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Throughout this season, the Yankees have been pretty up and down. There are times when they are good, but there are times when they are absolutely terrible and they really need to make trade moves to help. At the trade deadline, the Yankees really need to be in the active market, so here are 5 players the Yankees should target at this year’s deadline:
The Yankees have an outfield problem, particularly with a gap at left field. Juan Soto, who is a left fielder, would be a perfect fit for the Yankees. Recently, there have been rumors of another Soto trade happening because the Padres simply cannot afford him. The Padres are already paying multiple players a significant amount of money. Additionally, Soto is rumored to test free agency once he becomes a free agent in 2025, so the Padres would want to at least get something in return for him. One reason why Juan Soto is a perfect fit for the Yankees is because the current Yankees outfielders,. As of right now, are Billy McKinney, Willie Calhoun, Jake Bauers, Harrison Bader, and Aaron Judge. For a franchise like the Yankees, which is all about winning, these outfielders simply won’t cut it. Another reason why Soto would be a perfect fit is because he’s a great contact hitter and draws a lot of walks with him also hitting a decent amount of home runs which is what the Yankees are looking for to improve the team. Recently, many of the Yankees’ top performers haven’t been hitting as well as they used to, causing concern among fans. For example, the players experiencing slumps include DJ LeMahieu, the 2020 batting champion; Josh Donaldson, the 2015 MVP; Anthony Rizzo, a three-time All-Star; and Giancarlo Stanton, a four-time All-Star and 2017 MVP. These players have great hits every now and then, but it’s not consistent and won’t help the Yankees win. This is where Soto comes into play; he can bring a consistently good hitter and a player who gets on base a lot, which will help fix a major hole in the Yankees. The final reason why Soto would be a perfect fit is that he would help take some pressure off Aaron Judge’s shoulders. Throughout this season and even last season, Judge carried the Yankees, but now he’s out with an injury for the foreseeable future. This injury has really affected the team, and they haven’t been consistently winning since he got hurt. If Soto gets traded to the Yankees, he can help lead the team whenever Judge is out.
Another hole in the Yankees roster is the need for a good and consistent starting pitcher. This season for the Yankees, Gerrit Cole has been one of the best pitchers in the MLB, but that’s all the Yankees really have. The other starting pitchers on the roster have either been injured, inconsistent, or both. Carlos Rodón, the Yankees’ big free agent signing, has been hurt all season and hasn’t shown his potential in New York. Ever since coming back from injury, Luis Severino hasn’t been able to find his fastball or prevent giving up runs. Pitchers like Clarke Schmidt and Nestor Cortes haven’t been able to get through lineups the third time. By bringing in someone like Shane Bieber, who’s considered an ace, can really help the Yankees with another good pitcher who can consistently deliver great games. If the Yankees trade for Bieber, they could potentially have one of the best pitching rotations with Cole, Bieber, Cortes (if he returns to form), Rodón, and Domingo German.
Another problem with the Yankees offense is not having a consistently good catcher. Kyle Higashioka can hit the ball every now and then but isn’t really that good defensively. Jose Trevino is great defensively but is bad offensively to say the least. The Yankees really need a catcher who can both play defense well and can hit the ball well; Elias Diaz can do just that. This year Diaz is hitting a .286 AVG, .342 OBP, .457 SLG & .800 OPS with 8 home runs and 36 RBIs. If the Yankees would trade for Diaz, he would have one of the highest averages and OPS on the whole roster. Diaz’s good hitting can help the Yankees because many players haven’t been hitting well (ex. Giancarlo Stanton, DJ LeMahieu, Jose Trevino, Josh Donaldson, & Anthony Rizzo) so Diaz can help pick up some slack and get some base hits. Diaz is on a bad team so trading him to a contender like the Yankees can really help his production.
Similar to the Soto trade, acquiring Cody Bellinger can definitely help the Yankees’ outfield. With Bellinger’s versatility, the Yankees can plug him in at center field, left field, and sometimes even 1st base, which can really help the Yankees in case someone gets hurt. The Yankees’ current center fielder, Harrison Bader, is injury-prone and is practically always injured. By bringing in Bellinger could give the Yankees a good backup outfielder or even a starter if needed. Bellinger is also a perfect fit because, as a left-handed batter, he could really be a great hitter and could hit many home runs with the short right field wall. Another reason why Bellinger can be a great fit for the Yankees is that he can give them a fresh new batter in the lineup as a lefty. The Yankees lack great left-handed hitters and Bellinger can definitely help fix that. If the Yankees bring in Bellinger, then they can really start making the push to go deep in the playoffs.
The Yankees lack a true closing pitcher; they have pitchers like Michael King and Clay Holmes who play the role of a closer, but they don’t have a true closer. Acquiring someone like David Bednar could really bolster an already great bullpen that the Yankees possess. Bednar is a good fit for the Yankees because he’s an excellent closer who can close out any game day in and day out. Bednar is pitching really well this year with a 1.67 ERA, 14 saves, 32 strikeouts, and a 0.89 WHIP. Bednar would bring the Yankees a great closing pitcher that can truly get the job done when needed. The Yankees already have an amazingly good bullpen, so bringing in someone like Bednar could really strengthen the bullpen.
Honorable mentions that the Yankees could trade for include SP/DH Shohei Ohtani, SP Lucas Giolito, OF Joc Pederson, SS Tommy Edman, SP Corbin Burnes, and DH Jorge Soler. These players would fill a lot of gaps in the Yankees roster but would also be more difficult to trade. Shohei Ohtani would greatly help the Yankees roster, but as it’s only a few months with him. The Yankees shouldn’t really give up a lot like they would if they were to trade for him. Corbin Burnes would also cost a lot, so the Shane Bieber deal is better because the Yankees are still getting a great pitcher for a lower cost. Everyone else is a good option that the Yankees could afford, but it wouldn’t really push them over the hump.
The Yankees really need to make moves on both the offensive and defensive sides of the roster to push them over the hump. Strengthening their lineup and pitching staff is crucial to compete with other powerhouse teams. These five trades could at least move them forward as a better team and possibly even make them a World Series contending team.
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