1 trade Yankees can make with every NL East team
By Adam Weinrib
Yes, here comes the six-team New York Yankees trade you’ve been waiting for! Get your pencils out and start scribbling, this could take a while…
Naw, just kidding. We’re here to pitch you one trade each the Yankees can make with the five rivals that make up the NL East.
You see one you like? Mark it down. You hate ’em all? Throw ’em back in the ocean. Mets fan? Maybe just scroll to the next article and leave the negotiating to Uncle Steve Cohen, alright?
He swears he’ll cross this boundary, so we’ll choose to believe him.
The Yankees have a myriad of issues to solve when the MLB Lockout is lifted, and we recommend they opt to fix as many as possible with good, ol’ fashioned money.
That’s not how Brian Cashman typically works, though.
He’d rather plunder assets who’ve lost value that he thinks he can turn around. He also likes to “win” the trades he polishes off, so there’s no need to speculate about massive overpays, or instances where he’s got to give to get.
Not his style.
A few of these posited trade targets are names you’ve heard before. One, in fact, is a name the Yankees swung and missed at last year, someone who seemed redundant until the season actually played out and we realized … oh, we don’t really have one of these types of guys after all.
Some are salary matches, some are bets on future earning potential, and some are desperation heaves with one foot out the door of the NL East.
All make sense for the Yankees in some capacity.
5 trades Yankees can make with each NL East team
5. Yankees-Nationals Trade: Josh Bell
Based on the Yankees’ recent behavior, this chunk could’ve easily read, “Desperately Trying to Woo the Recently-Retired Ryan Zimmerman Out of Retirement on March 25″, but no, we decided to pitch an actual trade instead of a rehashing of the Jay Bruce fiasco.
Josh Bell, who torpedoed the baseball in 2021, was available to the Yankees last offseason during their pre-Jameson Taillon discussions with the Pittsburgh Pirates. We vetoed it, in large part because New York already had a “slug first” first baseman installed named Luke Voit. He came with years of cheap control, and he was ours.
Unfortunately, Voit’s knee ran into several issues throughout the 2021 season, some of which seemed degenerative following a bone bruise. His absence led to the Yankees trading for Anthony Rizzo while he fell out of favor down the stretch.
Bell was far better than both of those names with the Nationals in 2021, posting 3.1 WAR, a 124 OPS+ and 27 homers, along with upper-echelon exit velocities and advanced metrics.
The ex-Buc ranks firmly among those who we discounted, with little to no data, because of their poor 2020 seasons. History will look back on this being one of the stupidest things a person can do.
Bell put up an 82 OPS+ and hit .226 in empty stadiums amid the throes of a once-in-a-lifetime (hopefully!) global pandemic. The year prior, he made the All-Star team with 37 bombs and a breakout 142 OPS+.
Maybe Bell’s 2020 wasn’t as determinative as people wanted to think it was, and the Yankees should consider flipping, say, Luis Medina and Everson Pereira for one full year of him (or possibly signing him next offseason if the position remains unfilled).