Could Blue Jays steal Yankees’ target at 2022 trade deadline?


The New York Yankees are exceedingly talented, overflowing with chemistry, and booming in mid-June, but that doesn’t mean their roster is perfect. The bullpen lost three core pieces when Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, and Jonathan Loaisiga went down, and the outfield rotation still consists of the underperforming Joey Gallo and Aaron Hicks on a semi-regular basis.

No matter how high above .500 they get (hopefully, even further!), Brian Cashman will be snooping around at the trade deadline to try to find relief options, starting rotation insurance, and some left-handed outfield bats that can help sustain production 1-through-9.

Unfortunately, the Toronto Blue Jays will reportedly be looking for the exact same thing — and, considering they’re behind the Yankees in the standings in a season that was supposed to be theirs, they might be willing to pay a higher price.

Not saying nothing can be done about it! We’re just saying what we’ve heard.

According to MLB insider Robert Murray on this week’s episode of the Baseball Insiders podcast, he’s hearing rumblings that the Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals match up very well, with the Jays seeking left-handed bats and the Royals coveting some of Toronto’s young pitchers.

It doesn’t take an expert dot-connector to get to the bottom of why this might bug the Yankees.

Blue Jays could pursue Andrew Benintendi, Royals lefties instead of Yankees

As much as the Yankees might wish their AL East competition had no intention of getting better, that won’t be the case this summer. The Blue Jays are scorching hot, the Rays are 10 games over, and early dreams of a Boston sell-off were remarkably premature.

Per Murray, the Jays will be seeking left-handed bats in their likely talks with the Royals, and could accidentally find themselves interested in relief arms, too (isn’t everyone?), which would mirror their recent pursuits of Adam Cimber and David Phelps.

Now … left-handed bats … who on the Royals is a left-handed bat? Well, first and foremost, Andrew Benintendi. The 27-year-old in his last season of team control will either be traded or extended, and Kansas City would be foolish not to heavily shop him as midsummer approaches.

On a lesser scale, Nicky Lopez, Ryan O’Hearn, and Kyle Isbel all fit those particulars, too, but … you’d have to think the Jays will pursue Benintendi first and foremost, with maybe a Scott Barlow or Josh Staumont-type bullpen arm tacked onto the back end of the package.

Maybe the Yankees pivot to Ian Happ to maintain their excellent chemistry, on Anthony Rizzo’s recommendation? Regardless, it’ll sting a bit if Benny ends up on the wrong AL East team yet again.