The New York Yankees are going to have to do some wheeling and/or dealing to get their 2022 roster finalized at the upcoming trade deadline — yes, even though they’re well over 30 games over .500 as the end of June approaches. They’re great. They might be elite. They could be even better.
Among the Bombers’ targets, pitching depth and a left-handed bat for the outfield appear paramount. Though his tenure in pinstripes is less than a year old, odds are increasing daily that Joey Gallo isn’t a part of the Yankees’ depth chart when October arrives. In that case, he’ll be replaced by an experienced and versatile lefty like Andrew Benintendi of the Royals and Ian Happ of the Cubs.
Problem is? Everybody else wants them, too, and nobody wants to give the Yankees a clear path to their top targets.
If New York is going to get their wish, it’s going to cost them. So, who among the Yankees’ collection of top prospects is most likely to be traded/be the key to acquiring a frontline starter like Luis Castillo or a bat like Benintendi?
Shortstop Oswald Peraza, nearly atop the Yankees’ top prospect list, but behind Anthony Volpe, who plays the same position? Trey Sweeney, 2021’s first-rounder and another shortstop? Luis Medina, who can throw the ball 101 MPH, occasionally knows where it’s going, and will be a part of a post-2022 40-man roster crunch? Or … maybe someone else entirely will be key to this whole thing.
Yankees top prospect Juan Carela could be key to 2022 trade deadline
No offense — and Carela seems great — but isn’t he more likely to be a third piece/someone’s attempted steal rather than the centerpiece of any big trade? Shouldn’t the “most likely deadline chip” be a guaranteed departure rather than a shot in the dark?
Bleacher’s thoughts are as follows:
"Breakout prospects are often at the top of other teams’ target lists when trade season rolls around. Carela fits the bill in the Yankees system this year with a 2.31 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 68 strikeouts in 50.2 innings at Single-A. The 20-year-old began the year ranked outside the top 30 prospects in the organization, according to Baseball America."
While Carela could theoretically be the linchpin to a deal — the critical additional piece who decides whether something goes through or not — calling the right-hander their “most likely trade chip” when players like Medina/Peraza are so obviously front of mind (not to mention Gallo) seems disingenuous.
Plus, for the purposes of clicks, wouldn’t Gallo have been a more incendiary option?
For those unfamiliar with Carela, the 20-year-old right-hander has now upped his strikeout totals to 76 in 54.2 innings pitched this season at Low-A Tampa. Though he’s blazing through the system, he still qualifies as a project.
In other words, he’s the kind of chip the Yankees might have to kick in to overpay for a target they’d rather not surrender cash for, like the Anthony Rizzo package last summer. He’s far from their likeliest chip to be dealt, though.