The New York Yankees currently possess a perfect blend of talent and chemistry, but there are holes on the well-built roster that just haven’t shown themselves yet. For example, while observers might feel comfortable with the current bullpen, it’s easy to forget they’re already three late-inning arms down from what they projected to have when the campaign began.
Jonathan Loaisiga says he’ll be back soon, but how “back” will he be? Do fans even want to welcome Aroldis Chapman back? And when will everyone acknowledge how big a permanent loss Chad Green is?
Don’t even get fans started on the outfield, either; the fact that the Yankees have managed to zoom to the top of the AL East while giving regular plate appearances to Aaron Hicks and Joey Gallo has left scientists baffled. The second things go south, all blame will be immediately shifted to those two, players who the Bombers have proven they can win in spite of, not because of.
So, how does Brian Cashman balance the talent already in the room with the necessary caulk for covering up gaps? He’ll need to seamlessly blend in an additional late-inning bullpen option, some trustworthy outfield depth, and maybe even an additional starting pitcher/swingman to take some innings pressure off Nestor Cortes/Jameson Taillon.
But he shouldn’t go anywhere near these guys.
The Bombers’ quest for capable depth shouldn’t involve rolling the dice on players in the midst of significant struggles just to get a minor discount, nor should it revolve around historically average players having excellent seasons. Why would you pay a C+ at a B+ price? When push comes to shove, Cashman should tell these players to shove off.
4 MLB Trade Deadline targets Yankees must avoid
4. Frankie Montas
Frankie Montas seems like an excellent arm to have in your arsenal. He was the prize of the offseason, but stayed put long enough to become the prize of the trade deadline, too.
If the Yankees could have him for free? Sure! Welcome aboard; we’ll figure out the rest later. Unfortunately, at what’s sure to be an extremely high acquisition cost, the Yankees should be nowhere near Montas.
Could the Yanks use some starting pitching depth? Absolutely. A swingman type would do them a great deal of good and allow them to bump someone like JP Sears one rung further down the depth chart. But the Bombers have the top rotation in baseball in 2022, fueled by Gerrit Cole … as the No. 5 starter (or, at least, the fifth-strongest performer).
If a major injury occurs pre-deadline, the Yankees might have to reevaluate their position here, which could lead to extreme and previously-unnecessary prospect shedding. That would be a massive bummer for multiple reasons, obviously.
As things stand now, though, the Yankees should use their deadline to try to take the second-half pressure off their rotation, and not to surrender multiple controllable pieces in exchange for a guy with a 3.40 ERA but only 80 strikeouts in 76.2 innings pitched. Let the Giants and Dodgers fight over him instead.