"This game will forever be about depth", Atkins said Thursday on a conference call.
Atkins did not budge, and a day later it was Cashman who blinked, trading for Happ despite a price tag that rival executives considered to be a clear overpay for a rental. It's still unclear what the Yankees are sending to Toronto, but Fancred's Jon Heyman believes the Yankees will give up two players to get Happ, potentially including Brandon Drury. Another evaluator insisted that Drury alone should have been enough. Although both are viable big league talents, both were expendable for the Yankees, with Drury losing his third base job to rookie Miguel Andujar early in the season and McKinney unable to crack the team's high-powered outfield and spending most of this season at Class AAA.
McKinney has spent most of the 2018 season at triple-A, where he's hitting.230/.294/.502 with 13 home runs in 228 plate appearances.
Talks heated up over the past 24 hours with several teams reported to be in the mix for Happ, the 35-year-old IL native who has been the Jays top starter in 2018.
The Yankees have positioned themselves as perhaps the most aggressive buyer in this summer's trade market. While the addition of Drury further complicates the Blue Jays' already-crowded infield mix, Atkins noted that the best organizations have a surplus of MLB-calibre contributors. He'll remain controllable through 2021 or 2022, depending on how much time he spends in the majors this year.
After weeks of speculation and trade rumours, the Toronto Blue Jays finally dealt their most valuable trade chip. He was selected to his first All-Star game learlier this month.
McKinney, a first rounder of the A's in 2013, was included as a throw-in in larger trades that sent him first to the Cubs and then to the Yankees in the Aroldis Chapman deal in 2016. He has shown solid power at triple-A dating back to past year, with 23 home runs in 109 total games at the minors' highest level.
NY began the day 5 1/2 games behind Boston, the AL East leader. But he only played 18 games for NY this season as the Yankees moved ahead by graduating Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar to the big club.