NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Imagine what the Yankees’ lineup would have looked like if they had done this deal. Then imagine how few coveted prospects they would have had.
According to WFAN baseball insider John Heyman, the Atlanta Braves approached the Yankees about a mega-deal a while back that would have sent outfielders Jason Heyward and B.J. Upton, shortstop Andrelton Simmons, and others to the Bronx for a massive package of prospects, including right-hander Luis Severino, outfielder Aaron Judge and catcher Gary Sanchez.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman didn’t pull the trigger. Heyward eventually was traded to St. Louis, where he hit .293 with 13 home runs and 60 RBI in 154 games last season. He then signed an eight-year, $184 million deal with the Chicago Cubs this offseason.
The Yankees have made it no secret they are not into trading away their top prospects, and the fact that Cashman said no to the offer was early proof that he meant what he has continually said. Literally every deal the Bombers were rumored to be a part of at last year’s trade deadline and this winter involved some version of Severino and Judge.
Cashman has gone out of his way to try to inject youth into the Yankees’ aging infrastructure. He did not spend a single dollar on free agents this offseason, but did upgrade the team through trades, first acquiring infielder Starlin Castro from the Cubs and later plucking left-handed reliever Aroldis Chapman from Cincinnati, for a package of lesser prospects.
Severino, Judge and Sanchez, along with shortstop Jorge Mateo, have often been considered the crown jewels of the Yankees’ farm system.
After going 5-3 with a 2.89 ERA in 11 starts as a rookie last season Severino figures to be a No. 3 or 4 starter for the Yankees this season, and if things go as planned will be a fixture in the rotation for years.
Though Cashman has not shied away from calling up his kids in the midst of a push for the team’s first World Series title since 2009, Judge, the enormous power-hitting outfielder, likely will need another year in the minors before joining the big club.
Sanchez has a good chance of being the Yankees’ backup catcher this season, behind veteran Brian McCann.