The New York Yankees are sitting at 67-37, six games behind in the AL East leading the Boston Red Sox going into the last weekend before the trade deadline. The team has already made power moves out of the All-Star break to bolster their roster with the additions of RP Zach Britton from the Orioles and SP J.A. Happ from the Blue Jays.
What did the New York Yankees get with Britton?
Zach Britton is a 2-Time All Star with the Orioles in 2015 & 2016, along with finishing 4th in Cy Young voting in 2016. Britton has struggled this season but has picked it up as of late. Since June 23rd he has been dominant, compiling a 1.50 ERA, .135 BAA, and opponents are averaging an OPS of less than .500 in this span. Britton offers another terrific lefty arm to add to an already dominant bullpen featuring the likes of Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, Chad Green, & Jonathan Holder who all own below 3.00 ERA’s in 40+ innings of work respectively.
Two days after the acquisition, the Yankees made a move to address their most glaring weakness in the starting pitching rotation. The Yankees made a deal to bring in J.A. Happ. Happ is a veteran pitcher with a lot of experience pitching in the MLB, and even more specifically the AL East.
From the start of the season through June 13, Happ posted commanding numbers of an 8-3 record, 3.48 ERA, and a .207 BAA. He has struggled a lot of as of late however, giving up 4+ ER in 3 of his last 6 starts including 7 ER against the Tigers and 6 ER against the Yankees in back to back starts to start July. Happ’s value to the Yankees can be seen in his dominance against the division and specifically against the Boston Red Sox. The “heart” of the Red Sox lineup featuring Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez, Andrew Benintendi, and Xander Bogaerts all struggle vs. Happ possessing .188 BA, .267 BA, .000 BA, and .154 BA respectively.
Brian Cashman has made it clear the Yanks are serious buyers in the trade market and I do not believe they are done improving their roster. With the injuries of Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, the team has an opening for a DH/OF to fill the void in the coming weeks of the playoff race.
Names to be considered include Curtis Granderson & Jose Martinez. Granderson, a former Yankee suits the bill perfectly to fill in for Judge during his DL stint. He has 10 HR & 31 RBI’s on the year. A solid veteran lefty with some power in his bat, can help the clubhouse going forward as well as play games in the OF and DH. Jose Martinez of the Cardinals is another name that has surfaced and trade talks. The Cardinals are willing to part with him and he could fit well as a DH with the Yanks. Martinez posses a .295 BA, 13 HR, 57 RBI on the season. He will be a much tougher deal to make with years of control left on his contract following the end of this season.
If one thing is for sure however, it is that the Yankees are active and if there is one person to not rule out of anything its Brian Cashman. Expect the Yanks to be actively pursuing deals up until the July 31 MLB Trade Deadline.