Earlier this week I discussed a new series of posts called “28 players under 28 years old” and here is out first entry as we look at the Yankees and Mets.
Gary Sanchez is rated the 30th best prospect in baseball according to Baseball America and is 4th best prospect in the Yankees farm system. Sanchez has declined some this year posting a 250 average with 6 homers and 27 RBI in 49 games. He is only 18 years old though and does have some attitude problems but it is likely he will mature out of that. Scouts say Sanchez is better defensively than Yankees top prospect Montero and even drawing comparisons to Yadier Molina and a young Ivan Rodriguez.
Sanchez could be available because the Yankees have Montero and Romine in their top 10 prospects. The Yankees do not need to 3 catching prospects so one could be expendable. The Cubs could use Sanchez for when Soto is traded or elects free agency. With Sanchez only being 18 he still needs time in the minors for seasoning. It is also not likely he would contribute right away but his acquisition could make Soto available. The Yankees have already stated they are not looking at Z or Dempster but that could be posturing, Grabow could interest the Yankees but the only way you get Sanchez is if you send a package to NY with Grabow included.
This is a long shot for the Cubs because the Yankees and Cubs do not match up well for a trade. Not to mention the way the Yankees value Sanchez but anything is possible.
Another good overall catcher in the Yankees system and ranked 98th best prospect in baseball according to MLB.com. He is doing well for the Yankees AA squad hitting .291 with a .353 OBO and 4 homers in 48 games. Romine is only 22 but is closer to being ready for the Big Show than Sanchez. His throwing out rate has been above 20% in the minors which is good not great but combined that with his offensive numbers then he has the potential of being an everyday catcher.
The reasons why he is available, what the Yankees want, etc… is comparable to what I said about Sanchez above. The only difference is Romine is a LOT more available than the other two.
This guy is not going to WOW anyone with his offensive numbers. His career in the minor leagues has him hitting .289 with a .376 OBP and 16 homes in 450 career games. His ML career stats are slightly lower hitting .273 with a .350 OBP and 4 homers in 149 games. But he is another player that could be available because he is young, a left-handed bat but a righty behind the plate, and he is under team control. One thing I give Thole credit on is CS percentage in the majors. In 2009 he had a 33% rating, in 2010 he had a 44% rating, and in 2011 it did drop to 20%. But it should be noted most of those SB against him this year came against a slow pitcher on the mound like RA Dickey.
Thole is available especially if the Mets stay in the WC chase and the Cubs could target him as their long-term catcher and ideal #2 hitter in the lineup. The Mets could target a variety of players on the Cubs like Carlos Pena because Ike Davis looks like he is lost for the season. The Mets could also look at pitching and outfield as well, especially if they deal Beltran who did say he would waive his NTC.
I see the Cubs targeting Thole because he provides so many things Geovany Soto does not. Plus he is a lot more affordable considering Soto has the chance to make a lot more money via arbitration. I put the chances of them acquiring Thole at 25% because they had interest in him last season as well.
David Wright is a guy that is going to create a ton of interest for many teams in baseball. Rarely a superstar 3rd baseman is rumored to be on the block let alone traded (unless you are Arod) but that is not the case for David Wright. A couple of things make Wright a double edged sword 1) he is not back from his fracture in his back and could still be a huge injury risk 2) if traded he will become a free agent after the 2012 season and 3) he may not be ready to go before the trade deadline. These things give most teams worries so the Mets might hold onto him until next offseason. Either way the Cubs will be in on David Wright.
Wright could be dealt because of finances, to stock the farm system, and/or they are looking for money to give to potential free agent Jose Reyes. The Cubs would target him because he is a superstar 3rd baseman and the Cubs long-term players for 3rd (Vitters and Aram) are either not ready or going to be let go because of money. Wright would make an immediate impact on the Cubs and if acquired I believe the Cubs would not hesitate to sign him to an extension. Once again the Mets could look at Pena, Aramis, and pitching for the Cubs but they also could value prospects Flaherty, Vitters, and McNutt to build up their farm system.
The percentage I put on this happening is below 10% at the deadline but near 20% if both teams wait until next offseason to discuss Wright.
That concludes our first installment of “28 players under 28 years old” look for the next four by next week. We will be addressing players from the Marlin and Twins.
Until Next Time…