The 2023 Yankees' season has been equal parts enticing and frustrating.
Exciting: The team is well over .500 in a loaded AL East after shrugging off a brutally mediocre April.
Frustrating: The injuries, man. The injuries just don't stop. Add in a pile of maladies to a plan that included not adding a left fielder or left-handed bats on offense, and you've got something between a juggernaut and a house of cards.
The Yankees are good. They could be great.
So, where will they pivot at the trade deadline to help fill out the roster? Left-handers at the dish will help. Outfield backup plans will be crucial. Jake Bauers might be a diamond in the rough -- over the weekend, he and Aaron Judge were the only Yankees players with .900+ OPS marks -- but the revolving door in left field has already discarded Aaron Hicks and Oswaldo Cabrera before the universe brought Cabrera back on a flight to LA. They could use, at the very least, some options at the position.
And, after all, isn't it usually the team that trades for Eddie Rosario that wins the deadline, rather than the GM that plunders the All-Star team for Andrew Benintendi? This summer, Brian Cashman should call a few aggrieved teams about their powerhouse outfield options.
Outside of Randal Grichuk (discussed here) and Tyler O'Neill (discussed here, probably a bad idea), the Yankees have options.
Yankees Rumors: New York's Outfield Targets at 2023 MLB Trade Deadline
Seth Brown, Oakland A's
We know, we know. Don't trade with Oakland. But ... have you seen the other side of the Frankie Montas deal lately? The Yankees might not have gotten much of the anticipated upside in Montas' arsenal, but they stuck the A's with several prospects who can't get their ERAs under 7.00. Maybe it's the Vegas A's who'll want to avoid talking to Cashman moving forward, instead.
If Oakland's up for it, though, the Yankees should contact them regarding patient slugging outfielder Seth Brown, who's gotten somewhat buried this season due to an oblique injury that kept him on the shelf as the A's fell to 6-84, or whatever their current record is.
Last season, the 29-year-old Brown posted a 117 OPS+, socking 25 homers and driving in 73 runs for a punchless offense. Steroid-suspended Ramon Laureáno is widely viewed as the better player (as his 1.5 WAR this season for a team stuck in drudgery will attest), but because of Brown's injury and slow start to 2023, teams might be able to pry him loose from the A's at a discount.
And, let's face it -- if you're going to take a chance on any of Oakland's damaged goods this summer, you'd better do it at a discount.
Other option in green and gold? Brent Rooker, who might be Oakland's lone All-Star, but also might be DFA'd by the end of the summer (according to CBS Sports) like Jesús Aguilar just was.