The Yankees have a big decision to make going into the trade deadline on July 31st. Do they buy, sell or stay put. I’m going to tell you why they should be buyers. On July 31st 2016, the Yankees were sitting at 52-52 which put them a few games out of a playoff spot. They struggled all season long and were probably going to sell weeks before the deadline. This year is a different story. The Yankees were one of the best teams in baseball for the first couple months of the season. They started 38-23 and since that start they are 9-21. They are currently sitting in the 2nd wild card spot. The Yankees are only 1 loss away from not being in a playoff spot. The difference between this year and last year is not the record but it’s how they are playing. Last year the Yankees never showed signs of being a true playoff team any team before the trade deadline. This year the Yankees have played playoff type baseball. They have shown when they are healthy, they can compete with anyone.
The Yankees biggest needs are 1B, RP and they could now use a starting pitcher with Pineda being out for the season. Here are potential candidates the Yankees should target for each one of their needs.
Sonny Gray has been a name on the market for a while now. He is under team control until 2020. Which makes him valuable since he’s not a rental pitcher. Gray is 5-4 with a 3.72 ERA this season. He would cost more than a rental for sure and would probably take at least one of their top prospects to land him. Interesting to see if they are willing to pay the price but i’m sure they’re interested.
Yonder Alonso would fill a hole the Yankees have had ever since Greg Bird went down with an injury. The Yankees have had 7 different players play first base and are currently using Garrett Cooper. But rumor has it that the Yankees do not plan on using Cooper all year. They have expressed interest in Alonso recently. Alonso is batting .268 with 21 HR and 44 RBI. Maybe if the Yankees are really interested, they could work a package deal for both Alonso and Gray.
This goes without saying but if the Yankees want to make a run in the playoffs, they need to fix their bullpen. The Yankees bullpen which was a strength heading into the season, has turned into a weakness. Chapman has struggled as of late. Most recently blowing a save vs the Red Sox without recording an out. Betances is having the worst season of his career and Tyler Clippard is abysmal. Robertson is 4-2 with a 2.70 ERA and 13 saves. Bringing the former Yankee back would help their playoff push.
Those are 3 targets the Yankees should push for. The Yankees have a deep enough prospect pool to get at least two of these assets. Theyve shown they are good enough to compete. That should encourage them to buy this summer.