The Yankees at one point this offseason dangled right-hander Ivan Nova and infielder Ramiro Pena for [Francisco Liriano], according to a major league source. The Twins, however, want prized left-hander Manny Banuelos as part of any package, the source says. Though just 20, Banuelos is expected to open the season at Double A.
The teams have not spoken in at least a month, according to a second source. But given the Yankees’ needs, the discussions are almost certain to revive before Opening Day.
The source that confirmed that the sides haven’t talked in about a month is Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated. His source also used the words “right now” leaving open the possibility that the two sides could resume talks again. That might happen a little closer to the start of the season or they could start again in June.
Either way, at this point it seems like these sides will attempt to work out a deal. The Twins don’t seem to want to hold on to this guy long-term. They question his ability to stay healthy, his communication with the club, and his style on the mound. It seems crazy to give up on a guy so good and so young, but armed with these reasons and probably realizing the fact that they won’t be able to afford him when he gets to free agency, a trade seems inevitable. It’s just a matter of when.
Whatever they do talk, the Yankees are likely to do whatever they have to to keep the Twins from insisting on Banuelos or Betances. A package of Nova and Pena won’t likely get it done, but the Yankees do have prospects better than Pena and worse than Banuelos. It’s a matter of negotiating and settling on another one.