New York Yankees: Grading the Justin Wilson and Starlin Castro Trades


The New York Yankees made two big trades this week that will affect their future. But were the two trades good enough to get them back to the postseason?

For the New York Yankees, this offseason, at least so far, has been anything but routine. Rather than trying to sign big money free agents like David Price and Jason Heyward, the Yankees seem intent on making trades for players that can help them, but won’t necessarily set the world on fire. It is as though Yankees General Manager, Brian Cashman, has taken a play right out of the playbook of Billy Beane.

Their trade for second baseman, Starlin Castro, was widely applauded by the media, even though they had to give up Adam Warren. After all, the other player in the deal that landed Castro, the so-called player to be named, is the light-hitting Brendan Ryan. For some, the Yankees might as well have gotten Castro for free. Such a sentiment isn’t as farfetched as it seems, despite Warren giving the Yankees valuable innings last season.

For fans of the Yankees, if trading for Castro means an end of the platoon at second base consisting of Stephen Drew, Dustin Ackley, and the Colonel from KFC, each and every fan would sign up for it. We can all agree, for the most part, that trading for Castro could pay immediate dividends.

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Then there is the other trade. The red-headed step son trade. The trade that left fans scratching their heads while collective screaming, “WHAT?”

The New York Yankees sent reliever, Justin Wilson, to the Detroit Tigers for a bag of chips and a bottled water Luis Cessa and Chad Green.

Wait. What?

For Brian Cashman, the deal was one he could not pass up, given the franchise-friendly contracts Cessa and Green were under.

“We acquired two starting pitchers at Triple-A who provide 12 years of control between them,” said Cashman to the New York Post.

My colleague, Kenneth Teape, made some outstanding points in his coverage of the trade, basically saying that trading Wilson was a mistake.

"First off, the Yankees bullpen was not very strong in 2015. They fell apart by the end of the season, as Wilson, Miller, Adam Warren and Dellin Betances were the only pitchers Joe Girardi had any confidence in."

Now two of the Trustworthy Four (I just made that up. You’re welcome) are gone. And with the way Betances struggled at the tail end of the season, it leaves Andrew Miller as the only member of the bullpen who was consistently good last season. Such a thing should be a bit disconcerting for fans.

The question now becomes: Have the Yankees gotten better with these trades?

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Without the benefit of hindsight, we can say that the trade that brought over Castro was a good move.

We can’t, however, say the same for the trade that sent Wilson to Detroit. After all, we’re talking about a trade that only landed the Yankees Cessa (8-10 with a 4.52 ERA) between Double-A and Triple-A and Green (5-14) at Double-A.

But again, these are the Yankees of the present; a team that is building for the future. Cessa and Green might be part of the future. But then again, maybe they won’t.

What a time to be a Yankees fan.