If the Yankees are to make the postseason again in 2021, general manager Brian Cashman will likely have to put in an outstanding performance before the July 30 trade deadline.
It’s been a season of ups and downs in the Bronx, but the team continues to maintain a win-now philosophy and reinforcements are needed to change the face of a flawed roster.
We asked five MLB.com writers to come up with a realistic trade proposal that could put the Bronx Bombers back on track for success this season. These were said proposals.
Story to New York
Yankees host: SS Trevor Story, LD Jon Gray
Rockies host: SS Oswald Peraza (No. 4 Yankees prospect), RHP Albert Abreu (No. 18)
Luke Voit has been unable to stay healthy for most of the season, leaving a void at first base. There’s a simple solution that would improve the Yankees’ infield on several fronts: Get a shortstop. Adding Story would allow Venezuelan Gleyber Torres to return to second base, while DJ LeMaheiu would move to first base. And besides, they would receive a starting pitcher (Gray).
For the Rockies, Peraza is a standout 21-year-old prospect who could replace Story in a year or two. Abreu is a hard-hitting right-hander who could end up in the bullpen, but he would still be another young arm for the Rockies’ arsenal.
A mega change for José Ramírez
Yankees host: 3B José Ramírez, OF Bradley Zimmer
Indians welcome: SS Gleyber Torres, RHP Luis Gil (No. 5 Yankees Prospect), OF Kevin Alcántara (No. 12)
Yes, the Yankees need more outfielders than infielders right now, but this change would impact 2022 and 2023 as well, not just this season. The Yankees roster is not well armed, with too many right-handed hitters and little flexibility. It would not be easy to part with Torres, who is just 24 years old and produced 62 home runs with an .849 OPS in his first two seasons, but the Yankees need to do something to save their core title hopes.
Ramirez, a two-handed hitter and established star who finished in the top three in MVP voting in 2017, 2018 and 2020, would be the spark plug the franchise needs. The Yankees already have a third baseman with Colombian Gio Urshela, but that shouldn’t stop them from going for a player of Ramirez’s caliber. Plus, with Luke Voit injured again, the Yankees are going to need DJ LeMahieu to handle first base, leaving second base free for Ramirez. This trade could also help New York fix its center field problem. Zimmer doesn’t have a lot of power, but he’s a fast player who can handle center field, hits left-handed and has a .368 on-base percentage the last two seasons.
The Bombers get the All-Star from the Pirates
Yankees host: OF Bryan Reynolds
Pirates receive: RHP Luis Medina (No. 7 Yankees Prospect), RHP Alexander Vizcaíno (No. 9)
A single player is not going to solve the Yankees’ woes, but they desperately need help in the outfield. Bryan Reynolds would be a legitimate help. He ranks in the 94th percentile in outs above average. It runs well, something few Yankees do. And that’s not to mention his profile as a hitter. He is among the leaders of the Big Carp in batting average, slugging and expected wOBA, which speaks volumes for the quality of contact he’s making. In addition, he has been the same player since he debuted in 2019, which speaks to the maturity of the 26-year-old. If the Yankees need anything, it’s a hitter who makes good contact and has a consistent attack plan.
Mars in the Big Apple
Yankees host: OF Starling Mars
Marlins host: RHP Alexander Vizcaíno (No. 9 Yankees Prospect), RHP Albert Abreu (No. 18)
The Yankees desperately need the following: 1) left-handed hitters, 2) outfielders, and especially 3) a center fielder. Although he is hitting to the right, Marte would fill the biggest gap, as he is a solid center fielder with power and speed, something the Yankees lack. The 32-year veteran is having another solid season, with career-highs at OPS + (128) and walk rate (11.8%), as well as 19 stolen bases. That said, he will be a free agent at the end of the season, so the cost of acquiring him will not be exorbitant.
Whit would fit in the striped uniform
Yankees host: OF / 2B Whit Merrifield
Royals receive: OF Estevan Florial (No. 10 Yankees Prospect), 2B Ezequiel Durán (No. 15)
Merrifield is the same mold as DJ LeMahieu, the type of player the Yankees could use in various roles. It would fit nicely in center field (or a corner), considering how much New York need help on the prairies. But they could also put him on second base with LaMahieu at first, which would make sense because Luke Voit is injured. Merrifield is a contact hitter and fast running back, quite different from the profile of several members of the Bombers’ lineup.