Chad Jennings of the LoHud Journal News writes that it might finally be time for the Yankees to trade either Jacoby Ellsbury or Brett Gardner. Both outfielders have been oft-rumored trade candidates for more than a year, but both have (obviously) remained in New York. General manager Brian Cashman tells Jennings he’ll be open to discussing anything with other clubs this winter but doesn’t yet know where any of those talks may take him. As Jennings points out, though, the only open spots in the Yankees’ lineup right now are first base and right field, where the Yanks prefer to play Greg Bird and Aaron Judge in an ideal setting. Moving one of Gardner or Ellsbury would open another spot, in left field, where the Yankees could add a player with a bit more of an offensive-oriented profile. And, if they’re not able to acquire that type of bat but move Gardner or Ellsbury anyhow, they have an in-house replacement in the form of Mason Williams and will at least have trimmed some payroll.
More from the AL East…
- While it’s already been announced that John Farrell will manage the Red Sox in 2017, there’s some degree of confusion pertaining his 2018 option, as Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald writes. Team president/COO Sam Kennedy said in a radio appearance on WEEI recently that the situation would be addressed in the coming days, adding that president of baseball ops Dave Dombrowski would be making a recommendation to ownership. However, Dombrowski himself indicated to Drellich that there’s no timetable for either a decision on the option or a discussion with ownership about the option.
- Meanwhile, WEEI’s Rob Bradford argues that Dombrowski and the Red Sox are handling the situation wrong by not simply committing to Farrell for the 2018 season and picking up the option. While some critics of Farrell would be even more perturbed to see his contract extended beyond 2017, not exercising the option subjects both the manager and his players to uncomfortable questions about Farrell’s status, when the only downside to committing to him would committing a relatively marginal sum from which the team could move on next season if they change their mind. (Clubs dismissing managers that have multiple years remaining on their contract is hardly irregular.) Indeed, as Bradford points out, the financial hit would be scarcely more than cutting a middle reliever.
- Orioles GM Dan Duquette tells MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko that top prospect Chance Sisco was in high demand at the non-waiver deadline, and Duquette also sounded open-minded about trade talks this coming winter. “A lot of teams like (Chance) Sisco other than our club,” said Duquette, who added that he feels the organization has some depth behind the plate. “We know that from our trade discussions at the end of July. Whether they can do that job or not, that remains to be seen, but we do have pretty good depth in the organization at the catching position.” Sisco is the presumptive heir apparent behind the plate in Baltimore, but he’s also played just four games at Triple-A and remains a work in progress from a defensive standpoint. Sisco did hit .317/.403/.430 as a 21-year-old at Double-A this season, demonstrating his offensive upside, but he’s probably not yet ready to open the year in the Majors, and he’d be an appealing piece in the event that the O’s pursue rotation help on the trade market this winter. However, Kubatko writes that the O’s are more determined to keep Sisco now that they traded fellow catcher Jonah Heim to Tampa Bay. Even still, though, he notes that they’ll need a short-term bridge to Sisco if they keep him.