Yankees Linked to Major Trade for ‘Success Story’ Strikeout King

Between Tommy John surgery in 2022 and a shoulder surgery in 2023, we have not seen much of pitcher Garrett Crochet during the four years since he was first called up to the White Sox. But he’s been healthy in 2024, and now that it’s become clear what he can do, teams around MLB are salivating—and as the trade deadline approaches, the Yankees are among those teams.

Crochet pitched all of 12.2 big-league innings in the past two years, and pitched only 73 total innings in his White Sox career. But, fully healthy now, he has established himself as a consistent starter, and one of the best young hurlers in the AL.

Crochet is 6-6 in a league-leading 16 starts, and has tallied a total of 124 strikeouts, most in the AL, in 89 innings pitched.  He has an ERA of 3.25, and a WHIP of 0.947.

As ESPN’s Jeff Passan noted, “Yes, the White Sox are willing to trade left-hander Garrett Crochet, whose conversion from the bullpen to starter has been one of the great success stories of the early season.”

It’s not clear how the Yankees would use Crochet if they traded for him this season, because the rotation is well-stocked with arms, but Crochet could slot in as a reliever who, having just turned 25 last week, would then have a long potential career as a starter.

Garrett Crochet to Have Big-Time Trade Value

That’s how things look from the viewpoint of MLB insider Jon Heyman of the New York Post, who looked ahead to a potential teardown of the moribund White Sox, with Crochet, outfielder Luis Robert and starter Erik Fedde as the main outgoing trade chips.

Crochet is the most valuable of the pieces the White Sox could sell off, and it is entirely possible that they package him with Robert in a megadeal. The White Sox are not expected to deal away Crochet, though, without a big return in terms of prospects and young players.

The issue with Crochet, though, is that he has been a career reliever and never thrown more than 54 innings in a major-league season. That’s a deterrent for the Yankees and other would-be suitors.

“Every contending team has interest in the reliever-turned-starter, and though he’s already flown past his previous innings high, teams love the arm and potential (the Yankees are among them). It’s uncertain how many innings are left in his big arm, but teams are willing to find out,” Heyman wrote this week.

Yankees Willing to Part With Prospects for a Bullpen Piece?

But there are also some reasons for caution on the possibility of the Yankees knitting together a Crochet deal (sorry). It would be a steep ask for the Yankees to give up one of their two top prospects—outfielders Jasson Dominguez or Spencer Jones—for Crochet, considering he is not likely to still be pitching in October, when the Yankees would need him most.

Because of his age and lack of proven durability, Crochet likely would have to move to the bullpen by the time the playoffs come around. For a team in a win-now mode, as the Yankees are, trading a prospect for short-term starter/bullpen gamble with a bright future might not make much sense.

And Heyman is not sure the White Sox will move Crochet at all. They could let him finish out the year as a starter and trade him in the offseason, when he should have a more established value.

“Crochet, kinda iffy to be traded from what I’m gathering,” Heyman said this week on a Bleacher Report livestream. “I think Robert may have more chance to be traded than Crochet, I think Fedde will go somewhere. Crochet, other teams love him. Love the strikeout leaders in the American League in his first year as a starter. I think he’s probably a bullpen piece for a contender, with those innings. His high in innings before was 54, he is way over that.”

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