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New York Yankees must tap into farm system for top-line pitcher after Luis Severino injury

Vincent Frank

The MLB-best New York Yankees have been reluctant to tap into their stacked farm system for upgrades on a roster that entered Thursday’s action with a 62-26 record.

Attempting for its first World Series title since 2009, New York continues to look like a top-end contender. Unfortunately, the recent injury news surrounding pitcher Luis Severino could change the dynamics a bit.

In the midst of his first healthy season since 2018, Severino exited after two innings against the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday. One day later, and he was placed on the 15-day injured list due to a right lat strain.

In a vacuum, the injury doesn’t seem to be too serious. New York has the arms to make up for his short-term absence moving forward in July. With that said, we’re talking about an organization that is vying for its 28th World Series title. Remaining inactive could have a negative impact on this team’s chances moving forward. After all, relying on Severino to be healthy moving forward is fool’s gold.

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New York Yankees pushing back against sending top prospects in a trade

new york yankees anthony volpe
Patrick Oehler/Poughkeepsie Journal via Imagn Content Services, LLC

It was noted by MLB insider Jon Heyman prior to Severino’s injury that Yankees front office head Brian Cashman had pushed back against dealing a top prospects for Cincinnati Reds ace Luis Castillo.

“The Yankees wouldn’t mind another starter, and they do like Luis Castillo, but with the Reds’ requesting one of two top shortstop prospects — Anthony Volpe or Oswald Peraza — they may end up settling for a depth piece instead.”

Jon Heyman report on New York Yankees trade rumors

On one hand, moving off Volpe wouldn’t make too much sense. The former first-round pick is seen as a top-10 prospect around the MLB world. Internally, he’s viewed as the Yankees’ best infield prospect since Derek Jeter.

Thus far this season in Double-A Somerset, Volpe has hit 11 homers while driving in 31 runs and stealing 35 bases in 76 games. He’s darn near untouchable.

Since late-great owner George Steinbrenner’s death back in 2010, the Yankees have changed their philosophy some. Sure they’ve spent big time on free agents (Gerrit Cole) and sent out top prospects for proven talent (Giancarlo Stanton). But it’s also been about building within the system (Aaron Judge).

It’s now time for New York to find a happy medium so it can bring a title back to the Bronx for the first time since Steinbrenner’s death. If that means moving Oswald Peraza or someone like heralded outfield prospect Jasson Domínguez or catcher Austin Wells as part of a package for significant upgrades, so be it.

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New York Yankees trade deadline targets

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at New York Yankees
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

We touched on Luis Castillo above. He’s been bandied about a whole lot leading up to the Aug. 2 MLB trade deadline. For good reason. Castillo is still only 29 years old and under team control through next season.

  • Luis Castillo stats (2022): 3-4 record, 2.92 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 74 strikeouts in 71 innings

Oakland Athletics pitcher Frankie Montas has also come up as a possibility as his team continues with its fire-sale mentality. Also under team control through next season, Montas has pitched to a 3.26 ERA and 1.09 WHIP for MLB’s worst team.

Sure both of these pitchers would cost a pretty penny. But it’s not like the Yankees are working without the prospects needed to acquire a top-end arm.

There’s also been rumors linking New York to outfielders leading up to the trade deadline. With Kansas City Royals All-Star Andrew Benintendi no longer an option due to his unvaccinated status, looking elsewhere would make sense.

Why not expand a trade for one of these pitchers to include a starter-caliber outfielder? In the process, New York bites the bullet and offers up one of its top prospects outside of the aforementioned Volpe.

Oakland has a player in Ramon Laureano who could be of interest to the Yankees given his defensive capabilities and ability to play all three outfield positions. As for Cincinnati, Tommy Pham is a name that could pop up in rumors.

As it is, these New York Yankees need to mortgage some of their future in an attempt to bring a title to the Bronx for the first time since gas prices were just over $2.00 a gallon.