The New York Yankees addressed their first of many needs by acquiring contact specialist Andrew Benintendi from the Royals as outfield insurance.
Sadly, though, Benintendi doesn’t seem to move the needle in the power department, which has long been the Yankees’ calling card. He’s an excellent hitter and a change-of-pace, but he’s not known for the thump of, say, Joc Pederson, star of both Atlanta’s 2021 World Series run and the Dodgers’ 2020 run before it.
Pederson would’ve been an ideal Yankee target as the Giants, his current team, slip further into the abyss away from Wild Card contention. So would Carlos Rodón, who would be an excellent trade kicker (of bats) in any deal, and recently reached an innings threshold that pushes him into free agency after this season.
Against the better judgment of the baseball community, though, the fit is not to be. San Francisco reported themselves as non-sellers again on Thursday morning, meaning rentals like Pederson and Rodón might just stick around by The Bay for the long haul.
Benintendi might’ve blocked a Pederson push anyway, but (extremely long sigh) come ON, Giants!
Yankees won’t match up with SF Giants at 2022 MLB Trade Deadline
The Giants are Farhan from contention at the moment, but still plan to sit on a multitude of assets (unless they reverse course over the next few days). That means not only will Rodón and Pederson be staying put, but dark horse Yankee targets like Mike Yastrzemski and Thairo Estrada (!) also are not to be. And that’s sad.
Some of this residual anger is surely directed toward the Red Sox, too, by proxy. If San Fran won’t sell under .500, then perhaps the Sox won’t decimate their core, either, even though America is right on the verge of something special here.
Pederson, for all his October thump, would not represent a change-of-pace in the Yankees lineup at present. He’d be more of the same. He doesn’t shy away from the swing-and-miss. He’s only two points higher than Benintendi in OPS+ (125 to 123).
Still, though, the more markets that close off, the more frustrating the overall picture becomes. The problem with the Tigers and Marlins is that the Tigers and Marlins haven’t smelled an important game in a decade. The Giants are fresh off a 107-win season, and Pederson is fresh off an October full of champagne celebrations.
Whatever. Their loss.