3 trade targets Yankees must avoid at 2023 MLB trade deadline

The Yankees still shouldn't be shopping for rentals, and can't make mistakes on controllable players.

St. Louis Cardinals v New York Mets
St. Louis Cardinals v New York Mets / Jamie Squire/GettyImages
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Cody Bellinger, Chicago Cubs

Sorry to everyone who watched the Cubs' offense pants the Yankees just before the All-Star break, but, especially in the context of recent reports about saving cash, pursuing Cody Bellinger as a short-term fix doesn't make any sense at all.

As the summer has progressed, Bellinger has felt like a both a perfect fit and a Joey Gallo candidate, with his prognosis changing by the minute.

Left-handed swing perfect for the stadium, .319 average, 145 OPS+, balance to the order, center field defense that maintains continuity with Harrison Bader out ... how can this fail?!

$17.5 million AAV (with $5.83M remaining), 2021-22 OPS marks of .542 and .654, bottom-tier hard-hit metrics this season (and an incredible, late-arriving ability to cut down his whiffs from 150 last season to 48 in 2023) ... there's no way this works.

Yankee fans have been gun shy about everything the front office has tried in recent years, and are still ringing from Gallo turning out to be the exact embodiment of their biggest fears during his time in pinstripes. Adding salary for Bellinger, who could hit free agency at the end of the year whether he turns back into a pumpkin or plays himself into an expensive new contract, feels like a tale of two mistakes for a hybrid team stuck in the middle.

It's cool that Clay was his dad, though. Maybe next winter.