Athletic insiders pitch Yankees trades that make Jim Bowden varying degrees of upset

Trading with the Cardinals is risky, but the guy at the store said we're the only ones he's ever seen pull it off.
New York Yankees v Seattle Mariners
New York Yankees v Seattle Mariners / Alika Jenner/GettyImages

One month before the 2023 MLB trade deadline, the Yankees appear to be clear buyers, for both this season and beyond.

Any team with Aaron Judge (theoretically) and Gerrit Cole mid-prime that also possesses a weakened offense should probably address that. This flawed roster is in the thick of the Wild Card race but, perhaps more importantly, has the option to be Not Flawed next season. Left-handed bats will be essential moving forward.

In anticipation of a trade deadline Aaron Boone proactively called "boring," Athletic Yankees insiders Chris Kirschner and Brendan Kuty crafted seven different potential packages that could bring about the desired shakeup in the Bronx. They picked clear sellers and hybrid sellers to work with (hello, San Francisco, what are you), then passed their thoughts along to ex-MLB GM Jim Bowden.

Some of their ideas intrigued him. Some of their ideas grew on him. And one of their ideas made him so angry he almost rage quit.

Note to self: If I run across Jim Bowden in a crowded room, it's probably a bad idea to ask him about the benefits of Lars Nootbaar. Kuty pitched a "Nestor Cortes Jr./Elijah Dunham/Drew Thorpe for Nootbaar" swap with the Cardinals, to which Bowden replied, "I absolutely hate this trade idea."

Ok, then! Thanks for the feedback!

Yankees trade deadline possibilities: Nestor Cortes for Lars Nootbaar? Just say HARD NO.

As Bowden continued, he wouldn't even swap Cortes for Nootbaar straight up, failing to see the same player the advanced metrics predict could exist someday.

"I think Nootbaar is a fourth outfielder, not an everyday outfielder. He’s a below-average defender in center field and isn’t going to hit enough to play a corner on a regular basis. I realize everyone loves his exit velocity, makeup and competitiveness. But I just don’t think he’s going to hit enough."

Jim Bowden

Nootbaar does feel like an intriguing fit in the Harrison Bader mold, but perhaps the cost won't be so aggressive after all. A bench player sounds like an underwhelming addition, but the Yankees' bench is ... also quite poor. Maybe not so bad.

Other trades discussed include Cody Bellinger/Joc Pederson maneuvers, which would require the Giants and Cubs to take steps back and think hollistically (would the Wild Card Giants really dump an elite October slugger?), as well as potential Joe Kelly/Lucas Giolito/Jeimer Candelario/Andrew McCutchen moves.

Our own Robert Murray says Cutch isn't moving again, so as intriguing as it would be to bring him back on and up the team's OBP, we wouldn't count on the swashbuckling Buccos being so ruthless.

Every trade listed seems less than ideal, but we live in a less than ideal world where the Yankees' current offensive stalwarts are regressing and every team with anything of value is in the Wild Card chase. As long as we don't leave the deadline as angry as Bowden thinking about Nootbaar, we'll probably have to be satisfied.