This Yankees-Angels trade could get New York the infield help they desperately need

New York Yankees v Los Angeles Angels
New York Yankees v Los Angeles Angels / Harry How/GettyImages

Whether DJ LeMahieu locks down the starting third base role for the Yankees down the stretch may have very little to do with his overall performance. After all, if Anthony Rizzo continues flirting with a more permanent benching, LeMahieu might be needed to split reps at first base, at the very least. LeMahieu himself isn't contributing much offensively right now, either, and Gleyber Torres should be thankful he isn't aging and under contract for multiple seasons. Otherwise, he'd be in the crosshairs, too.

When is an infield logjam not a logjam at all? When there's a discernible issue with three of a team's four current starters. Even if Jon Berti returns and Oswald Peraza proves valuable, the Yankees will still need to address their current deficiencies with, at the very least, a new utility option.

Enter Luis Rengifo of the Angels. Remember last summer, when everyone realized at the exact same time that Jeimer Candelario was having an All-Star season with a Nationals team no one was watching? He became a deadline commodity instantaneously. Rengifo, an underrated switch-hitter who can cover second, third, and short, carried a 130 OPS+ through the weekend's action against the Astros, accruing 1.4 bWAR and hitting .316. He's under team control through 2025, making just $4.4 million this season.

Considering the Angels' forthcoming very obvious teardown hasn't even begun yet, the Yankees need to get in on the ground floor here and supplement their offering. If only Billy Eppler was still around ...

Yankees should pursue Luis Rengifo trade at MLB Trade Deadline

Of course -- when is there not?! -- there's an injury fear to monitor. After a big swing-and-miss on June 7, Rengifo took some time to collect himself before returning to the box. He played the next two games of the set against Houston, collecting a pair of singles, but any twinge is worth noting.

This represents the switch-hitting Rengifo's first real breakout season, but he's been a valued contributor with a slightly-above-average bat the past two years, too (102 and 111 OPS+ marks), and should theoretically be peaking now at age 27. Some hypothetical Rengifo packages floating around the YankeeVerse the past few days have included willing overpays; Will Warren, still seemingly part of the Yankees' near-immediate future, doesn't feel like a necessary inclusion. The Angels are always looking for pitching, though, dedicating entire drafts to filling that gap (unsuccessfully).

How about a package where LAA takes their pick between Kyle Carr and Clayton Beeter as a headliner, supplemented by an MLB-ready relief option in either Danny Watson or Jack Neely? If it comes to Warren or Brock Selvidge, then so be it, but the Yankees shouldn't sprint to the front of the line using their best bargaining chips.

Either way, it's best to preempt the bidding war and grab Rengifo now. The Angels aren't getting any better, but everyone else might notice what you're eyeing.