Maybe you don't believe in the 2023 Yankees. You know what? Totally get that.
Regardless of the rancid vibes at the moment, though, these Yankees reside in the thick of the playoff race. They're smack in the middle of Gerrit Cole's prime. Aaron Judge's, too. It would be great if he came back. Splurging wildly at the trade deadline to supplement a long-shot contender would be a wild miscalculation, but it would be irresponsible not to attempt to fuel and retool at the midway point in some capacity. If you, as a fan, would rather "lose so that Cashman gets what's coming to him!!" ... no. That's not how it works here.
Nobody should be off the table in trade. If somebody wants to rid the Yankees of a potentially troublesome veteran contract, they should be open to it. If they find a rich team that wants to act as the type of weigh station they should've been all along, they should shake hands. This deadline should involve some reshuffling aimed at 2023 and beyond -- and, most importantly, a pair of bats who can help both this year and next.
Whether it's a radical redesign or a helpful supplementation, the Yankees have to add someone. That means that a few of their current underperformers are at risk of being dropped and left unprotected.
There are a few current players on the 40-man who could be moved seamlessly from the shorter IL to the 60-day, which could clear up space for trades (Greg Allen, possibly Nestor Cortes). There are also a few players on the fringes of this conversation who could survive, but won't be guaranteed protection if things really get crazy (Albert Abreu). But three players stand above the rest in terms of nervous deadline energy.
3 Yankees whose 40-man roster spots could be lost at 2023 MLB trade deadline
Abreu would be first on the chopping block, considering how will Nick Ramirez has performed, if the Yankees weren't obsessed with his fire-breathing right arm. He's also pitched relatively well of late, holding things down at Citi Field and sporting an 0.96 ERA in his past seven appearances (9.1 innings).
Garcia, sadly, has been the low man on the 40-man totem pole for seemingly years now. It was shocking when Estevan Florial lost his spot before Garcia this spring, and it remains shocking, as the right-hander's bid to find his control as a short reliever at Triple-A hasn't gone as planned.
Garcia, now injured, sports a 1.74 WHIP and 5.23 ERA in 18 games (31 innings pitched) with Triple-A Scranton this season. We thank him for his service in 2020, as well as his three-inning save at Yankee Stadium against the A's earlier this season when the bullpen was on red alert, but something is very wrong here. The Yankees are three years deep in trying to figure it out, and haven't gotten any closer to the release point and zip that worked during his big-league cameo in the pandemic season. Maybe Pedro Martinez can get him right during some private sessions, but Garcia's next big-league trip -- if it ever comes -- likely won't be with the Bombers.