You know, every fall the fans say 'fire Cashman', and then every winter he spins something like this. Maybe we shouldn't fire him. Maybe the mad lad actually knows what he's doing.
When I saw that Juan Soto was in the cards for the Yankees, I was very worried of two outcomes. 1- Cashman would offer up some of the Yankees' most prized young pieces, and the Padres would agree. 2- Cashman would offer up some of the Yankees' most prized young pieces, and the Padres would tell him to get lost and trade him somewhere else. I was worried that the Padres would want deep guys, deeper than Drew Thorpe, real meaty future pieces. I was extremely worried they'd want Jasson Dominguez, but apparently Cashman made it clear he was off the table.
And then as the rumors spread that 'both sides are far apart', and then this afternoon when the talks stalled, I worried. Preller played dirty. Asked for somebody big. Cashman knew he was screwed, had to relent. I was waiting for the incentive, the thing that would make this deal harder to stomach than it was.
...it didn't happen. Not only did Juan Soto land in the Bronx, but he did so without completely shattering the future. So let's examine the other pieces here:
- Trent Grisham. I was initially confused by this, seeing as the Yankees literally just picked up Alex Verdugo yesterday, and now Grisham is looking like a fourth man. But Grisham is due for a reclamation, and he's still capable of great power numbers and impressive outfield moments. Honestly, Grisham might need a team like the Yankees to turn him around, because as good as he's been as a Padre, he's also been infuriating in points. As a swing-out guy for the Yanks, he could have some nice power moments, and he could definitely find his comfort zones again. And if not, we don't have to start him as much.
- Kyle Higashioka. Two things are apparent with Cashman deciding to deal Higgy. One, he trusts Jose Trevino to get back to his 2022 self. Two, he trusts Austin Wells to come into his own. At worst, we're talking another Austin Romine here, but at best we could be alright for another decade behind the plate. Meanwhile, the way it's looking, the Padres could have its second straight season with a former Yankee behind the plate, and if they reunite with Sanchez it could be a reunion of the late 2010s catching duo. So that's pretty funny.
- Michael King. The best part about Michael King is that he's versatile, and he can play multiple roles for you over the course of the year. The worst part about him is that because he's so good at playing roles, he'd never be relied upon as a starter completely, unlike Clarke Schmidt, who barely made it out of this deal. King is a really damn good relief piece, and probably the hardest guy to part with here, but if anyone will utilize this guy properly, it'll be the Padres. They might make him a full time starter, something he'd never become in NY, and let him come into his own. And you know what? Good for him.
- Jhony Brito and Randy Vasquez. The good news is the starting picture isn't overstuffed anymore. Cole-Cortes-Rodon-Schmidt-fifth man. So now we can swing a free agent and hold that til somebody's ready. It's sad that Brito and Vasquez are gone, but I think both needed a place to blossom that wasn't Yankee Stadium. Vasquez might be the bigger loss, cause he was looking really good in the thick of things this year.
- Drew Thorpe. From what I saw of his minor league stats, this kid looks GOOOOD. The Padres may have done the most damage insisting on Thorpe, and he has the biggest chance of turning the Padres into something further down the line, with no disrespect to Brito or Vasquez, who still could. Thorpe is an excellent pitching prospect, and for a team that dealt away a lot of young arms, that's a good sign.