The 2022 New York Yankees remain extremely good, but no longer historically so. Luckily, their struggles arrived just in time for the trade deadline, when the rich get richer and the poor decide just how poor they’d like to become.
Unlike other recent trade deadlines, the Yankees are now under firm pressure to induce a major shakeup and vault themselves past the other upper-echelon teams. In 2020, the season was bizarre, and no one could decide whether a jumpstart was worth it, so Brian Cashman held pat. In 2021, Cashman pursued a desperate, last-ditch attempt to wake up his roster with the high-profile acquisitions of Anthony Rizzo and Joey Gallo, and it worked! Even the Gallo thing kind of helped.
This season? The Yankees don’t need a reimagining. They just need a few gaps filled to distance themselves (as best they can) from the Astros and Dodgers, teams that have nearly drawn even with the Bombers as New York’s flaws have been exposed.
Those deadline deals will, inevitably, leave a few players on the current roster high and dry. That’s the way it oughtta be.
Several Yankees with minor-league options will be the first to go (JP Sears, your destiny is to ride the roller coaster), but there are a few other Bombers who should find themselves either attached to larger departing deals or DFA’d when the time comes for major upgrades. And the clock is ticking.
3 Yankees players who must be gone after 2022 MLB trade deadline
3. Domingo German
Otherwise known as “The Worst Pitcher to Ever Take a No-Hitter Into the Eighth at Fenway,” as well as “The Most Fitting Pitcher to Watch a No-Hitter Into the Eighth at Fenway Become a Loss,” Domingo German proved (yet again) on Thursday that, even as a depth piece, he has no place on this current Yankees roster.
Sticking back their man through a domestic violence suspension that rocked the end of an otherwise-feel-good 2019 season, German returned in 2021 thanks to the Yankees’ decision not to “give up on” pitching depth. Sure. Fine. These days, though, there’s far better depth ahead of German in JP Sears and Clarke Schmidt. Every time German appears, fans should ask themselves, “Why isn’t this JP Sears or Clarke Schmidt? It could’ve been.”
The pitching-starved Yankees might’ve chosen to bend over backwards to accommodate German back in the day, but with a big-ticket rotation addition coming in a few weeks’ time as well (gotta hope!), there’s less than zero reason to preserve the homer-prone and regressing swingman on the roster. The right-hander is still living off a surprise 18-4 2019 season (again, which ended with a season-altering suspension), and barely held on in ’21 despite a 35th-percentile exit velocity, 45th-percentile hard-hit rate … and elite curve and fastball spin. Dammit.
Everybody knows the Yankees never want to cut bait on what they perceive to be talent, but keeping German past the deadline would be a bigger gaffe than starting him in the second game of a doubleheader against mighty Houston to make his season debut.