The Yankees could be closing in on a deal with the Athletics for Yonder Alonso after Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that the clubs have been discussing his name is trade talks. This comes one day after a Ken Rosenthal report that the Athletics sent its top scout to watch some players in the Yankees’ system.
Among the players the Athletics were reportedly scouting in low-A Charleston included Blake Rutherford, Estevan Florial, Hoy Jun Park and Freicer Perez.
Obviously, Rutherford would be the headliner in this package as the 20-year-old outfielder is already the third ranked prospect in the Yankees’ system, and the 30th ranked prospect in all of baseball per MLB Pipeline. This season, Rutherford is hitting .281/.342/.391 with two homers, 20 doubles, two triples and nine steals in 71 games in Charleston.
Additionally, Florial is a prospect who is on the rise in the Yankees system. Florial has put together a breakout year in 81 games in Charleston hitting .284/.365/.477 with 11 homers, 16 doubles, five triples and 15 steals. He is currently the club’s 15th ranked prospect.
As for Park and Perez, both would be solid throw-ins in any deal as they also appear to be rising through the prospect ranks after they have both been having a solid season. They are ranked 23rd and 26th respectively in the Yankees’ system. These four prospects could be the beginning of a potential package to solve the Yankees’ enigma at first base, though the Yankees would likely be hesitant to deal Rutherford for a rental.
The Yankees are in dire need of first base help after yesterday’s news that Greg Bird would have surgery and may miss the remainder of the season. The Bombers have been unsuccessful in finding a replacement for Bird as their first basemen have combined for a .671 OPS this season, which is the second worst in baseball. For now, the Yankees have utilized Garrett Cooper and Ji-Man Choi who have been productive in a small sample size, but do not seem like long-term solutions.
As a rental who is set to hit free agency at the end of this season, Alonso could be the perfect fit for the Bronx as the team hopes he can be their starting first baseman in 2018.
Alonso is having a breakout year with a .268/.366/.555 with a career-high 21 homers to go along with 44 RBIs and 15 doubles. The 30-year-old Cuban native made his first All-Star appearance in Miami last week.
Brian Cashman and the Yankees have also been linked to right-hander Sonny Gray as Billy Beane and company could be looking to package the two together in a deal. The Athletics appear to be entering a rebuilding phase and could get a respectable return from the Yankees on either of these two players.