2. David Peralta (and Merrill Kelly?)
The Arizona Diamondbacks seem to think they might have an outside shot at the final NL Wild Card spot (and they just might, considering Dave Roberts believes they’re 37-44 in the “best division in baseball”).
Still, though, that’s no reason not to re-tool at the deadline at the very least, and Arizona has a few assets they should cash in.
34-year-old lefty-swinging outfielder David Peralta, otherwise known as The Freight Train, is in the midst of a secretly impressive season in the desert. He currently sports a 122 OPS+ with 11 bombs, but does come with some warts. He doesn’t get on base much (.319 OBP). He’s older than the other options. He has durability concerns (his only season of 150+ games was 2021). He hasn’t had an offensive season like this one since 2018, and typically hovers closer to league-average.
In other words, Peralta could bring a spark to the 2022 Yankees, but he could also bust upon arrival. Maybe the Yankees can use the D-Backs as a one-stop shop to soak up some of their floating innings, too?
Merrill Kelly, the crafty right-hander who’s under control on a reasonable deal through 2024, could also help patch things up. Kelly doesn’t miss many bats (74 Ks in 91 innings) and he won’t dazzle you, but he could also be exactly what the Yankees need in the second half to provide reliable outings and take pressure off Nestor Cortes/Luis Severino/Jameson Taillon.
Plus, there’s nothing wrong with a 119 ERA+. That previous paragraph may have led you to believe Kelly was Jaime Garcia. He is not.
Happ/Benintendi/Pederson are still the well-defined top three, but a Diamondbacks package deal could also be on the table.