Despite their lead in the American League East, the New York Yankees have plenty to improve upon. They are one of the least productive teams when singling out many different positions, the starting rotation has been shaky all year, and the bullpen just lost its anchor, Andrew Miller.
Fortunately, there is one deal within reach that could give the Yankees the most bang for their buck.
Here’s the proposal:
Here’s why this could work: The Reds are doing horribly. They are eleven games behind the Cardinals and the only thing keeping them out of last place is the Brewers, arguably the worst team in baseball.
Chapman is on a one-year deal, and rumors are already stirring that the Reds might be interested in moving him. In June, his ERA has been north of five, and he’s been slumping for over a month. Phillips, on the other hand, is signed through 2017, and is owed over $20 million. He has a no-trade clause, but he may waive it for a contending team like the Yankees. Either way, neither of these players are going to be a part of the Reds’ future success, and keeping them is just costly.
The Reds would be able to replace a veteran second baseman with another veteran second baseman who can also play shortstop, and would free up a lot of salary space for years to come. In addition, Rogers would not only fill the void in the Reds’ bullpen, but with his low salary, the Reds could likely get the Yankees to pay for both him and the majority of Chapman’s remaining $8 million obligation for 2015.
The Yankees need the jolt at second base. They are ranked second worst at second in terms of Wins Above Average, and Drew, with by far the most plate appearances for a Yankees second baseman this year, is a big part of that. Despite his nine home runs, he is batting .173 and has a WAR below one. Philips, on the other hand, is batting .308 with a 1.4 WAR, and is a solid defender with four Gold Gloves.
The Yankees also need a jolt in the bullpen. The Yankees’ bullpen is ranked second best in the American League in terms of Wins Above Average, and given the fact that the Yankees are far below average at nearly every other position, it is fair to say the bullpen is a major reason the Yankees have been able to maintain their spot atop the East.
In order for the Yankees to keep winning, that strength needs to be sustained. Dellin Betances and Justin Wilson are tied for the most relief appearances in the American League, and Andrew Miller is tied for fourth. With Miller now on the disabled list, that will only get worse, especially if Betances is the only power reliever the Yankees can rely on. Chapman would put those concerns to rest, and his power arm would fit right in.
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