The New York Yankees were extremely aggressive at the trade deadline in early August trying to bolster the starting pitching rotation and add depth in the outfield. While some decisions were a bit more valuable than others, the Yankees walked away with a few very talented players who had the capabilities to make a significant impact and contribute to a World Series run.
With the regular season finale upon us, it’s time to take a look at who is living up to their potential.
- Projecting the Yankees’ starting infield for the 2023 season
- How the Yankees should deploy Anthony Volpe in 2023
- Yankees left field position battle will include 3 players, per Brian Cashman
Grading the Yankees’ trade acquisitions:
Acquiring Andrew Benintendi from the Kansas City Royals was meant to plug left field once and for all, especially with Aaron Hicks struggling considerably.
After succeeding with Kansas City over 93 games, featuring a .320 average with a 38.7% on-base rate, his numbers dropped significantly once he joined the Yankees.
Over 33 games, Benintendi hit .254 with a 33.1% on-base rate, including two homers and 12 RBIs. His strikeout rate elevated to 19.1% from 13.3%. Overall, his offensive contributions were a bit underwhelming, but he was starting to hit his stride before an injury to his wrist that will likely keep him out until the ALCS, given the Yankees make it there.
Based on the injury and regression since joining the Bombers, Benintendi’s impact hasn’t been altogether that exciting.
Manager Aaron Boone is expecting big things out of Scott Effross after acquiring him from the Chicago Cubs. General manager Brian Cashman saw a long-term investment in Effross since he’s only a free agent in 2028.
This season, he features a 2.54 ERA and 9.85 strikeouts over 56.2 innings. He’s been extremely efficient since joining the Yankees but is currently dealing with an injury that shouldn’t sideline him for much longer.
The Yankees have gotten unbelievable value out of Lou Trivino since acquiring him in the deal that brought Frankie Montas to the Bronx. The 31-year-old bullpen arm hosted a 6.47 ERA with Oakland which dropped to 1.74 with the Yankees over 20.2 innings. His strikeout rate is down but he’s giving up far fewer homers and is generating an 83.9% left on-base rate, up from 67.3% with Oakland.
In fact, the Yanks now consider Trevino a reliable bullpen arm they will get some high leverage opportunities in the playoffs. He’s completely changed his season courtesy of a much-improved coaching staff
The Bombers have been underwhelmed by the contributions of starting pitcher Frankie Montas. He was supposed to be the catalyst in the starting rotation, but he may not even make an appearance until the ALCS if the Yankees are still around.
Montas is dealing with a shoulder injury, playing a bit of catch on Saturday but still a while away from a return. Montas features a 6.35 ERA and 7.49 strikeouts per 9 over 39.2 innings with the Yankees this season. His numbers completely fell off a cliff after leaving Oakland.
While the Yankees haven’t seen a ton of centerfielder Harrison Bader just yet, he’s made an impact over a small sample size. Playing in 14 games with the Yankees, he’s already driven in nine RBIs with a .217 batting average. He’s not getting on base a ton at just 24.5% and a 30.6% strikeout rate, but his defensive qualities are essential and once he gets on the base paths, he’s capable of scoring in the blink of an eye.
There’s still a lot of hope regarding Bader and what he can contribute during the postseason, but the Yankees have been resting him as much as possible and giving him the necessary reps to ramp up in the meantime.