Once upon a time, we preached patience with the 2023 New York Yankees. They started the year incredibly injured and managed to remain in the hunt, rather impressively, with reinforcements on the way and four months of the season remaining.
But then Aaron Judge got injured and everything fell apart. Sure, the Yankees haven't fallen off their pace in disgraceful fashion, but they're not winning impressively and they're losing embarrassingly. They aren't supposed to look this futile without one guy, even if he is the MVP.
Assuming none of this corrects itself (because it never does, despite that being the Yankees' primary philosophy), we're going to go ahead and say the front office should do its best to blow things up as much as possible at the trade deadline. If this team isn't a contender in 2023 and the supporting cast around Judge isn't good enough, then why would that change in 2024 with the same people?
Fans already gave it a chance from 2022 into 2023. There were enough growing pains in 2022 for the patience to be razor thin if it all appeared to get worse mere months later after a fresh start.
So if this continues and Judge's timeline becomes more and more ominous, why not kickstart the retool process as early as August 1?
4 blowup trades Yankees must consider if Aaron Judge injury timeline worsens
Package a top prospect with Josh Donaldson or DJ LeMahieu/subsidize their departure
Josh Donaldson is coming off the books after the 2023 season, but it'd be good business to get rid of him sooner, particularly if it didn't cost the Yankees more than what they're comfortable with.
DJ LeMahieu is here through 2026, which, in hindsight, looks like a massive mistake (even though we can probably attribute last year's toe injury to his 2023 disappearing act).
For all the teams out there with a bit of money to blow, why wouldn't they be open to taking on either of these players for some younger talent? Why wouldn't they take on these contracts at a discounted rate? Since the Yankees are probably more hesitant on paying down what's owed to Donaldson and DJ, we'll assume attaching a top prospect with one (or both) of them is the move.
Brian Cashman had zero problem emptying the top end of the farm system last year for middling talent and injured players. Why wouldn't he conduct a version of that this time to save money and get a better outlook/headstart on 2024?