SF Giants-Tampa Bay Rays Blake Snell Trade #1
Rays Get: OF Mike Yastrzemski
Giants Get: LHP Blake Snell
Baseball Trade Value Simulator Winner: Rays +6.3
The rest of the deals will be more prospect focused from here, but as crazy as it sounds, Giants outfielder Mike Yastrzemski might make sense in a one-for-one swap. Yaz was a legitimate MVP candidate in 2020, but the odds of him maintaining that success going forward are small. Still, the 30-year old is under team control for five more years and looks like an above-average everyday player.
If the Rays are looking to clear salary, but remain as competitive as possible, they could save a substantial amount of money and immediately throw Yastrzemski into the middle of their order and long-term plans. Considering the success they have had with unique pitching deployments, like openers, they might not feel much pressure to recoup a potential starter in return as well.
While Yastrzemski has quickly become the face of Farhan Zaidi’s Giants, the team has built fantastic depth in the corner outfield with players like Austin Slater and Alex Dickerson. Defensively, Yastrzemski looked unable to handle center in 2020, giving manager Gabe Kapler limited flexibility.
The starting rotation, on the other hand, is in need of premium arms. Losing Yaz would obviously be a significant hit to their lineup, but adding Snell would give the Giants their best rotation heading into 2021 since Zaidi took over. With top outfield prospect Heliot Ramos on schedule to make his big-league debut next season, the Giants may be more willing to part with a proven commodity like Yastrzemski if it enables them to retain their top prospects.
By the Trade Value Simulator, Yastrzemski is slightly more valuable than Snell, but starting pitching is also far harder to come by than corner outfielders. The Giants might have to give up a bit of value to address their area of need. However, a prospect like Kevin Padlo, who is blocked in Tampa Bay, would equalize the value and fit the Giants system.