The Chicago White Sox’s asking price for Chris Sale was too rich for the New York Yankees’ blood.
It sounds weird, given New York’s reputation for sparing no expense, but Yankees general manager Brian Cashman recently explained that the team didn’t land Sale, who ultimately was traded to the Boston Red Sox earlier this offseason, because Chicago simply wanted too much in return.
The Red Sox traded four prospects, including the highly regarded Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech, for Sale, and the Yankees were unwilling to consider relinquishing a similar package.
“I try to play in my mind what the equivalency would be with the Yankees,” Cashman said last week at a Q&A session with Yankees fans, according to NJ.com. “Is Moncada the Gary Sanchez? You’d have to give up a Gary Sanchez-type. Would it be the equivalent of Moncada?
“And then you have to play around with the next (piece). Is it (a touted pitching prospect such as James) Kaprielian or Chance Adams or Justus Sheffield? It would probably be (Luis) Severino right now. So those are the two primers just to get the ball rolling, with the other two players yet to be named, to try to match up for Sale.”
Trading Sanchez obviously would have been a bold move by the Yankees, even if it meant acquiring a perennial Cy Young contender such as Sale. The 24-year-old catcher is coming off an impressive rookie campaign in which he launched 20 home runs and posted a 1.032 OPS in 53 games en route to finishing second in American League Rookie of the Year voting. He looks like a potential franchise cornerstone with the Yankees in the midst of an interesting stage in which they’re both rebuilding and trying to win now.
“I love the trajectory of the organization,” Cashman said, per NJ.com. “I think we’re going in the right direction. I think we’re doing the right things. I think we’re making the right collective decisions from ownership to player development to pro scouting to the front office to the analytics.
“We’re getting there, and we’re getting there at the right pace. But there’s patience, and you’ve to be smart about the next step. You don’t want to take the next step if we can throw everything off. I’ve seen other clubs do that.
“We don’t want to take any missteps. Every decision we make, small or big, is about trying to get us closer to that next world championship. That’s all I can say we’re trying to do. Trust us.”
The Yankees’ rotation is littered with question marks, and trading for Sale would have significantly improved New York’s pitching staff. Sometimes, the best moves are the ones you don’t make, though. And while the Red Sox are thrilled to have Sale, despite the high cost of acquisition, the Yankees are content moving on without the tall left-hander.
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