We should expect to see some dealings and trades between the New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs over the next few years, now that former Boston Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein departed to take over as president of baseball operations in the Windy City. That means he is now free to conduct business with New York general manager Brian Cashman.
When they worked for the other’s rival, you just knew that neither team would ever trade a player to the other team, as the backlash would have been too much to bear if one team got the better end of the deal.
Speaking at a forum at Sacred Heart University, Cashman and Epstein traded barbs with each other, before saying how it will be nice to work with each other and possibly replace trading barbs with players in the not too distant future.
“I was never able to totally relax because I felt like he was always lurking,” Epstein said. “He had a great sense of the marketplace.”
“Theo’s a lot smarter than me,” joked Cashman. “I’ll try to stay very, very wary of him.”
Epstein quickly jabbed back, “I look forward to finally having some trade discussions with Cash and finding out what all the fuss is about.”
Epstein and Cashman can now trade players, instead of barbs.
“Yeah, instead of fake talking, we can actually do something,” Cashman added.
I wrote earlier that I already thought that these two teams would make excellent trade partners, and that one trade should happen immediately. The two could exchange one problematic contract for another, with the Yankees trading A.J. Burnett to the Cubs for Alfonso Soriano. Burnett would be better suited in a weaker National League Central, and Soriano could perform well as a platoon left fielder and designated hitter in Yankee Stadium.
Aside from a few deals such as that, the Cubs do not have that many MLB ready players who the Yankees could use to help make another World Series run. Right now, these are two franchises headed in different directions.
Epstein cautioned Cubs fans that he will not be able to turn around the franchise who has not won a World Series since 1908 in just one or two offseasons. Chicago is building for the future, while New York is always planning their next ticker-tape parade in early November.
That would basically mean that the only players who the Yankees could really use from the Cubs at the big league level right now would probably be Matt Garza, Kerry Wood, Marlon Byrd or Soriano. And there is no way that New York would consider trading any of their top prospects for any of these players, especially some of their top prospects including Dellin Betances, Manuel Banuelos or Austin Romine.
But as time goes on, expect these two teams to become quite familiar with each others.
This is something Cashman and Epstein have been looking forward to for quite some time.