Yankees: 4 trade options to replace consistently injured players

New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 02: Aaron Judge #99, Aaron Hicks #31 and Brett Gardner #11 of the New York Yankees celebrate their 9-7 victory over Boston Red Sox of the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on August 02, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

There is a major opportunity to trade both Aaron Hicks and Aaron Judge in a blockbuster, multi-team package deal. The other teams involved would be the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

In this scenario, the Bombers would trade Hicks for Giants right fielder Mike Yastrzemski. Besides his impressive pedigree (his grandfather is Boston Red Sox Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski), he had a breakout year in 2019. He became the first Giants rookie to hit at least 20 home runs in a season since Dave Kingman hit 29 home runs in 1972, his rookie year. Yaz also bats from the left side, a significant benefit for the Bombers.

Furthermore, he had a solid slash line in 2020 (.297/.400/.568) with 10 home runs and an OPS of .968, and he is a terrific fielder. A late bloomer, 2021 will be his age-31 season. He is in the prime of his career and should improve his stats even more in the near-term future. His salary will only be $575,000 in 2021.

Simultaneously, the Yanks should trade Judge for Cody Bellinger, the outstanding center fielder for the Dodgers. He was Rookie of the Year in 2017. Bellinger had a spectacular 2019 season. He was selected MVP of the National League, received a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger Award, and played on the All-Star team.

Like Yastrzemski, Bellinger bats from the left side and will help diversify the current Yankee right-handed heavy lineup.

Bellinger is scheduled to earn $16.1 million in 2021. Given the Dodgers’ crazy high budget following free agency and recent signings during this offseason, the team may be seeking financial relief and could open to trading him if they can get someone of equal value in return. When it comes time to determine which Dodgers get extended (Corey Seager, Walker Buehler and Bellinger), it seems that slugger is the least-likely to earn a long-term pact.

These two trades will result in the Yanks jettisoning two often injured players for two players who manager Aaron Boone can count on day-in and day-out to show up and play exceptionally well. Of course, these scenarios primarily include the core players, and other players from both teams may have to be added to the negotiation mix. If these trades are made, Manager Boone will sleep well at night, knowing that he now has reliable players in both center (Bellinger) and right (Yastrzemski) fields.

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