The New York Yankees had…folks…an active trade deadline for the first time since 2017, when they acquired Tommy Kahnle, David Robertson and Todd Frazier in a big-time deal with the White Sox.
This time, this very flawed team also filled a large variety of their needs…well, not really, actually. They filled one of their needs massively, twice, and then added a few arms at a low cost as well, securing Clay Holmes, Joely Rodriguez and Andrew Heaney.
There were also a few unsavory rumors along the way. Some of them, we talked ourselves into. Most of them, we sweated out until a little bit past the 4 PM deadline.
At a certain point between Thursday night and Friday afternoon, it really seemed like the Yanks were about to sacrifice instant offense for little-to-no reason just because of an awkward positional fit. That would’ve been weird.
All in all, it’s impossible to be disappointed with this trade deadline haul, especially after the world screamed at Brian Cashman for months about how righty-heavy the lineup was, only for him to respond with two heavy lefties.
Could the bullpen have used a boost? Sure. Might there have been a way to hybrid buy, and deal a couple of spare parts for prospect capital? Yeah, barely. But overall, Cash did a fantastic job navigating the landscape, as well as staying away from these temptations, which began to seem like extremely bad ideas over the past 48 hours.
The Yankees and Brian Cashman avoided these 3 trade deadline mistakes.
3. Trading Luke Voit for Peanuts
Can you trade Luke Voit? Depending on who the Yankees sign this offseason (Corey Seager? Sure.).
But should you trade him at a severe discount at the 2021 deadline when no one seems to want him? No. Nope. Noooooo. And the Yanks didn’t.
Voit, ninth in the MVP race in the shortened 2020 season after leading all of baseball with 22 home runs, has barely had a bad stretch in the Bronx…when he’s been on the field. In the second half of 2018, he went nuclear, with a 193 OPS+. Factoring in an awful second half of 2019 when he battled a horrifying sports hernia, he still OPS+’d 123 that year, too.
Add in the value he provides in the clubhouse and the fact that he’s been one of the only Yankees willing to call out the team these past few years when they’ve needed it, and you can’t justify dealing him at his lowest value. Since when can the struggling Yanks simply say “No” to offense?
In the offseason, if things materialize the way the Yankees expect them to, and Voit and Gio Urshela become trade bait in the chase for a shortstop, fine. We’ve come to terms with it. But right here, right now, play Giancarlo Stanton in the outfield, bench Brett Gardner and figure it out later. The Yanks were wise not to succumb to the pressure here. Rizzo + Voit is better than Rizzo without Voit.