NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- It is too perfect. The Yankees’ biggest desire this winter is to acquire young, controllable starting pitching.
The Yankees should go get him.
This is when you dust off the combination to the untouchables' Master Lock. Yankees GM Brian Cashman has not wanted to part with starter Luis Severino, first baseman Greg Bird or outfielder Aaron Judge.
In a deal for the 23-year-old Fernandez, I would start my proposal with Judge.
The 6-foot-7, nearly 300-pound right fielder -- who is also 23 -- seems almost larger than life, with a personality that perfectly fits New York. The one thing no one knows yet is whether Judge can hit major league pitching.
Fernandez is great, while Judge could be great.
I would start a deal with Judge and build from there. The Marlins reportedly want players who could help now, so if you added closer Andrew Miller and some money (maybe $10 million to offset the $27 million Miller is owed over the next three years), you might be able to finish the deal off with some lower-level, talented minor leaguers.
It would be a lot, but Fernandez is a special talent. If the Yankees could combine Fernandez and Severino, then Masahiro Tanaka really could be a No. 3 starter, as Cashman first advertised him to be when he signed him a couple of years back. Nathan Eovaldi could be the No. 4 and Michael Pineda the No. 5. CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova -- if he is not dealt -- and Adam Warren would add depth.
The Yankees seem to be gearing up for 2017 rather than 2016. They are sitting out of free agency, but you wonder: If they return basically the same team as last year, what will the attendance look like this upcoming season?
You don’t make a trade just to energize your fan base, but it doesn’t hurt that a source as great as a Twitter poll -- yes, some sarcasm here -- indicates Yankees fans like the idea of including Judge in a deal for Fernandez (nearly 3,000 votes have been cast so far -- 75 percent of them "yes").
Would you include Aaron Judge as part of a deal for Jose Fernandez?— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) December 7, 2015
It would be painful to trade Judge, but to acquire someone like Fernandez, it has to hurt. Miller is excellent, too, but closers can be replaced. While the Yankees aren’t spending a lot this winter, they still have money. They can make Dellin Betances the closer and add a setup man or two to deepen their bullpen.
At the end of the day, the Yankees would have one of the best young pitchers in baseball on their team. They would be better in 2016 and beyond.
I would probably not give up Severino or Bird, but Judge should be in play for Fernandez. Unlike Judge, Severino and Bird have already proved they can perform on the major league level. It is about the known versus the unknown. Fernandez is the perfect fit for the Yankees. If Judge has to lead the package, the Yankees should do it.