3 Yankees top prospects who will absolutely be trade chips this summer

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The New York Yankees appear to have a World Series contender on their hands. So let's celebrate!

Ok, enough celebrating. Now it's time to reinforce what we've already got in place and make sure nothing's leaky by the time it reaches October. That means relievers. That means starting pitching depth. That means any left-handed bats who can prevent the entrance of Trent Grisham in a key situation. Think, people.

To get where they want to go, the Yankees are going to have to surrender some of their notable prospect capital without mortgaging too much of the future. After all, they have to be sustainably priced next year, per Hal Steinbrenner. They also want to sign Juan Soto long-term. That means 2025 Yankees fans are going to learn to speak prospect -- but, still, some of them have got to go this summer. Expect these names to be floated in significant trade talks.

Surprisingly not included on this list? Oswald Peraza, a former top-100 prospect whose value is now at its lowest point. We're not here to debate the merits of holding onto him in 2023 and 2022. We're just here to note that, with an impending hole forming at second base next season, trading away a potential candidate now, in exchange for very little, probably wouldn't be the Yankees' smartest call.

Yankees Top Prospects Who Will Be Trade Chips at 2024 MLB Trade Deadline

Everson Pereira

The Yankees' outfield logjam, in an ideal world for 2024 and beyond, is getting a bit ridiculous. Not every prospect is going to hit, everything is a cautionary tale, and so forth, but as of now, the Yankees must find room for Aaron Judge, Juan Soto, Jasson Dominguez and Spencer Jones, and DH reps appear likely to be taken up by Giancarlo Stanton moving forward. Who knows how long Stanton's productivity will stretch, but that proposition no longer sounds as dire as it once did before the season. Stanton is now a member of an elite trio of Yankees -- alongside Soto and Judge -- with 15+ homers in the first 62 games of a resurgent season, something the franchise had never accomplished before 2024. If healthy, he'll be playing.

Everson Pereira, currently a top-five Yankees prospect, had a less-than-ideal 2023 MLB cameo, but has gone right back to mashing this season in Scranton, hitting 10 homers in his first 162 at-bats, good for an OPS of .858. As a repeatedly blocked righty bat, Pereira represents the exact type of prospect the Yankees should be looking to move off of. He seems quite good! He's not an upgrade on Judge or Soto. He isn't more tantalizing than Dominguez or Jones. He's just ... talented, and would benefit someone else's roster.

Only issue here? Everyone else knows what the Yankees know, too. They know he's blocked, and they won't let the Yankees off the hook cheaply if they try to get away with offers featuring Pereira surrounded by spare parts. "We really hate to see him go, but ..." Yeah, no one's buying it, Cash.

Jared Serna

Every summer, the Yankees take extra care to move Rule 5 eligible prospects, especially ones they don't plan to protect when the winter comes. Last year, that led to Juan Carela changing hands in the Keynan Middleton trade, and ... well, nothing else. The Yankees made no trades. Instead, they held onto Mitch Spence long enough to see him stolen by the A's, and that seems to be working out pretty well so far for Oakland/Sacramento/Las Vegas/World Showcase.

This summer, expect Jared Serna to fit this particular bill as he rises through the system. Serna was technically eligible last season, but nobody felt bold enough to try to sneak him through their big-league roster all year, a process that has already resulted in Matt Sauer being returned to New York.

This year, the 22-year-old, 5'7" Serna has mashed 11 homers and driven in 41 runs with an .839 OPS in Hudson Valley. The Yankees more than likely won't protect him, given their glut of upper-level second base options (Peraza, Caleb Durbin, Jorbit Vivas), and should look to include him as an intriguing secondary piece in a larger trade. Keep an eye on all other Rule 5 eligibles, too (Yankees who signed at 18 or younger and have played five seasons in the system/19 or older and have played four seasons).

Roderick Arias

You have to give to get in this grand game. When push comes to shove, which highly-touted name will the Yankees be more willing to include as a centerpiece: the projectable 2024 preseason top-100 shortstop who's fallen down the ladder a bit, or the 2023 first-round shortstop whose Single-A walk numbers portend a second-half rise?

Someone's going to try to convince the Yankees to sell low on George Lombard Jr. this summer, but Roderick Arias should be the player they're more willing to part with, given the impending logjam at the position (and Anthony Volpe's dominance in Year 2).

We're not saying they should move him. We're saying that, if teams press, Arias is the name who should be on the block as a sweetener in a difference-making deal. Thus far, he's hitting .205 with a .637 OPS at Single-A Tampa as a 19-year-old, and some estimates still believe he might eventually grow out of the position. The electricity is there, but the bat has not followed the linear path many were expecting after his impressive spring showing. Arias still represents a "get," and should only be reserved for game-breaking midsummer blockbusters. Still ... he shouldn't be untouchable.