Quick Hit: When Does Baseball Start Again?

With the calendar flipping over from December 2015 to January 2016 and the football regular season wrapping up, I think it's safe to say we've crossed the threshold from "excited about hot stove season" to "suffering from hot stove cabin fever" in the baseball world.  Good thing too, because with 46 days until pitchers and catchers report to Tampa, we're closer to the start of the 2016 season than we are to the start of the 2015 offseason.  That's a good thing.  Means it won't be long now before we can step out of the hot stove haze and into some fresher baseball air. But in the meantime, can somebody go check on my boy John Harper?  Maybe fluff his pillows a little bit, get him some more juice, and take his temperature?  He's taking the hot stove fever thing a little too far with his latest trade proposal:

"If only the Mets and Yankees would be willing to take the chance.

Because wouldn’t trading [Andrew] Miller and Brett Gardner for Zack Wheeler, Rafael Montero, and Alejandro De Aza fill important needs for both teams?"

John, buddy, come back to us.  In what universe is that a trade that works for the Yankees?  With what we've seen closers go for on the trade market this offseason, both the high and low ends of the return spectrum, what makes you think Cash would entertain the idea of trading his 2 best Major League chips for injured guys and a garbage outfielder?  That's like something a delusional Met fan would call into Francesa trying to sell to Mike as a great deal.  It's ludicrous.  It's not going to happen and it never should.

On a more serious note, I think we've reached the point of the offseason where keeping Gardner and Miller is more likely than either of them being traded.  Even if they're put into a package that brings back a solid-or-better starting pitcher, I don't see how the Yankees are a better team this season with that pitcher and without whatever it took to get him and I don't think Cash sees how either.  The markets on both Gardner and Miller have quieted over the last few weeks, and while there's always the chance that it's because the Yankees are working something they've been keeping under wraps, I think it's more likely that Cash and the Yankees have disengaged after seeing what teams were willing to offer.

The Chapman trade reminded us once again that the Yankees always have more going on than they let on, and there's still a greater-than-zero chance that Gardner or Miller gets traded before February 18th.  But I don't see the Yankees moving them for a less-than-optimal return package and I certainly hope they wouldn't trade both for John Harper's proposed return package from the Mets because that would be less than less than optimal.