With the trade deadline just a week away, the New York Yankees are under pressure to strengthen their roster if they hope to remain in contention for the World Series. Despite dropping in the rankings and lacking a Wild Card spot for a significant duration, the Yankees are optimistic, especially with the expected return of slugger Aaron Judge.
Changes and Strategic Additions for the Yankees
To rejuvenate the team, the Yankees are poised to add new pieces to their roster puzzle. Already, several coaching changes have been made, including dismissing hitting coach Dillon Lawson, hiring Sean Casey as his successor, and recruiting Andy Pettitte as an advisor.
Even so, a high-profile acquisition like Shohei Ohtani or Juan Soto doesn’t seem likely. Instead, the Yankees are looking towards more value-for-asset additions, such as a proficient left-field hitter and potentially a starting pitcher. Notably, with the imminent return of Nestor Cortés, room will need to be made in the rotation, possibly shifting Luis Severino, Clarke Schmidt, or Domingo German to the bullpen.
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Eyeing a Two-Way Left Fielder and Rotation Support
Jim Bowden of The Athletic reports that the Yankees are focusing on bringing in a starting pitcher and a two-way left fielder to strengthen their lineup.
The Yankees have been associated with Cody Bellinger in recent months. Currently hitting at .319 with a .369 OBP and a .549 slugging percentage, Bellinger’s performance also boasts 14 homers, 44 RBIs, 12 stolen bases, and a 144 wRC+. Additionally, players such as Jeimer Candelario, Lane Thomas, Dylan Carlson, and right-handed pitcher Jack Flaherty have been suggested as potential additions.
Exploring Young Talent with Upside
Carlson, though not quite the upgrade Bellinger offers, is a 24-year-old player with several years of control until his free agency in 2027. Despite his modest current season statistics, his youth and potential make him a viable prospect.
At 27, Thomas is an appealing outfield option. Thomas brings a promising performance to the table with a .293 batting average, .340 OBP, 16 homers, and 54 RBIs over 99 games this season. Moreover, his cost-effective contract runs until 2026, making him an attractive consideration for the Yankees.
Looking Towards a High-Stakes Future
Undoubtedly, general manager Cashman is set to execute several strategic moves paired with Judge’s return. These maneuvers should elevate the Yankees’ offense. However, the prospect of a World Series victory remains a distant goal.