CHICAGO- The Chicago White Sox have found themselves in the thick of the hot stove discussion again on Friday afternoon, this time in regards to a three team blockbuster involving the White Sox, Pirates and Yankees.
This morning, reports began to surface that the White Sox were working with the Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Yankees on a blockbuster deal that would include Jose Quintana among others.
The proposed trade included Jose Quintana going from the Chicago White Sox to the Pittsburgh Pirates, and Andrew McCutchen going from the Pirates to the New York Yankees, with the White Sox receiving a package of prospects from both the Yankees and Pirates.
The package of prospects that the White Sox would receive was said to be headlined by Pirates top pitching prospect, Tyler Glasnow.
Glasnow, 23, is the number eight ranked prospect in baseball, and the third best right-handed pitching prospect in baseball according to MLB Pipeline. Glasnow posted an 8-3 record with a 1.93 ERA over the course of 22 starts in the Pirates minor league system in 2016.
The other prospects that would be heading to Chicago would be some combination of the following; RHP Mitch Keller (PIT), OF Blake Rutherford (NYY), SS Kevin Newman (PIT), 3B Miguel Andujar (NYY), and C Elias Diaz (PIT).
The potential deal was reported by Dave Williams of Barstool Sports and Brian Bilek of Future Sox and Sox Net on Friday morning, but as the afternoon went on, reports citing that the trade seems unlikely began to surface, due in large part to the lack of return for the Yankees.
Personally, I don’t think that the deal will happen, unless the Yankees get back more in return than just Andrew McCutchen. Let me be clear though, I’m not calling into question the validity of any reports that surfaced today, rather doubting that the teams come to reach an agreement given the names involved at this point.
The Yankees currently have a log-jam of outfielders at the major-league level, and have a plentiful amount of outfield depth in their farm system including Clint Frazier and Blake Rutherford, so moving Rutherford and other prospects in exchange for Andrew McCutchen seems unlikely.
A few years ago, I would have easily believed that the Yankees would make that move, but Brian Cashman seems intent to hold onto his prospects and see the process through this time around. The Yankees are also believed to be looking to get below the luxury tax threshold before the 2018 offseason that will feature the likes of Bryce Harper among many others.
The deal works for the Pirates and the White Sox for the most part, except that the seemingly White Sox want a top outfield prospect in return. They weren’t able to get Victor Robles back from Washington, and were not able to get Andrew Benintendi from Boston in exchange for Chris Sale. The Yankees said no on Clint Frazier, and the Pirates have balked at Austin Meadows being involved in any trade, so it’s evident that the Sox are in fact trying to include a stud outfielder in their return on their next move.
The White Sox would surely want Glasnow, Meadows and then some from the Pirates in a deal, but the Pirates are reluctant to part ways with Meadows at this time. That is where the Yankees came into the picture, sending Rutherford to the White Sox along with Glasnow and other Pirates prospects would fulfill White Sox General Manager Rick Hahn’s desire to bring back a top-tier outfield prospect.
As I went over the framework of the proposed deal in my head this afternoon, I thought that surely that deal was not going to work for the Yankees, but the three teams do have the pieces to get a deal done if they are willing to move some pieces around. Here’s a scenario that I believe could work for all three of the teams involved.
This trade would give the Yankees a third-baseman and right-handed power bat that they have been looking for, in Todd Frazier from the White Sox, as well as Mitch Keller from the Pirates. Keller is a right-handed pitcher, currently ranked number 72 on the MLB Pipeline Top-100 list.
The Pirates would get Jose Quintana for a little bit more than what they would have to give the White Sox in a deal straight-up between the two teams, but make up for it by getting a pitching prospect in Acevedo back for their farm system.
The White Sox would not only get the ultra-high value that they command for Quintana in return, but the Yankees being involved allow them to have a Top-100 outfield prospect coming back to Chicago in Blake Rutherford, along with Glasnow, Newman, Sheffield and Ke’Bryan Hayes. Hayes is a long-way out from the major league level, with a projected MLB ETA of 2019, but is still ranked inside the Top-10 third base prospects in baseball.
Outside of a deal like that, where all parties involved would received a return that they were comfortable with or one that actually fits needs that they currently have, I don’t see it happening, but we will see in the near future as the rumored deal was said to be expected to be done “before Christmas”, so stay tuned for the latest.