signed a 5 year, $75.25 million contract with $39 million total guaranteed. He only played 5 games that season before Miami placed him on the PUP list with another knee issue. After returning to full health in 2020, Howard exploded with 51 tackles, 20 PBU’s, and a league leading 10 interceptions.

So the question is: Why ask for an extension now?

It’s rare to see a player holdout for a new contract or renegotiated deal just 2 years after signing a deal this long; however, in Xavien Howard’s case it is understandable, yet unprecedented.

When Xavien Howard signed his 5 year deal in 2019, the deal made him the highest paid DB in football at the time. Just 2 seasons later, he’s just the 6th highest paid at his position. Considering he’s widely regarded as top-3 at his position and lead all DB’s in interceptions (10) and passes defended (20), it isn’t shocking he would ask for a new contract.

Considering his first 2 years on the contract was frontloaded with guaranteed money with the last three years being chump change.

Howard may also just want to be the highest paid corner on the team, ahead of his fellow starting cornerback Byron Jones.

Jones had a PFF grade of 63.7, whereas Xavien Howard earned a grade of 87.3 . Howard currently makes about $1.5million less than Jones per year despite leading Jones in FF’s, PBU’s, INT’s, tackles, and catch%. Howard was also selected as first team All-Pro.

The third issue is guaranteed money. With 4 years remaining on his new contract, Howard only has $12 million left in guarantees. With Howard having a history of knee issues, it isn’t surprising he’d try to collect more guaranteed money.

Three Ways about it

Assuming the contract holdout is being caused by one of those three reasons, there are really only three things the Dolphins can do. They can restructure his deal now and pay him more starting in 2021, they can agree to play out the 2021 season and reevaluate next offseason, or they can trade him.

Extend Howard in the offseason

If Miami does decide to pay Howard more this season, they could give him a raise and convert much of it into a signing bonus. This would decrease his base salary, and the cap hit could drop from $13.5 million to $13.2 million. This would likely end up being a win-win situation. By giving him a signing bonus, they could make Howard the higher paid player among him and Byron Jones, which would be unprecedented leading to other players asking for more. For Miami, it would slightly help the cap situation which may ultimately come in handy with players like Mike Gesicki and Emmanuel Ogbah in line for paydays.

Play and re-evaluate

Playing out the 2021 season and reevaluating next season is more team friendly. With the salary cap being $182.5 million in 2021 and set to increase to $208.2 million in 2022, Miami would have a lot more flexibility in paying Howard and keeping other players.

This also gives Miami a lot more time to weigh other options and figure out other player’s contracts before Howard. With Howard showing no signs of returning, playing out the 2021 season with no change isn’t seeming likely. The Dolphins are adamant on keeping Howard in Miami, and taking a risk of souring the relationship but not paying him this season would not make sense for the Dolphins.

Trade and collect assets.

No Dolphins fan wants to believe this is a possibility. Luckily for those fans, it’s the least likely option as of now. In October, a team with interest in Howard called Miami, but those talks were shut down quickly.

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Miami would need a “Laremy Tunsil type of offer” to consider trading him. If the team were to consider a trade at this time, they have plenty of leverage and no reason not to get close to a Tunsil like offer.

Howard is coming off a career year and All-Pro selection, played his first full season, and they have him under contract for 4 more years. However, even if they can get an offer like that, Miami would rather not have to get to that point.

We’re going to have to wait and find out what happens over the course of the next few months, but at this moment, a trade seems the least likely.

Most likely Miami could find a way to up Howard’s money for 2021 while simultaneously creating more space for the future, likely via signing bonus. Keeping the team’s best player happy until 2022 when the cap significantly increases and they can renegotiate then seems like Miami’s best option at this point. 

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