Rumor: Yankees considering a sign-and-trade with Nakajima

The Yankees won the negotiating rights to Japanese infielder Hiroyuki Nakajima last week, but there has been a question of whether he will make enough money or get consistent enough playing time with the Yankees. So his agent has brought up the idea of a sign-and-trade so he doesn’t have to go back to Japan, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

Nakajimi isn’t necessarily against being a utility infielder for the Yankees. It seems as if the problem is that he is going to want too much money for the Yankees to justify using him in that role.

His agent was the one who brought up the sign-and-trade, but I’m not sure how well that would actually work. Even if a team sees him as a potential starter, middle infielders don’t exactly fetch a lot in trades. Look at the recent deal sending Jed Lowrie to Houston, it got them Mark Melancon, who is a setup man, and they still needed to throw in a halfway decent pitching prospect to get the deal done.

It is also hard to see teams asking the Yankees for Nakajima in a deal when they could potentially have a younger, more athletic, and most importantly, more cost controlled Eduardo Nunez in a deal.

Brian Cashman will likely explore this possibility, but only because he looks into every possibility. With a stocked bullpen though, it isn’t likely that he’s going to find anything he likes for Nakajima. In the end though, I suppose they would take a longshot prospect over him going back to Japan though.

If anyone is traded, expect it to be Nunez.

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3 Responses to Rumor: Yankees considering a sign-and-trade with Nakajima

  1. NYYFanInTheATL says:

    The sign and trade idea works just fine Rob if he's part of a package! Say, Betances, Nakajima and Romine for Garza, Danks or Gio?

    • The Cubs are one of the teams rumored to be interested in him. So as part of a package he might help land Garza.

      But remember this, the Yankees won the bidding with just a $2.5 million bid. That means that almost anybody who wanted him could have landed him with a more serious bid which I think was the lowest out of any of the Japanese regular players that came before him.

  2. Tanned Tom says:

    Rob was on the money when he wrote that there's a small market for players like this. Even as part of a package what team would really want him. If he can play 3B he'll see plenty of time. If not then it's sayonara.