The New York Yankees look like certified sellers at the 2023 trade deadline, but unlike the summer of 2016, they don't have a lot of valuable rentals to spread around.
That year, the decision was obvious. An expiring Carlos Beltrán having an All-Star season had to go. Andrew Miller, with all that control, could net a king's ransom (if only the Yankees knew they'd need him the very next year ...). Aroldis Chapman? Apparently, he had every intention of returning in the offseason (sigh) so it made complete sense to take advantage of the Cubs' century-long desperation (wish they'd extended him instead).
This summer? Clearly, the team is uninspiring, offering gut-punch after gut-punch, but ... who goes? Gleyber Torres? Is it worth losing that potential offensive punch just for someone's 15th-best prospect midsummer? Michael King and Clay Holmes? You could sell that, but King isn't doing a great job of selling himself right now.
Instead of a full-scale sell-off, the Yankees will probably still try to execute a hybrid model on the fly. They're stuck with Giancarlo Stanton, Anthony Rizzo, and DJ LeMahieu ahead of Aaron Judge's return, right? Might as well (sigh) try to add offense in the meantime. With that in mind, you might see the Yankees take your breath away by dealing someone you'd previously perceived to be important (think Jordan Montgomery last summer).
These three deals could be the 2023 equivalent of that "shocker," as the Yankees look to sell high on players they might not be optimistic about long-term.
3 trades Yankees could ruthlessly execute at 2023 MLB Trade Deadline
Dylan Carlson for Clarke Schmidt
Former top-100 prospect outfielder whose star has lapsed for former top prospect pitcher figuring it out after a brutal start to his career? This is a Brian Cashman/Michael Fishman special. Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.
Dylan Carlson, right now, is emotionally hurt. The 24-year-old switch-hitting outfielder was essentially named a part-time player on Monday night ahead of Tyler O'Neill's return, and he responded by leading the Cards to victory (and auditioning for the Yankees in the process).
Despite the scuffles, Carlson has still been worth positive bWAR (0.8) this season in a limited number of at-bats (169). His OPS sits at .710, good for a 96 OPS+ mark in this current offensive environment. He's been passable, but he's played far below his pedigree. He's a switch-hitter, and he's the kind of player Cashman and Co. love to save, a la Aaron Hicks.
What would it cost to obtain him (and we promise the Yankees want to obtain him more than you, personally, do)? How about Clarke Schmidt, a starter who was on a far worse trajectory than Carlson just two months ago, but has since righted the ship? Surprisingly 27 years old (college baseball plus Tommy John will do that to you), Schmidt developed a cutter this offseason to help him solve lefties, but still found himself unable to tame them through April and May, putting his rotation spot on thin ice. He's since gone on a run, with ERAs under 4.00 in May, June and July.
How much do you believe in Schmidt long-term in a championship rotation? The WHIP is still high (1.34). The lefties still love him, though slightly less than before (.292 average, .867 OPS). Lately, he's looked like a solid No. 4, but still faces the possibility of losing his rotation spot when Nestor Cortes Jr. comes back, considering how well his stuff played up in the bullpen last year. Dealing Schmidt would feel counterproductive, but the Yankees just ran this same calculus with Monty last summer and decided they could produce another one. Would you be stunned to see history repeat itself?