On paper, the New York Yankees have inarguably one of the most talented rosters in baseball.
For that reason, the team was the consensus favorite to win the American League East before the season started.
But things have not gone as planned for the Yankees in 2021.
In fact, with three months in the books, New York has had about the worst first half imaginable relative to preseason expectations.
At 42-41, the Yankees are currently 10 full games out of first place in the division and 5.5 games out of a Wild Card spot.
Speculation has begun to stir regarding what the team should do at the upcoming trade deadline.
Selling has become a legitimate possibility.
And while many Yankee fans would like to think this team can turn things around, it’s clear that something is very, very wrong.
Today, we’re going to talk about one very unique way forward for the Yankees as it pertains to their options at the upcoming trade deadline.
Idea: New York Should Consider Keeping Its Current Core Intact Minus Gerrit Cole And Aroldis Chapman
Selling doesn’t have to mean blowing everything up.
Some of those players are having difficult 2021 campaigns, but the Yankees would be wise to keep most of that core intact at the deadline.
Key word: most.
Again, this shouldn’t be a hard sell.
But what if it was a soft sell with a couple of curveballs?
Here’s one interesting possibility: the idea of trading Cole.
This may sound ridiculous, but it might be now or never.
Since the foreign substance ban, Cole has been a shell of his best self.
He has a 5.24 ERA over his past six starts, and the Yankees are 2-4 in those games.
His spin rate is way down.
Something we need to keep in mind is that Cole essentially admitted that he was a Spider Tack user.
There is a world of a difference between using a sticky substance for grip (like sunscreen) and using a sticky substance for spin rate (like Spider Tack).
Spider Tack can become a crutch, and it’s very possible that Cole won’t be the same pitcher without it.
And if this is the player Cole is going to be from here on out, shouldn’t the Yankees consider the possibility of trading him away before his value completely diminishes?
Trade Gerrit Cole before he tanks his entire value
— Sam Lanier (@SamLanier10) July 4, 2021
Right now, there is certainly still a market for him.
After all, he was just named to his fourth All-Star team and has a career 3.17 ERA.
But his value could quickly plummet if his struggles continue into, say, next season.
Remember, the Yankees are married to this guy until 2029.
Unloading him now before his value crashes could end up being a very wise move in the long run.
And if we’re having this discussion about Cole, we might as well throw Chapman’s name into the mix.
Since the foreign substance ban, Chapman has been perhaps the worst reliever in baseball.
He has allowed 15 runs over his last 5.2 innings.
That’s a 22.24 ERA.
Opponents are batting .483 with four home runs against him during the span.
Like Cole, his spin rate is way down.
AROLDIS CHAPMAN, THE STATISTICAL WORST RELIEVER IN BASEBALL SINCE THE LEAGUE’S CRACKDOWN ON ILLEGAL SUBSTANCES, HAS BLOWN YET ANOTHERRRR GAME! INCREDIBLE! pic.twitter.com/hzcQaImzqs
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) July 4, 2021
It’s no coincidence.
Trading away Cole and Chapman would certainly give off the impression that the Yankees are blowing everything up, but that doesn’t have to be the case.
If those are the only two Yankee stars on the move at the deadline, the team would still be in a great position to contend next season.
Add in the returns they’d get on the Cole and Chapman trades and you’d have an exciting new-look squad for the 2022 season.
Who says no?