The New York Yankees are a solid baseball team in 2021. They have eclipsed the pitching heights most people foresaw for them. They have hit just enough to be competitive, though not enough to be among the league’s elite or overcome the changing baseball.
Unfortunately, for most fans, they have also been flat f***ing boring.
This is what happens when the core issues that have afflicted the team for the past four years persist and grow instead of lessen. This is what happens when the same players encounter the same injuries, miss the same amount of time, and struggle to overcome the same tendencies.
This is what also happens when players given prime opportunities to shine, like Clint Frazier as the starting left fielder or Mike Ford as the fill-in first baseman, simply do not, and either backslide or look like their 2020 vintages, consistently unimpressive.
Joey Gallo, the most oft-rumored lefty bat for the Yankees’ trade deadline dealings, would change the roster tremendously. He would provide light-tower power from a side of the plate where the Bombers remain deficient.
He also, for many viewers, would not be an entertaining upgrade, both narratively and on the field.
Gallo’s successes and failures look a lot like the Yankees’ successes and failures thus far. He hits towering home runs. He strikes out at a record-setting pace. He is a very good baseball player who would positively affect the team’s championship window, but he is a new coat of paint on the same Buick.
Fault Yankees fans all you’d like, but for good reason, many would rather see this lineup transformed by a stabilizing force than acquire Gallo, another in a long line of power hitters entrusted to do one better than those who came before him.
The Rangers’ slugger would be an excellent addition if the Yankees are able to get ahead of the field and acquire him. These three players, however, would leave the lineup looking a lot more altered than Gallo would.
These 3 Yankees trades would remake the lineup more than a Joey Gallo addition.
3. Andrew Benintendi
Are Yankees fans starting to get that Johnny Damon/Wade Boggs itch a little bit, or just me?
This time around, there’d be a middle man between the Yanks and Red Sox in bringing Andrew Benintendi over to the other side of the rivalry. The Kansas City Royals, in yet another “win now, maybe” move they completed this offseason, traded Franchy Cordero for two years of Benintendi’s services, with many more PTBNLs thrown into the deal from both the Mets’ and Royals’ sides.
The Yankees should get revenge on the Red Sox by trading for Andrew Benintendi.
It made total sense. At the time, Benintendi was a bounce-back candidate who could either accompany Carlos Santana, Mike Minor and Greg Holland as low-cost veteran additions on an AL Central contender, or stand with that group in limbo come July. In a matter of days, KC went from sporting the best record in the AL to riding an 11-game losing streak firmly to the middle of the pack.
The versatile Benintendi has not followed that trajectory, though, tweaking his swing in a manner that pays tribute to his collegiate stance while immediately reaping the benefits. In his past 15 games, he’s slashed .362/.397/.483. Past 30? .303/.364/.431. He now sports both the highest exit velocity and hard-hit percentage of his career.
Plus … wouldn’t it just … feel good to steal someone who was the perfect Yankee Killer in Boston? The Red Sox let him get away, despite having a swing tailor-made to devastate the Yanks with the short porch for decades. Now, there’s a solid chance he’ll be available again, and his $5 million pro-rated salary for ’21 will fit easily under the luxury tax without any additional maneuvering required.
This is both doable and offers a different look to the roster. A look we assumed would torment us for years to come until Boston decided to pivot. Make them regret it.