Even the angriest and most cynical New York Yankees fans should be pleased with the team’s player haul before the July 30 trade deadline. The club acquired first baseman Anthony Rizzo from the Chicago Cubs and outfielder Joey Gallo from the Texas Rangers.
Rizzo and Gallo are smart, outstanding ballplayers, and both bat from the left side (finally!). Additionally, Rizzo, in particular, has excellent leadership skills and has been to the World Series as recently as 2016. He will help in more ways than one.
General manager Brian Cashman also nabbed relief pitchers Joely Rodriguez from the Rangers and Clay Holmes from the Pittsburgh Pirate,s as well as starting pitcher Andrew Heaney from the Los Angeles Angels. At the same time, the Bombers jettisoned relief pitchers Luis Cessa and Justin Wilson, both of whom went to the Cincinnati Reds.
The Cashman haters out there (I know there are many) should realize that he made these deals without giving up any of the team’s most prized prospects. Moreover, he persuaded the Cubs and the Rangers to pay Rizzo’s and Gallo’s 2021 salaries to stay under the luxury tax threshold.
This is why MLB insider Jim Bowden, who has graded every team’s trade transactions, gives the Yanks an “A” for their moves. He argues that Rizzo and Gallo “are offensive game-changers for New York.” Also, both are athletic and substantial defensive upgrades.
But for all the good these moves bring, how will they affect the rest of the roster? In particular, these two starters could be facing significant changes in their roles on the Yanks.