If the New York Yankees want to survive this season, they will HAVE to make trades before the deadline. There’s no other solution.
If they don’t, they run the risk of missing the playoffs altogether and having an unruly fanbase revolt like it’s 1790s France. Those two instances simply aren’t options.
So now what? We’ve been talking obvious trade targets, like Trevor Story, Kris Bryant and Max Scherzer. Guys that would undoubtedly move the needle and usher the sirens of change in the Bronx. With one of those acquisitions, someone is getting displaced and the Yankees are moving on.
But what about players atop their game at the moment that we haven’t necessarily talked about a whole lot? We’ve mentioned them, but they all now warrant a greater discussion.
General manager Brian Cashman is always looking for the sweet spot in a trade. Don’t go after the players in the highest demand. Avoid bidding wars. Don’t inherit prohibitive contracts in the middle of the season. All understandable.
With the proper aggression, the Yankees could theoretically get their hands a couple of these players without surrendering massive hauls, but each of them does warrant some sort of an overpay, especially if Cashman wants to shut the door, be done with it, and upgrade the roster without any questions or hesitation.
The theme here? Stop prospect-hugging and just bring capable MLB talent to a roster that has World Series potential.
Here are four unexpected trade targets the Yankees should overpay for.
3. Ketel Marte
We’d certainly like more experience from Ketel Marte, but the talent, versatility, and potential to burst onto the scene are all there.
Marte’s been an injury-prone player, but his two full seasons that featured 153 and 144 games were good, especially his All-Star campaign in 2019. The Yankees need a centerfielder that can do something — really, anything — and Marte, though he’s been slowed by a hamstring injury, is already slashing .328/.370/.537 in his first 18 games.
A bat that can hit for average would sure be great, huh? Across 609 career games since 2015, Marte is hitting .284. His .789 OPS has been dragged down due to a rough second year with the Seattle Mariners before he was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Put him in a lineup surrounded by actual (quasi?) hitters and you can bet he’ll rake. He’s done it in Arizona twice on mediocre (at best) rosters.
As for the versatility, he can play center field, shortstop, second base and third base. And he’s got at least a .960 fielding percentage at all of those spots. He’s signed through 2022 with team options in 2023 ($8 million) and 2024 ($10 million). He’s making $6.4 million this year and $8.4 million next year.
Does that fit the budget, Hal? It might if Clint Frazier heads the other way!