With the July 30 MLB trade deadline looming, most Yankees beat writers have assumed that the team will most likely be buyers rather than sellers in the market. Baseball analysts such as Jim Bowden, Matt Meyers, Mark Feins, and Jon Paul Morosi, for example, echo this sentiment.
Also, manager Aaron Boone, GM Brian Cashman, and owner Hal Steinbrenner have strongly intimated that the Yanks will indeed be buyers and not sellers. They believe that the team is still in the playoff hunt, and they feel that they have the established players to configure desirable trade packages.
The club also has several attractive prospects they can barter. However, the Yanks do not have a “can’t miss” number one pick who could be dangled as tantalizing trade bait.
Therefore, any major trade deal will likely have to include more than one of their solid prospects, along with current established players, to increase the overall value of a package and land a superb player or two who can contribute immediately.
Despite great anticipation at the beginning of the season, fans have been extremely frustrated with how poorly the Yanks have performed, and for good reason.
Their middling record would be acceptable if the Bombers were in a rebuilding mode (like the Detroit Tigers and Baltimore Orioles) in 2021. Instead, the club began the season as a solid bet to reach the playoffs and the World Series. This is unlikely to happen unless talented reinforcements arrive.
While the starting and relief pitching has been surprisingly fine overall, major offensive indicators reveal a struggling team. The Boys from the Bronx are 16th in batting average, 17th in hits per game (predominantly singles), and ninth in home runs per game (1.30).
Even worse, the Savages are last in the MLB in doubles per game (1.19) and 28th in RBI per game (3.68). After Sunday’s game against the Boston Red Sox, which they embarrassingly lost 9-2, they possessed an extremely disappointing -4 run differential.
Perhaps the most surprising and painful shortcoming we all have witnessed this season is the inability of the once-powerful offensive Yankees to drive in runners in scoring position. With RISP, the team has a .216 BA (29th), .304 SLG (30th), .627 OPS (29th), 11 HR (27th), 160 RBI (30th), and GIDP (the most). The paucity of home runs with RISP is a killer. Ouch. Enough said.
The Bombers will have to part with both prospects and established players if they hope to acquire a high level of talent and improve immediately. Below I identify which Yankee players are safe (at least for now) and will remain, which players have a 50-50 chance of being traded, who most likely will be let go, and finally, which prospects are likely to be included in trade negotiations or retained and promoted as possible replacements for current players.