2. Tanner Scott
Apologies to AL East stalwart — and former Yankee! — Richard Bleier, who was going to occupy this slot until his recent struggles may have knocked him further down the board.
Tanner Scott is a wild card, and fits the bill as a cheap potential addition who the Yankees could spin into gold, as long as they believe in him.
He’ll cost next to nothing, and was already jettisoned by the Baltimore Orioles just before Opening Day this season. He’s subtracted 0.2 WAR during a volatile tenure in Miami, posting a 1.41 WHIP … but that obscures the fact that he’s buzzsawed 59 batters in just 41.2 innings, holding onto a 4.32 ERA. He’s also controllable through 2024, if the Yankees feel like celebrating the anniversary of the Clay Holmes trade by trying it again.
Scott’s Statcast numbers are outright hilarious. He’s upper-echelon in nearly everything, elite in all strikeout-related metrics (96th percentile whiff percentage, 91st K percentage, 98th [!] fastball spin) and hard-hit data (93rd percentile average exit velocity).
His walk percentage? Second percentile. Second! All Scott does is whiff and walk people. Think we’ve, uh, identified the challenge here, Coach Blake. Have at it.
Scott will be available at the 2022 deadline for a lower-end trade chip (unless the Marlins’ expectations are way too high), and he’s got plenty of AL East experience. At best, he’s easily fixable and becomes a weapon down the stretch. At worst, he’s buried alongside Aroldis Chapman for use in blowouts.