3 reasons Yankees’ 2022 MLB trade deadline fell short yet again

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Happy with the New York Yankees trade deadline? There’s certainly a reason to be optimistic, but perhaps you’ve been fooled. The flurry of Yankees moves (outside of the final one) was largely take positively, but the lack of impact trades during general manager Brian Cashman’s tenure, especially over the last 10 years or so, might’ve made some fans think that his decisions at the 2022 deadline were deviations from the mean.

This isn’t a smear piece on Cashman’s overall ineffectiveness. He’s built a contending roster. He’s found gems. There’s no denying that. However, his flops are beyond notable, and his aggression (when it’s actually exhibited) is sometimes misguided (overpaying Gerrit Cole, for example).

Over the last week, Cashman’s brought in outfielders Andrew Benintendi and Harrison Bader, relievers Scott Effross and Lou Trivino, and starter Frankie Montas. Lots of action! But overly inspiring? Not quite. That award goes to the San Diego Padres.

Should the Yankees have been that aggressive? Depends what you think. They definitely didn’t need to be, though, especially with the most wins in baseball heading into the deadline.

That being said, we just don’t know if Cashman’s moves this time around were enough to thrust the Yankees to where they need to be. And two embarrassing losses immediately after Cashman’s final, deflating move has the vibes all off.

3 reasons the Yankees’ 2022 trade deadline just wasn’t enough

Andrew Benintendi #18 of the New York Yankees (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)
Andrew Benintendi #18 of the New York Yankees (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images) /

3. Andrew Benintendi Simply Wasn’t “The Guy”

If we’re to be totally honest, Andrew Benintendi, though seemingly a good fit because of his contact-heavy bat and Gold Glove defense, isn’t a move that strikes fear into your opponents. Look at Benintendi’s body of work. Outside of his dominant 2018 season with the fishy World Series champion Boston Red Sox, Benny is barely an above-average MLB player.

OK, fine, we’ll admit, we’ve said countless times that all we needed was an “average” player to replace Gallo because the results would be night and day, but the Yankees acquiring Benintendi amid a massive switch in approach at the plate just didn’t feel convincing.

Why wasn’t Ian Happ considered more seriously? Because he was a bit more expensive? Was Trey Mancini off the table because the O’s didn’t want to do business? If you were going to go the less expensive rout, why wasn’t David Peralta, who went to the Tampa Bay Rays, more seriously targeted?

The difference here is that all of the above players either had more upside or displayed more overall consistency than Benintendi. Happ has two years of control and is a promising lefty bat that can hit for average and deliver ton of pop. Mancini, though that acquisition likely wasn’t attainable, is an all-around impact veteran slugger. Peralta, though not as flashy, has been a rock-solid bat whose hitting profile has remained consistent throughout his career, with his average taking a dive as he continues to get older and increase his power (he’s about to turn 35).

Yankees fans didn’t even want Peralta, though! We’re just comparing him to Benintendi as an equally “cheap” option that would’ve yielded the same results and cost the Yankees less in a trade package.

This is obviously much easier to write after Benintendi has started his Yankees tenure 1-for-20 with six strikeouts, but the 28-year-old overperforming in Kansas City shouldn’t have really sold anyone. And he’s not vaccinated and, as of now, can’t play in that final series in Toronto, which is growing more important by the day.