1. Nick Castellanos/Jesse Winker
One or the other. Doesn’t matter. Either will work. Winker would be preferable because he’s a lefty, but Castellanos is likely more available if the Cincinnati Reds were to conduct some sort of a fire sale.
The Reds are on the road to nowhere once again. Getting maximum value for one or two of their best players wouldn’t be the worst idea, but then again, there’s been no inclination either of them will be available. On the other hand, for the right offer, just about anyone is available.
Let’s get Winker out of the way first, because he probably won’t be traded. The 27-year-old has two more years of club control after 2021 and is finally not hampered by injuries this season. He’s one of the best hitters in the National League, slashing .348/.411/.635 with 37 runs scored, 13 homers and 29 RBI through 45 games. He destroys right-handed pitching and can play all three outfield positions.
Castellanos is probably the more realistic target, and we can chalk that up to the fact that he’s owed a total of $48 million through 2023 (which will probably be around $40 million for the Yankees if he’s acquired at the deadline).
He’s improved upon his defense the last three seasons in the corner outfield spots (mostly right field, though), but he’s played most of his career at third base. If the Yankees were to make a splash, they’d have to move Castellanos to left, where they currently have no able bodies, and use him as a part-time option at third base in the name of lineup flexibility.
At the moment, he’s leading the league with a .356 batting average (Winker is second) and boasts a 1.051 OPS. Across 47 games, he’s scored 36 runs, 12 homers and 31 RBI. That’s worlds better than any Yankee right now, including Aaron Judge.
What’s even better is the fact he’s a high energy dude. He talked trash to the Cardinals and caused a benches-clearing incident. He blasted commissioner Rob Manfred. Let’s get one of these guys, please? We’re sick of the “ya knows” and “well, uh, yeahs” in every postgame presser. Give us someone who’s going to set the record straight and inject some life into a lineup that should be full of it.