4 out-of-nowhere trade targets Yankees’ Brian Cashman can surprise fans with

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Don’t kid yourself, Yankees fans. General manager Brian Cashman, for as frustrating as his moves can be sometimes, is largely a premier talent evaluator and usually shocks the baseball world either in the offseason or at the trade deadline with some of his acquisitions.

The Giancarlo Stanton trade blew everyone away in 2017. Most recently, Anthony Rizzo arriving in the Bronx a year ago was the stunner of the 2021 deadline. Rarely are the Yankees involved and following through on the most rumored/high-profile subjects overtaking the news cycle.

That’s why, though Luis Castillo and Juan Soto sound great, fans need to exercise caution. Even other options like Andrew Beintendi and Joc Pederson seem too good to be true with all the market competition that’s expected to surround them.

So it’s important to have some insurance options. Teams that are falling out of the playoff race by Aug. 2 might be surprise entrants into the seller’s market. Depth on non-contenders could be pillaged, too, if the right packages are offered.

Before you become too enamored with the surface-level names dominating social media, keep a few of these guys in mind over the next week, because we surely wouldn’t fall off our chair if Cashman landed one of them.

Yankees under-the-radar trade targets Brian Cashman could land at deadline

Matt Moore #45 of the Texas Rangers (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Matt Moore #45 of the Texas Rangers (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

4. RP Matt Moore

How about one more deal to fleece the Texas Rangers before we can’t trade anymore? The Yankees stole catcher Jose Trevino from them, swiped Isiah Kiner-Falefa in a deal with the Twins that Minnesota made so they could get rid of Josh Donaldson, and then signed Matt Carpenter after he requested his release from the Rangers’ Triple-A team.

Though the Rangers are still “in” the playoff picture, they’re an unlikely Wild Card team at best, which means the front office should sell any remaining assets so they can better position themselves for 2023.

Reliever (and former starter!) Matt Moore is having his best year since 2013 in a totally new role. He’s been an effective bullpen arm for Texas, logging a 1.61 ERA, 2.57 FIP, 1.21 WHIP and 50 strikeouts in 33 games (44.2 innings) so far. That’s no fluke, either! Moore is boasting unreal advanced metrics (94th percentile or better in hard hit percentage, xwOBA, xERA, xBA, xSLG and barrel percentage). He’s only struggling with walks and curveball spin, and we’re sure pitching coach Matt Blake can help fix that.

Moore, 33, is a rental and could provide multi-inning relief out of the bullpen, which will help now that Michael King is done for the year. He won’t provide the same impact as King, but anyone who can throw more than one inning possesses that much more value.

The left-hander’s three-pitch mix (curveball, four-seam fastball and changeup) has wildly thrown hitters off now that he’s emphasizing his nasty curve more than anything else in 2022.