It’s been a rough offseason for New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman. First, there was the mud slingathon with Derek Jeter, followed by missing out on Cliff Lee, then the Yankees couldn’t land Zack Greinke or convince the Mariners to move Felix Hernandez, and through it all they’ve been forced to take a laissez faire approach with the possibly returning, possibly retiring Andy Pettitte.
Cashman’s latest failings have been in attempting to prise Joakim Soria from Kansas City, but one has to wonder if Royals GM Dayton Moore isn’t doing his Yankees counterpart a favour by making the team’s closer untouchable to the trade market.
According to Bill Madden of the New York Daily News:
The Yankees [were] willing to part with their top prospect, Jesus Montero, the power-hitting catcher they initially had penciled in to take over for Jorge Posada this season before signing Russell Martin as veteran insurance, and Eduardo Nunez, the shortstop/second baseman they refused to include in the package for Lee that scuttled that deal with Seattle last summer.
Moore’s refusal to consider trading Soria makes little sense considering the eagerness with which he dealt Greinke to the Brewers, and the current state of the Royals franchise. While they remain unlikely to compete in the next couple of years, most prospect pundits agree that Kansas City’s farm system is far and away the best in baseball. John Sickels of MinorLeagueBall.com recently compiled a report that lists seven A level hitters currently not in Major League Baseball. Of the seven, the Royals had three of them: Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Wil Myers.
Even considering Soria’s team friendly contract that includes successive club options from 2012 – 2014, and the hype that Yankees prospects receive in general, how could Moore possibly overlook the chance to add Montero, who would be a fourth A ranked hitter, to his organization for a pitcher who, if he maintains his success over the next four years, will likely price himself out of Kansas City when the rest of the Royals team is reaching their prime?
Moore’s stance on Soria makes me wonder if it’s ever a good idea to label a player untouchable, and stick to that label. Is there no package in baseball that could inspire the Nationals to trade Stephen Strasburg, or the Braves to move Jayson Heyward, or the Marlins to swap Mike Stanton?
If not, who are the other players in baseball that you, as imaginary wouldn’t consider trading for anything? Would Joakim Soria be anywhere near your list?