Yankees News: Juan Soto update, Gerrit Cole rehab, latest trade deadline buzz

Los Angeles Dodgers v New York Yankees
Los Angeles Dodgers v New York Yankees / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages
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The New York Yankees avoided getting swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday Night Baseball and will now prepare for a four-game series against the Royals in Kansas City before traveling to Boston for a weekend set against the rival Red Sox.

They just played their highly-anticipated series against the Dodgers without Juan Soto after he left Thursday's game with forearm discomfort, but he underwent tests, saw doctors, and received the proper treatment. The belief is that he will be fine.

Manager Aaron Boone went as far to say that "the hope" is that Soto will return to the lineup Monday when the Yankees face the Royals. Then again, Boone said Soto "could be" available off the bench for Sunday night's game, but then retracted later and said Soto was "probably never an option." Ok, then.

Whatever you say, skip. Either way, fans are itching for Soto to return, and the Yankees can't afford to go too long without him. Yes, they've built a nice buffer after their early-season performance, but Friday and Saturday were uncomfortable reminders that, without Soto, this is essentially the 2023 roster all over again.

Yankees News: Juan Soto expected to return Monday against KC Royals

Yankees fans chanted "We Want Soto" during Sunday night's game for the ESPN broadcast to hear. They wanted him to pinch hit on Friday when the Yankees needed to score late in the game and then in extras. They didn't get their wish, but maybe they will when the Yanks touch down in KC.

Yankees News: Gerrit Cole's second rehab outing goes well on Sunday

Another superstar Yankee is nearing his return as well. Gerrit Cole, who was on the FOX broadcast during Saturday's game, had his second rehab start on Sunday in Somerset, NJ, with the Patriots again.

The right-hander was nearly flawless, and built off of his first outing last week. Though he surrendered a home run, Cole ended up allowing just two hits through 4 2/3 innings of work. He struck out four, didn't walk a batter, and threw 44 strikes out of his 57 pitches.

We can feel his return, too.

Though Boone says the Yankees aren't going to rush Cole (duh), the belief is that he could be back for the weekend series against the Sox. If he needs another rehab outing, then we're probably looking at the O's series from June 18-20. Either way, Cole will probably be back for a heated matchup against a division rival and could get in a month's worth of work before the All-Star break.

Yankees News: Early trade deadline plans start to surface

Are you ready for the trade deadline, Yankees fans?! Though we've speculated plenty already here, buzz is starting to come to life in the form of reports from insiders Andy Martino (SNY) and Bob Nightengale (USA TODAY).

First, Martino reported that the Yankees are looking to reinforce the bullpen with a lefty, specifically one that can strike out batters. New York's bullpen, overall, has had a problem in that department, and the lefty options have been underwhelming.

Though it's unclear who they might target, Martino mentions John King (STL), JoJo Romero (STL), Taylor Rogers (SF), Garrett Cleavinger (TB), Tanner Scott (MIA) and Jalen Beeks (COL).

Speaking of Colorado, Nightengale mentioned the Yankees would "love to get their hands on" Rockies utility man Ryan McMahon, but there's no plan for him to be traded at the moment. Then again, everybody has a price, and the Yankees could certainly help a downtrodden Rockies franchise rebuild their franchise with some promising young talent.

Those are some good early returns to keep tabs on, but we're still seven weeks away from the deadline, so consider the lightest of appetizers as we get closer to the massive main course on July 30.