The New York Yankees‘ trade deadline needs have changed tremendously over the past month, with more cracks beginning to appear in the rotation and bullpen than were initially anticipated.
Jameson Taillon’s struggles were one thing, but Luis Severino’s injury and Michael King’s season-ending elbow fracture have changed New York’s calculus significantly. Now, the Bombers need as high-profile a starter as they can get and a bonafide bullpen arm, rather than a roll of the dice.
That means that beyond the addition of Andrew Benintendi — despite his vaccination status — there’s a significant chance the Yankees need to cash in their chips for Luis Castillo and David Robertson instead of a second offensive upgrade (or a superstar like Juan Soto).
The offense … it’s not finished either, though. The Yankees just capped the season series against the Houston Astros hitting .151 collectively, an unfathomably bad number. If the two teams clash in October, New York’s lineup has to be healthy, and can’t be dormant again. That comes from superstars showing up, sure, but the depth has to be improved.
Instead of blowing the league’s doors off with Soto, New York might instead pivot to a much less painful trade for someone like David Peralta of the D-Backs, a power provider in a different mold from Benintendi, who might not mind being a bench piece.
FanSided’s own Robert Murray predicted Peralta would be a Yankee on this week’s episode of the Yanks Go Yard Podcast, and in case his name still doesn’t ring many bells for you, MLB.com’s Mike Petriello made a compelling case about why his power makeover may be for real.
Yankees could find surprise power in David Peralta trade
As Petriello shares, Peralta’s advanced metrics and red-hot hard-hit numbers come from a tangible change, not accidental luck, during his age-35 season:
"All of a sudden, after what looked like years of decline, Peralta is hitting the ball hard again. This isn’t a fluke, either, because it’s coming with considerably more swing-and-miss — his 25% strikeout rate would easily be a career high — and just look at how he’s suddenly lifting the ball."
Whether this power production is sustainable or not is anyone’s guess. What analysts do know is that Peralta attacked his “old” swing this offseason in the lab with Michael Brantley and emerged striking out more while hitting the ball much harder. He’s nearly 35 years old and won’t be a slam-dunk starter (and will hit free agency next year), but even the old, declining Peralta never posted an OPS under .728 in a single season. There’s value here — and likely more than there was in 2021.
The old Peralta lived up to his Freight Train nickname from time to time, but the new-and-improved Peralta seems like someone who’d enjoy going Porch from time to time.
If the Yankees walk away from the deadline with Benintendi, Peralta, and very little pitching, a confident fan base won’t be satisfied. If New York had traded for Peralta instead of their newest ex-Royals All-Star, fans likely would’ve been furious because of the difference in pedigree.
However, he’s also not the David Peralta most fans are used to, and his pop may very well be for real. It’s possible New York could’ve enhanced the amount of damage they’ll do in Aug. and Sept. while giving up less if they’d traded for this D-Back instead of their newest former foe-turned-left fielder.