Yankees Trade Possibilities: Prospects and Replacements
The Yanks have enough good prospects in the minor leagues and on their 40-man roster who could be an essential part of a valuable trade package or who themselves could join the team next year. Albert Abreu, Luis Gil, Luis Medina, and Nick Nelson could be included in trade negotiations for position players with other clubs on the pitching side. Clarke Schmidt, who has been injured, has shown great promise as a starting pitcher.
Unfortunately, Deivi Garcia, who has already started games for the Bombers and who it was thought might be part of the starting rotation this year, has regressed and has not performed well on the mound in Triple-A. He is now working hard to return to his old form.
Whether and if so to what extent the Yanks will want to part with either Schmidt or Garcia is uncertain, since either one or both might be future starting pitchers for the Boys from the Bronx. Neither one appears to have reached his full potential.
Nick Nelson auditioned for the bullpen earlier this season after impressing the Yankees in early stints as a relief pitcher. However, he did not pitch well and has been down in the minor leagues attempting to develop more command of his pitches.
Chris Gittens, who ably subbed for Voit when he was recently on the IL, has impressed everyone with his power. He hits and also fields well. However, the person who hit the most home runs in MLB last year is currently occupying that position and will likely be ensconced there for a long time. Thus, Gittens is a prime candidate for inclusion in a trade package this July.
Oswald Peraza is receiving high marks for his hitting and defense at shortstop. He just turned 21 on June 15, and he is probably not ready to play shortstop just yet.
However, if Torres is traded, Urshela could play shortstop while Peraza sharpens his offensive and defensive tools. Of course, the Yanks also could pursue one of the star shortstops in free agency this offseason. If they do, then Peraza would be a very valuable trade commodity.
Estevan Florial could inherit Hicks’ position in center field, which he may soon do. This will depend on whether the Yanks successfully trade for a center fielder in July, in which case he could be part of the trade deal.
Finally, two players who are not on the 40-man roster have recently been raking. Hoy Jun Park and Trey Amburgey have lit up the minor leagues playing for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRaiders.
Park, a middle infielder who has spent some time playing center field, is leading Triple-A with an impressive 1.134 OPS. He has seven home runs, 33 runs scored, and 23 RBI in 30 games.
At the same time, Amburgey has produced a .356/.407/.663 slash line, which includes six home runs and 34 RBI in 27 games. I saw him play close up in Spring Training in 2019 and 2020, and I was already impressed with his abilities then.
Park and Amburgey are performing as well as several of the elite prospects in minor league baseball and can help the Bombers if promoted to the majors as replacements for either Odor or Wade (Park) and either Andújar, Frazier, Gardner, or Hicks (Amburgey).
The sticky part (if you search me) is that neither player is on the 40-man roster, and two slots would have to become available for them to become part of the Yankees team roster. This would be difficult for Boone and Cashman to navigate, since their promotions would require very tough choices. Possible openings might occur via trades before the end of the July deadline, providing the Bombers some flexibility to elevate them and improve the team.
The Bronx Bombers have glaring deficiencies in their lineup, including too many right handed hitters. Let’s hope that they can address all or some of them before the trade deadline.
Of course, as we have recently seen, the Yanks have allowed terrific young players to get away. They need to be extra careful to avoid making similar mistakes in the future. If they make one or two intelligent trades, it will increase their chances of making the playoffs.
Otherwise, Yankee fans should brace themselves for a long, drawn-out, and painful second half of the season!