Will the New York Yankees buy or orchestrate a mini sale at the July 31 trade deadline? It all depends largely on the team’s play after the All-Star break.
We can keep talking until we’re blue in the face about who we think general manager Brian Cashman will trade for. It’s useless. He doesn’t listen to us! We don’t know why.
However, what we do know is that the trade market is moving four weeks out and a number of candidates the Yankees should be interested in will likely be aggressively sought after. What else is there to worry about? Fellow contenders and division rivals getting even better for the second half.
If some of the early rumors are any indication, that’s exactly what’s happening. As usual, it won’t be easy finding the talent that fits at the right price, but is it ever easy?
Nope! It’s not. The Yankees have gone two straight years without making a momentous deadline acquisition, and that simply has to change if the organization still believes the current core can still make it to October.
Looking ahead, however, Cashman should have a backup plan to a backup plan to a backup plan, because some guys might get scooped up earlier than you’d think.
Here are three early trade rumors that should worry the Yankees before the deadline.
3. Blue Jays interested in Richard Rodriguez
The Toronto Blue Jays, who are right there with the Yankees in the AL East standings, just made a trade with the Miami Marlins, so it’s clear their plan is in motion. They acquired reliever Adam Cimber and outfielder Corey Dickerson to bolster their bullpen and outfield depth (if Dickerson comes back from injury) … two areas the Yankees also need to consider.
Now, according to MLB insider Jon Heyman, the Jays remain interested in Pirates reliever Richard Rodriguez. Is Rodriguez expected to be a Yankees target? No, but he’ll make the rival Blue Jays even better, which could hamper the Yankees’ ability to take a leap in the playoff picture.
Rodriguez, who’s wasting away in Pittsburgh, figures to be a prime trade candidate on the relief market because of his 2.59 ERA and pristine 0.80 WHIP. The right-hander would be a matchup nightmare for the Yankees, who have a right-handed heavy offense. Additionally, the bullpen has cost the Jays so many games thus far in 2021. If that unit makes any sort of progress, then expect Toronto, which already has two MVP candidates in Marcus Semien and Vladimir Guerrero Jr., to give the Yanks even more trouble.
Do. Not. Want. This.