It’s the best time of year, Yankees fans (Ed. Note: It’s the literal worst time of year): figuring out which actual contenders might be willing and able trade partners for a mid-year rebuild and retool!
This Bombers team is certainly not going to the World Series in 2021, as currently constructed. Will they go on some sort of a sustainable run in the second half? Seems unlikely! This team has the heart and firepower of the Cowardly Lion on a broken-down steam engine.
So, where do we go from here? A full rebuild would be absolutely painful, and also absolutely unnecessary. The Yankees need to compete every year, especially while they’re paying Gerrit Cole and Giancarlo Stanton, and it would be nearly impossible to strip this roster bare enough to get them down into 60-win territory.
Plus, which GM do you want leading that complete McKinsey-style rebuild? Exactly.
Though trading Aaron Judge, Gio Urshela and Luke Voit would both look gross and feel gross, there’s no reason the team shouldn’t try to sell worthwhile and expensive parts to contenders this deadline. Aroldis Chapman should’ve been gone last week. Zack Britton might want to hurry himself back so he can get traded. Justin Wilson might not be long for this world, either.
Why did this team dole out so many bullpen contracts? Ugh. Can they trade Adam Ottavino again?
In attempting to shuffle these spare parts to contenders — and both Chapman and Britton are of a relatively high pedigree — the Yankees should look to plunder the middle portion of each team’s Top 10 prospects. Every team looking for an upgrade — or one team that we’ll focus on, which is stuck in a similar rut and looking to switch things up — has a top prospect or two who’d be a great fit on any roster, except for the fact that he’s blocked by an entrenched big leaguer, a similar prospect, or a little of both. We’ve got one on our side, too, in shortstop Anthony Volpe, who’s raking behind Oswald Peraza/Gleyber Torres/Huge Upcoming Offseason Signing.
We tried to be reasonable here and not shoot too high given the various constraints involved, but these three trade targets seem like perfect chances for the Yankees to clear up a tough situation.
The Yankees should target these 3 blocked prospects in trade.
3. Patrick Bailey, San Francisco Giants
The San Francisco Giants are, as of now, the best team in the National League. Though much of the baseball world still believes in their inevitable backslide (at least to somewhere behind the Dodgers), they will certainly remain an active team at the deadline in an effort to cement their status.
Much of their success is due to Farhan Zaidi’s genius at filling in the margins, swiping castoffs across the outfield and pitchers like Kevin Gausman at rock-bottom prices. However, you can also explicitly credit a series of remarkable bounce back seasons from players who were left for dead in the last dynasty. Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford have regained their footing, but Buster Posey, a 34-year-old catcher many believed to be on his last legs, has been the clear standout.
Though he might not be behind the plate much longer, Posey is hitting .330 with 12 homers in a campaign that’ll have you appreciating his value. If he falters, lucky Giants: they also have a top prospect behind the plate in Joey Bart.
So where does that leave 2020 draft pick Patrick Bailey, sixth on the Giants’ top prospect list and now firmly behind an icon and “the future” at the position? Add in the fact that the powerful 22-year-old is currently struggling at High-A, hitting .195 with a .290 OBP, and he should be considered a prime target in a Britton deal, with the Giants agreeing to soak up plenty of remaining cash.