What's the dumbest thing the 2023 Yankees could possibly do at Tuesday night's trade deadline? Absolutely nothing.
They remain in the thick of the Wild Card race, despite depressing recent struggles (and despite being tied by the Seattle Mariners and passed by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Monday night). If they wanted to bring in a competent left fielder and an extra arm, considering they're saddled with Anthony Rizzo/Giancarlo Stanton/DJ LeMahieu anyway, that would make some sense.
They also finished July 10-15, shedding momentum by the day. If they wanted to sell all the rental veterans Brian Cashman was examining on Monday evening, that would also make sense.
But they can't do nothing. They're not allowed to do nothing. Turning the other way from a golden opportunity is how stagnant businesses are run -- and what do you know? That's exactly what the Yankees franchise has become.
Several rental targets are already off the board, from Randal Grichuk (apparently didn't inquire) to Mark Canha (seemed like they were in a steady dialogue with the Mets, but who knows). A whole mess of two-month commitments likely won't save this ship, but a few multi-year targets might just steady it for the long haul.
We're not predicting all three of these moves will pay off, but considering the Yankees always seem to add one target everyone completely expects and one complete wild card, here's our last-ditch prediction before things hit the fan at 6:00 p.m. ET Tuesday evening.
Yankees Trade Deadline Predictions 2023
Harrison Bader/Clayton Beeter to Minnesota Twins for OF Matt Wallner
This one struck me as an out of left field (and out of center field) possibility as soon as FanSided's Robert Murray noted that the Twins are at least receiving calls on Wallner, a powerhouse lefty-swinging right fielder who's struggled to latch on at the MLB level this year (but has a .910 OPS with 5 loud homers in 62 at-bats).
In Triple-A, he's been thunderously good, hitting .297 with a .403 OBP and .927 OPS in 67 Triple-A games this year.
In exchange, the Twins will presumably want young pitching (Futures Game participant Beeter), as well as a veteran center fielder who might bring a slightly more potent bat than Michael A. Taylor. Byron Buxton, infamously, has not played center for quite a while.
Even though he's the Yankees' engine, it sort of feels as if Bader is the most likely veteran to go. The Yankees know where he stands entering free agency. They'll probably be his first call. He could always come back (I, personally, think the Yankees spurn him again this winter, but that's just my take). Minnesota is contending for a playoff spot with a worse record than the Yankees, one game over .500 and leading the Central. We live in hell. This trade intrigues me.