New York Yankees: SP J.A. Happ
This is probably the least sexy of any of these proposals.
J.A. Happ is a solid southpaw starter on a contract the Yankees are hoping to trade. He has been incredibly healthy over his career, but took a big step back in terms of productivity last season with a 4.91 ERA in 161.1 innings.
The urgency to move Happ stems from his $17 million salary and ownership’s desire to get below the luxury tax threshold. On the open market, Happ could probably get around $8-12 million on a one-year deal, leaving the Yankees with a $5-9 million shortfall they have to make up in assets.
The first name that comes to mind for many is Clint Frazier, but if the Yankees have not moved the outfielder by now, I would be surprised to see them move him now.
Estevan Florial has seen his prospect status lose some of its luster over the past year, and I wonder if the team is now more likely to move Florial than Frazier.
In the end, both may be more than the Yankees are willing to give up to unload Happ.
I thought Clarke Schmidt made sense for the Giants to target in a Madison Bumgarner trade at the deadline, and he still makes sense as a prospect without high-end upside who is relatively close to the majors.
The Giants may also be willing to settle for more high-variance prospects at the lower levels like Maikol Escotto or Antonio Gomez. If the Giants continue targeting players who were recently drafted, Anthony Volpe also makes sense.
The reality of the situation is that it takes two teams to make a deal. We know that Zaidi is willing. Now who will be his next trade partner?