Trade Proposal Sends Reliever of the Year to Yankees for 2 Top Prospects…
Following a somewhat disappointing 82-80 season in 2023, the New York Yankees have been actively bolstering their roster for the upcoming season. Among their potential moves is a trade for Milwaukee Brewers closer Devin Williams, a move that could significantly enhance their bullpen depth.
In a recent article by Bleacher Report’s Zachary D. Rymer, various trade scenarios were explored, including one where the Milwaukee Brewers would send Devin Williams to the Yankees in exchange for two of New York’s top prospects. Here’s how the proposed trade would break down:
Yankees receive: Devin Williams (right-handed pitcher) Brewers receive: Chase Hampton (right-handed pitcher) and Brando Mayea (outfielder)
Chase Hampton, who has showcased his talent up to Double-A level, was ranked as the fourth-best prospect in the Yankees’ system according to MLB.com’s 2023 rankings. Brando Mayea, though only 18 years old and limited to rookie ball experience, held the ninth position among the Yankees’ prospects.
The Addition of Williams to the Yankees’ Bullpen
At first glance, trading two top-10 prospects for a relief pitcher might seem like a hefty price to pay. However, Devin Williams has demonstrated his worth on the mound. He claimed the National League Rookie of the Year Award in 2020 with an impressive 0.33 ERA over 27 innings pitched. While his ERA increased slightly to 2.50 in 2021, Williams bounced back with sub-2.00 performances in 2022 and 2023.
Over his last 119.1 innings, Williams has maintained a stellar 1.73 ERA, along with a 0.96 WHIP and 183 strikeouts. His remarkable 1.53 ERA during the 2023 season earned him the NL Reliever of the Year Award for the second time, establishing him as one of the premier relievers in the league.
Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman has already made several moves to fortify the bullpen for the 2024 season, including re-signing Luke Weaver and acquiring Victor Gonzalez and Caleb Ferguson. However, with Clay Holmes currently slated as the closer, adding Williams would provide manager Aaron Boone with an elite ninth-inning option, enabling Holmes to transition into an eighth-inning setup role.
Further Roster Moves on the Horizon?
While the Yankees have been active in shoring up their roster, rumors suggest that they may not be done making moves just yet. Speculation from SNY’s Andy Martino hints at the possibility of another trade, particularly for a pitcher, before the start of the season.
Although there’s ongoing speculation about bolstering the starting rotation, the availability of free-agent pitcher Blake Snell has kept the focus on potential pitching upgrades. However, strengthening the backend of the bullpen with a player like Williams could be equally advantageous, if not more so.
Back in December, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal discussed the prospect of the Yankees constructing a formidable bullpen if preferred rotation options weren’t secured. While targets like Josh Hader, Jordan Hicks, and Robert Stephenson have since signed elsewhere, acquiring Williams could provide a cost-effective solution for Cashman, with Williams currently under contract for a base salary of $7 million in 2024, with a club option for 2025 at $10.5 million.