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  • Cory Claus

The Yankees will Trade for Two of These Players

The Yankees offense has left the team outside the playoff picture. They'll need to add two big hitters to get back in the World Series chase, but who? Here's a look at the big bats the Yankees will bring back to the Bronx.

The Yankees need help for their offense…a lot of help. I’ve already talked about the players they might trade in this article.

But who will they target?

It makes sense that the Yankees would focus on left field and third base, the two areas getting the least production. That’s why the list below is mostly made of players at those positions.

For instance, Billy McKinney is batting .240/.269/.467 with an OPS of .736, while Oswaldo Cabrera sits at .204/.259/.309 and a dismal .568 OPS. Clearly, the team is in need of an upgrade in left field.

And I doubt I need to tell Yankees fans why Josh Donaldson has to.

A note of caution: compiling a list like this is difficult because GM Brian Cashman has a way of finding players no one else considered. So I’ve done my best to provide an exhaustive list knowing full well that Cashman could still surprise us all by finding a name no one has considered.

With that in mind, let's take a look at who will potentially be wearing pinstripes before August rolls around.

A Familiar Cast of Characters

Some names have already been mentioned prominently by other writers; let’s start there.

First up has to be OF Cody Bellinger. He’s having a bounce-back year for the Cubbies, hitting .298/.355/.491 with an OPS of .846. That would be quite an addition for a Yankees club with only one player carrying an OPS above .753 (Aaron Judge: 1.078).

Bellinger seems a perfect fit for several reasons. One, he hits lefthanded. That always plays well at Yankee Stadium. Next, he played for the Dodgers in big games, so he should be able to handle the Bronx.

Or at least until he gets booed for the first time.

And he’s also under contract for this year and next, making him more than just a two-month rental. I’m sure he is at the top of the Yankees list, just as I’m sure the Cubs know that, too. Their demands might take him off the board.

Next up is Nationals switch-hitting third baseman Jeimer Candelario (.261/.337/.478). He would be a true short-timer as he is a free agent at the end of the season, but that also means he shouldn’t cost too much.

The addition of his .813 OPS and thirteen home runs, however, would be a huge upgrade at the hot corner. Yes, the Yankees would have to either trade or outright release Josh Donaldson but, so?

When you’re hitting .152/.232/.465, you really have no kick coming.

The Rockies OF is in the last year of a five-year deal, and he’s finishing strong. While he only has 4 home runs, his slash of .294/.359/.453 would add a much-needed high-average guy to the batting order. One of the Yankees' biggest issues is there are not enough guys getting hits on a consistent basis. Instead of adding a big bat, they might be better served adding an active one.

And, like the two above, his OPS of .811 would make him second on the team. But if it’s big bats they’re looking for, they might find a surprising match in San Diego.

Yankees Swing for the Fences

When I first started writing this piece, Padres OF Juan Soto had not been brought up. Now, Jeter has mentioned this possible trade. That’s going to put Soto’s name on everyone’s lips; let’s hope that includes Cashman’s.

And that’s the way it should be. Soto is one of the best offensive players in baseball today. His line of .265/.419/.479 might not say as much, but his 15 home runs and .898 OPS speak volumes.

The question becomes why the win-now Padres would want to trade him.

One answer is because the team they’ve put together down there is not working. They have a collection of some of the best hitters in the National League, including Manny Machado, Xander Bogarts and Fernando Tatis Jr.

That group should be powering this team to a lot more wins. Especially when they have a solid pitching staff, one that led all of MLB in June with a 3.17 ERA.

Yet they’re four games under .500 (43-47) and fourth in their division.

That still makes it unlikely they will make a major trade. Talk on the street is that the Padres are going to be buyers, not sellers, at the deadline. But they might welcome taking Soto’s contract for this year and next off the books right now so they can add better balance to their top-heavy lineup.

Another reason they might trade him is that those other big bats are signed for almost ten years each. They’re going nowhere. Add to that the fact that Soto has not signed an extension, and the Friars might be motivated to move him now. But because they’re a win-now team, they might prefer dumping his salary instead of getting a slew of prospects.

That would favor the Yankees.

They could eat all of his salary for this year and next. That would only come out to about 10 million for this year, perhaps 30 million for 2024. That might seem like a lot. But not when you consider Josh Donaldson’s 21 million will come off the books at the end of this season.

Talk about a major upgrade.

Soto would make the Yankees the team to beat in the AL, as long as Judge comes back. If the Yankees can get Soto, they should.

If not, however, here are some other players the team might target.

Yankees Look Below the Radar

Let’s start at third base.

The Cardinals might be willing to move eight-time All-Star 3B Nolan Arenado, but it’s doubtful the Yankees would want to add an aging player who is signed through 2027.

But would they be open to making a deal with the Red Sox for 3B Justin Turner?

He’s on a one-year deal and having a great season. Turner is hitting .288/.362/.462 with an OPS of .824. Throw in his 13 home runs, and the fact that he already knows the AL East, and you’ve got a great match.

Again, IF the Yankees and Red Sox want to work a deal. If not, the Bombers might want to look to the south side of Chicago and Jake Burger.

Burger continues to build a more than solid big-league resume. His average is a little down this year–.220/.278/.515–but he has hit 19 home runs. And his .792 OPS would still be second on the team, as would his home run total.

Getting him would definitely cost some prospects, though. The White Sox are a dumpster fire, their sweet dreams and flying machines in pieces on the ground. So they might be willing to part with Burger to get even younger. And the Yankees still have plenty in their farm system for such a deal.

From a salary cap perspective, trading for Burger would be easy for Cashman to swallow since Jake won’t be arbitration eligible until 2026. That’s even more true since he seems like a solid defender. He sports a .967 fielding percentage at third, with only three errors on the season.

That could work out well for the Boys in the Bronx.

And it better because those are about all the available third basemen this year. But again, Cashman sees things the rest of us don’t. One thing we can all see, though, is that there are a number of quality outfielders just waiting to be moved.

That’s where we’re going next.

The Yankees are Way out in Left Field

Since we are already in Chicago, we’ll start with Eloy Jimenez.

Jimenez is under team control through the end of next year, making him more than just a rental. So he will cost some prospects. But the White Sox might also value ditching his salary as they rejigger their roster. He’s owed about five million for the rest of this year, and 13 million next.

The Yankees have a lot more than that coming off the books next year, which might be well spent for this very good all-around player. He’s slashing .272/.315/.472, with a .787 OPS and 12 home runs.

All of that would be an instant upgrade for the Bombers. Then so would Victor Robles (.299/.385/.364), even with zero home runs. But the last thing the Yankees need is another oft-injured outfielder, so he's out.

A mild but still solidifying upgrade could come in the person of Charlie Blackmon. His line for the year is solid if unspectacular at .265/.347/.422 with only five home runs. Part of that is due to his broken right hand, however, which has had him out of action since early June. But he's due back any day now.

It's also important to note that those five home runs have come in only 56 games. That puts him on pace for roughly fifteen for the year, which is why his OPS is .769. And he's in the final year of his deal, so the Rockies know they're not getting anyone's top prospects.

Another player who becomes a free agent at the end of the year but would be a much more significant addition is Teoscar Hernandez.

The Mariners gave him a one-year deal, but their season hasn't unfolded the way they envisioned. At one game over .500, third in their division, and sixth place in the wild card, Seattle might soon be willing to part with Teoscar.

That would mean the Yankees could bring his slash of .250/.306/.448, along with 15 home runs and an OPS of .745, to the Bronx. He does strike out a ton, currently leading the AL in that category, but he does significant damage when he does connect.

One thing the Yanks have to think about when they bring in a player is how well they can handle the Bronx. So perhaps they'd be better off bringing in a player who's already played here: Andrew McCutchen.

Cutch is having a more than solid season for the Pirates, hitting .277/.369/.425. He's also on pace for a twenty-homer season, with ten already, and sports a lovely OPS of .808.

Plus, McCutchen is on a one-year deal--costing no major prospects--for only 5 million. That would make him the best value for the Yankees of anyone on this list. He, like Blackmon, is out with a minor injury, but as long he comes back healthy, he could be a great match.

Whew. That's a lot for the Yankees to think about. And this list only includes players from teams that are out of it right now. It's likely that teams such as the Angels, Twins and Mets might become sellers by the July 31st trade deadline.

That would add some interesting options, such as Michael Taylor and Tommy Pham. But I don't think the Yankees can afford to wait that long.

If GM Brian Cashman doesn't add one or two of the players on this list soon, they might be the ones selling.


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