Rumor Mill: Yankees Making Changes?
Bronx Bombers Blowing Up The Roster?
Rumors are circulating out of New York that the Yankees are close to making big changes to their roster.
Several reports suggest that Juan Francisco, the prize of the 2016-2017 free agent market, could be the first piece moved from New York.
Francisco saw his production take a small step backwards in his first year in New York, but is rebounding with a strong 2018 thus far. The power-hitting infielder has slugged 12 home runs and is on pace to hit 30.
Locked up for three-seasons beyond 2018, Francisco can become a centerpiece to a team’s lineup.
When asked about Francisco, an NL GM said, “If a team can afford the salary that comes with Francisco, he is a bat that can be a true difference maker.”
By contrast, I have also heard a slightly contrasting sentiment from another GM. This GM said, “By no means a bad player, but his production compared to his contract is painful to look at now. He’ll earn more this year than a lot of ballplayers will earn in their career. Make no mistake though, he’s still great.
In addition to Francisco, some believe that injured closer Craig Kimbrel is a hot commodity on the market at the moment.
Kimbrel, currently dealing with a torn flexor tendon in his elbow, is likely out for the entire 2018 season. The veteran reliever is signed through 2021. With the way the 2018 off-season saw relievers fetching high-dollar amounts, acquiring Kimbrel via trade could save a team money and a headache at the back of their bullpen in the future.
When asked about Kimbrel, a source described him as, “an elite-level pitcher, his ability to miss bats was the stuff of legend. Then batters realized they didn’t have to swing, and things went down hill.”