Rob Refsnyder was originally seen as the possible star of the future when the Yankees originally drafted him in 2012. However, the Yankees are now informing other Major League Baseball teams that a Rob Refsnyder trade is an option.
There are obviously a lot of factors at work in this decision by the Yankees. The first of course being the addition of Starlin Castro last season who is the current second baseman of record and did more than enough during the season to ensure it is his job to lose. Rob Refsnyder was an outfield prospect when drafted but was converted to second base in the minors. He never got above the idea that he was a serviceable defender and was never going to be above average.
With that the Yankees also began to experiment with Rob Refsnyder at multiple positions. In his stints in the minors and more recently with the big club, Rob Refsnyder has seen time at first base, second base, third base, right field, and even left field. The Yankees appeared to be working him towards the idea of a super utility man that could serve to spell many other players throughout a season.
A Rob Refsnyder trade is being considered because the Yankees appear to have answers at many of the positions mentioned with Greg Bird and Chris Carter holding down first, Aaron Judge looking to be the right fielder, and veteran’s contracts of Brett Gardner and Chase Headley keeping him from seeing the field. A Rob Refsnyder trade might not be on the table if the Yankees had been able to move Gardner or Headley this off-season.
Rob Refsnyder might not be a perennial All-Star but if he appears to be more than serviceable. His slash line in the minors was .293/.379/.429 in over 2000 plate appearances. That line is more than solid and a reason he has been with the big club the last couple of years. In 200+ plate appearances at the major league level, Rob Refsnyder has slashed .262/.322/.354 which is on par with a player destined for a long but not explosive career as a major league infielder.
I mentioned the previous because it is important to remember that while the Yankees are listening to Rob Refsnyder trade offers there is not a guarantee that they plan on moving the soon to be 26-year-old. The Yankees would be foolish not to listen to offer for almost any player on their roster. In the long term it would make more sense for the Bombers to hope for solid campaigns from Headley and/or Gardner and attempt to move them at the All-Star break to a contender. That would clear an everyday path for Rob Refsnyder to see the field. Economics are always a factor and both Headley and Gardner have larger investments by acquiring teams.
In short, I would not expect this announcement to end with a Rob Refsnyder trade and rather just an exercise in diligence by Cashman and the rest of the front office while opening communications lines for other players down the road. Rob Refsnyder was a trade chip in the past, when the Yankees could have sent him and Adam Warren for Ben Zobrist and instead they chose to turn down the offer and keep them. While you can argue that many ways, it is important to remember then had a solid offer for him and turned it down. Don’t freak out just yet and let everything play out. Cashman and crew and doing their job and we should expect nothing less.
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