Yankees complete deadline with questionable trade for Angels lefty
The trade deadline is over. Or, as everyone will say now because Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo are in town, “finito.”
The New York Yankees initially rocked MLB by acquiring Gallo and Rizzo on Wednesday and Thursday, but then cooled off for the next 24 hours. They made one more deal before the buzzer sounded at 4 p.m. ET on Friday, though.
General manager Brian Cashman added some pitching, but many would argue this move won’t be impactful. Why?
Well, you remember left-hander Andrew Heaney, right? The guy the Yankees tattooed in the Bronx earlier this year in that horrific series agains the Los Angeles Angels.
He’s coming to the Bronx in exchange for two minor-leaguers. Did the Yankees need starting pitching at this year’s deadline? Not necessarily. Their offense has mostly been holding them back.
Extra pitching, regardless of the role, is usually good, but a guy with a 5.27 ERA in 18 starts? Hmm.
The Yankees traded for Angels pitcher Andrew Heaney on Friday.
OK, how about some positivity surrounding Heaney? His FIP is 4.05, which is considerably lower than his disastrous ERA. He’s struck out 113 batters in 94 innings of work, putting him in the 76th percentile for K% and 73rd percentile for whiff percentage. He also has a solid walk rate (7.7%) and gets batters to chase (91st percentile).
Not bad. Some things to look forward to. But a career 4.57 ERA and 1.26 WHIP? Eh. And he’s thrown more than 105 innings in a season just once. He’ll be a free agent after this year, though, and the Angels are shipping money to the Yanks to cover his salary.
As for the prospects headed to LA, nothing special. Janson Junk, a right-handed pitcher, is the headliner (No. 27 in the Yankees’ farm) after a resurgent 2021 season. He’s got a 1.78 ERA in 14 games (12 starts) at Double-A. He got destroyed in 2019 and rebuilt his trade value this time around, so you can call it a win for Cashman.
Elvis Peguero is going to the Angels too. Another right-hander, Pegeuro was enjoying an all-around nice year after his struggles from 2017-2019. He’s 4-1 with a 2.23 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in 21 games at High-A and Double-A. The reliever has struck out 57 batters in 44.1 innings.
At the very least, the Yankees can use Heaney to make starts rather than putting “TBD” on the schedule and/or eat innings out of the bullpen when they’re running low on arms. His fit is to be determined, which is why this is questionable given the team’s actual dire need in the bullpen.