This Yankees Rumor Season has the potential to be the most painful of all, especially in the immediate wake of 2022's deadline splash that went nowhere (and somehow made the roster worse).
How do you trust a front office to thread the needle between buying and selling when their recent track record has been so poor? How do you trust a GM who's somehow landed on the wrong name 10 straight times, something that should be impossible given the odds of accidentally getting something right?
And how do you outright sell and wave the white flag when the Wild Card is so close during one of the few remaining years of Gerrit Cole's prime, even though every Yankee fan knows it'd be the correct decision in the end?
Often, the splashiest trade deadlines are the ones that leave teams all wet, while the summer swaps that rely on quantity (and excellent scouting) over perceived quality are the real winners. The 2021 Braves added Jorge Soler, Adam Duvall and Eddie Rosario, three moves that wouldn't raise your eyebrows unless you knew something the general public didn't. Alex Anthopoulos knew more than the fan base. He won.
Can the 2023 Yankees maneuver to an October dogpile from a similar position in the standings? Under someone else's stewardship, it might be possible. With Brian Cashman manning the operations, it's hard to envision a Randal Grichuk trade working out (or a Cody Bellinger trade, for that matter).
Yankees chasing Cody Bellinger, sure, sure, but Rockies OF Randal Grichuk is cheaper
You know how this works by now. If the Yankees trade for Grichuk, not Bellinger, their choice will hit a solid, powerless .255, while the player they scorned continues to rake elsewhere. If the Yankees pass on Grichuk, the Red Sox will get him, he'll be responsible for two late-game comebacks against New York, and Chaim Bloom will be lauded for hitting the right button instead of paying top price, a la Steve Pearce in 2018.
Grichuk homered against the Yankees on Friday (of course he did), but sat for the rest of the team's series with the Rockies while nursing groin tightness. Has there ever been a Yankees trade deadline target who didn't suffer from groin tightness? Sources are saying ... no.
The near-32-year-old with a 116 OPS+ in Colorado and solid defense to boot would be an intriguing addition, but wouldn't help balance the Yankees' lopsided lineup whatsoever (he's another righty). He's also a mid-tier option for a team that still feels five pieces away from contention; remember, it's funny that Grichuk kills the Yankees, not expected, based on his body of work. He's not Raffy Devers.
There's nothing wrong with acquiring Grichuk in a vacuum, and there's at least a chance that he's got a heater ahead of him and helps some team to the promised land. Knowing the Yankees' luck, though, it won't be them.