The New York Yankees entered the 2021 season as a favorite to win the AL Pennant, but they currently sit third in the AL East with the MLB trade deadline approaching. Fortunately, there are a few trade targets who could help New York turn things around.
Heading into MLB’s trade season, the Yankees have quite a few needs. The risks general manager Brian Cashman took with the rotation have backfired and there are significant issues with the lineup. So, let’s examine a few moves that could help this club remain a contender.
Jose Berrios traded to New York Yankees
There’s no denying the Yankees have been a disappointment this season, but they are a lot better off than the Minnesota Twins. Projected to win the AL Central heading into the season, MLB insiders firmly believe this club will be selling in July. It’s great news for New York.
Cashman must address the Yankees’ rotation. Corey Kluber is out indefinitely, an outcome everyone except the front office saw coming. Luis Severino suffered a setback in his recovery and will be limited upon his return from TJS in the second half. If that wasn’t concerning enough, New York ranks 20th in rotation ERA (4.93) in June.
- New York Yankees trade: RHP Luis Medina (NYY’s No. 7 prospect) and OF Estevan Florial (NYY’s No. 10 prospect)
- Minnesota Twins trade: José Berríos
José Berríos is the answer to the Yankees’ problems. He is under team control through the 2022 season and should be fairly affordable thanks to arbitration. The 27-year-old righty owns a 3.41 ERA this season and an impressive 20.2% K-BB rate. Plug him in as the No. 2 starter behind Gerrit Cole, this rotation improves significantly.
Starling Marte strengthens Yankees’ outfield
New York bet on Aaron Hicks staying healthy and it backfired. The club also re-signed Brett Gardner, wanting the 37-year-old to end his career with the team on a high note. Gardner has been thrust into regular playing time and is one of the worst outfielders (.613 OPS, 0.2 fWAR) in baseball this season.
Starling Marte can solve some of the Yankees’ problems and he should be relatively affordable. The price for half-season rentals dips every year and New York would only be responsible for the remainder of Marte’s $12.5 million salary in the second half of the season.
- New York Yankees acquire: Starling Marte, $1 million cash
- Miami Marlins acquire: C Austin Wells (NYY’s No. 6 prospect) and IF Josh Smith (NYY’s No. 14 prospect)
Marte is performing at the plate this season, posting a stellar .317/.422/.511 slash line with 33 runs scored, 11 steals and six home runs. Among center fielders with 300-plus innings this year, Marte is credited with the fourth-most Defensive Runs Saved (3) and ranks first in FanGraphs’ Defensive Rating. He isn’t a left-handed hitter, but Marte checks every other box for the Yankees’ needs.
New York acquires Freddy Galvis
It’s not getting any better for Gleyber Torres. Everyone could write off his OPS dropping from .871 in 2019 to .724 last season, 2020 was a weird year for everyone. But things aren’t getting any better for Torres this season. He entered June 25 with a .654 OPS this season and owned a .212/.303/.303 slash line in June.
With the trades for Marte and Berrīos made in this scenario, New York likely avoids a big-ticket spend like Trevor Story. With that star out of consideration, at least until MLB free agency, Freddy Galvis becomes an intriguing target for New York.
Galvis, a switch-hitter, would provide the Yankees with a left-handed bat for their lineup. The 31-year-old’s OPS+ (96) is also better than Torres’ mark (85). One thing Yankees’ ownership will like, Galvis will only be owed the remaining portion of his $1.5 million salary this season. It’s a cost-effective option for a team that needs another option beyond Torres.