New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman’s stellar offseason continued on Tuesday night when he acquired infielder Brandon Drury from the Arizona Diamondbacks in a three-team deal.
The trade addresses one of the last few holes within New York’s roster as Drury will likely become the team’s starting third baseman after they dealt Chase Headley and missed out on retaining Todd Frazier, who signed with the crosstown-rival Mets.
The Yankees have highly-touted prospects Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar waiting in the wings, the former having recovered from Tommy John surgery, but Drury provides the Yankees with a bonafide starting option at third base should either of the two not be ready.
Should Torres prove he’s healthy and ready to make the jump to the majors, he’ll likely take over at second base with Andujar either on the bench or back in the minors.
New York isn’t getting anything flashy with Drury at third, but he does provide a decent bat to place toward the bottom of the order that could flourish in the hitter-friendly ballpark that is Yankee Stadium.
Playing at expansive Chase Field in Arizona, the 25-year-old managed to put up 162-game averages of 17 home runs and 70 RBI to go with a .271 career batting average.
Looking at a best-case scenario, the Yankees could see another Didi Gregorius-type development arise. After having not hit more than six home runs in two seasons with those very same Diamondbacks, Gregorius has had a 20 and 25 home-run campaign in the last two years in New York. The latter set a franchise record for most home runs in a single season set by a shortstop.
What might be most important about this deal for the Yankees is Drury’s cost.
Last season, he made just under $560,000 and is under team control until 2021. Per ESPN Stats & Info, that leaves the Yankees with around $40 million of cushion beneath their luxury tax threshold of $197 million, though there have been other reports saying the team is only $15million-to-$22 million under the threshold. Regardless, Drury allows them to go after another pitcher to help bolster the starting rotation.
For the time being, it looks as though the Yankees’ lineup might be complete heading into the thick of spring training. So let’s take a look at what their Opening Day lineup might look like come March:
Yankees 2018 projected lineup
1. Brett Gardner- LF
2. Aaron Judge- RF
3. Giancarlo Stanton- DH
4. Gary Sanchez- C
5. Greg Bird- 1B
6. Didi Gregorius- SS
7. Aaron Hicks- CF
8. Brandon Drury- 3B
9. Gleyber Torres- 2B