4 underrated targets (and mock trades) to bolster Yankees' lineup before trade deadline

These four trade targets could help cure the Yankees' offensive struggles.

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The New York Yankees have the second-highest payroll in Major League Baseball this season, yet their 94 team wRC+ is 21st among all teams in the majors. With Aaron Judge out for the foreseeable future with a toe injury and much of the Yankees’ starting lineup faltering offensively, the team is in need of an offensive spark.

When Ronald Acuña Jr. tore his ACL in July 2021, the Atlanta Braves – despite losing their star player for the season and being 44-44 – made numerous trades to re-tool their outfield, propelling them to become World Series champions

Although Judge has a chance of returning this season, the Yankees should take a 2021 Braves approach in re-tooling their offense sooner rather than later. Here are four players the Yankees should be inquiring about as the trade deadline approaches:

4 trade targets for Yankees at 2023 MLB Trade Deadline

Jeimer Candelario

After a down year in 2022 preceded by two productive seasons in 2020 and 2021, the Detroit Tigers non-tendered Jeimer Candelario last winter. Looking for a bounceback in 2023, Candelario signed a one-year, $5 million contract with the Washington Nationals.

So far, the signing looks as if it’s one of the best from last offseason, as Candelario’s 2.4 FanGraphs Wins Above Replacement (fWAR) is the third-best among third basemen. With Candelario on an expiring contract and the Nationals in no place to contend, it would make sense for the team to explore a trade.

If he’s traded, the Yankees would be one of the best fits for Candelario. With Josh Donaldson and DJ LeMahieu struggling immensely, Yankee third basemen have the fifth-worst fWAR among third base groups in MLB and have faltered offensively with a 78 wRC+, the fourth-worst among third base groups.

Candelario would be an instant upgrade for the Yankees, as his 117 wRC+ would be the second-best among qualified Yankees and his seven Outs Above Average (OAA) would be the most on the team.

Mock trade: 

Yankees acquire: Jeimer Candelario

Nationals acquire: Luis Serna (Yankees No. 17 prospect) and Anthony Hall (Yankees No. 19 prospect)