Following the departure of Aroldis Chapman for greener pastures in Texas (gone so soon?!), the 2023 trade deadline frenzy is officially underway, and plenty of former Yankees seem prone to switch sides.
Unfortunately, a few of those former Yankees have no chance of returning to the Bronx.
The Red Sox aren't trading James Paxton to New York (and you know his left arm would give out the second the ink on the deal was dry). Jordan Montgomery would be a nice fit right now, and could resume his mentor-mentee relationship with Gerrit Cole, but that's a no go. Thairo Estrada won't be set free from the San Francisco Giants' clutches for a very long time (though Rougned Odor is probably available).
The list of former Yanks spread throughout the league drones on and on, but it was actually difficult to find semi-feasible fits, as well as players who'd actually be welcomed back with open arms. Luke Voit's at Triple-A Syracuse. Gary Sánchez is swinging a weird bat for the Padres. Aaron Hicks? LOL. Gio Urshela, an excellent option, is sadly out for the season with a hip injury. As the Angels fall out of the playoff picture in Mike Trout's absence, that would've been one to follow. Jace Peterson? Who remembers him on the Yankees? Anyway, his versatility doesn't look so great while he's hitting .208.
Decisions, decisions. Ultimately, these three names -- all varying degrees of "available" -- would help keep the Yankees, in need of lefty bats and insurance arms, afloat down the stretch.
Lance Lynn, whose 116 strikeouts in 96 innings are remarkably impressive. Maybe a fun short reliever for someone, but knowing him, he wouldn't entertain a pitching change for even one second. Plus, remember his comments about Aaron Judge's side-eye from, like ... days ago? Chemistry killer. Can't have two consecutive deadlines where chemistry dies.
And, just for kicks ... it would be nice to be able to insert Mike Ford on the cheap in place of a struggling Anthony Rizzo right now. Ford has an .891 OPS and 7 bombs in 72 at-bats, at the moment. Alas ... no.
3 former Yankees who should return to New York at 2023 MLB Trade Deadline
D-Rob's curve is somehow as spry as ever at the age of 38, and though the Mets are in the midst of their first sustained hot streak in months (a four-game winning streak against contenders), even Steve Cohen has admitted it's getting late early out here.
Robertson remains one of the most dominant closers in baseball (1.6 bWAR, 1.88 ERA) and should be able to sustain that production through October as long as he isn't overused. Getting out of an environment where he's relied upon to be the stopper day in and day out should help him there. With the Mets, he's THE ANSWER. With the Yankees, he'd be just another guy in a stacked bullpen crew slotting in behind Clay Holmes, much the same way he was when they acquired him in 2017 behind Chapman.
Will Cohen's positive relationship with Hal Steinbrenner bear fruit here? Or will the two continue to use their friendship only to facilitate long-term contracts like Aaron Judge's without any interference?