Looking ahead at potential trade targets for the New York Yankees

juan soto, yankees, washington nationals

While the New York Yankees fell to the Baltimore Orioles yesterday, they still hold MLB’s best record at 28-10. I think it’s safe to say that the Yanks have surpassed all expectations through the first 38 games of the season.

While many expected the Yankees to be good this year, I don’t think anyone was expecting them to perform at this level. I sure as hell wasn’t expecting it. For years, New York’s management has preached a message of hopium to the fans.

Fans have been told how good the team could be if everyone was clicking. The problem is that we’ve very rarely seen the Yankees firing on all cylinders. Well, this year we have. Starting pitching, bullpen, offense, defense, you name it.

The Yankees look like legit World Series contenders and they definitely appear to be the favorites in the American League. As we near the end of May, it’s time to start thinking about the Hot Stove again. Before you know it, the trade deadline will be here.

Will the Yankees be active at the deadline this year? Are they going to make a move that will push them over the top? Who are some of their targets? Let’s take a look at a few names that you could see tied to New York at the deadline.

Yankees Potential Targets

Willson Contreras

One of the names to really watch as the deadline approaches is Willson Contreras. The backstop for the Cubs is likely going to be dealt at the deadline considering he’s in his walk year and the Cubs are not a team that is contending this year.

The All Star catcher is off to a solid start batting .268 with five home runs and 14 RBIs. He’s also played really well behind the plate and has a WAR of 1.4 through the start of the season. The Yankees and Cubs have been key trading partners in the past.

New York sent Aroldis Chapman to Chicago for Gleyber Torres in a move that benefited both clubs. Last year we saw the Yankees acquire Anthony Rizzo from Chicago for a haul of prospects. I wouldn’t be shocked to hear a rumor tying Contreras to New York.

Jose Trevino and Kyle Higashioka have provided very minimal offense thus far. Trevino has the better batting average of the two and he’s batting .204. Contreras would be a massive upgrade offensively without giving much up on the defensive end.

Andrew Benintendi

A blast from the past, how about the Yankees calling up the Royals regarding Andrew Benintendi. The former Red Sox outfielder is having a great season thus far for Kansas City. He’s playing solid defense in left field while batting .302.

It’s clear that the Yankees have some issues in the outfield right now. There aren’t any issues with Aaron Judge or Giancarlo Stanton, but there are major issues with Joey Gallo and especially Aaron Hicks. Trading for Benintendi could sure things up in the outfield.

Since getting traded to New York, Gallo is batting well under 2o0 and while he’s shown flashes of his great power, it hasn’t translated like many thought it would. Some say that Gallo just isn’t meant for New York. Perhaps a change of scenery would be beneficial for him as he’s in his walk year.

Aaron Hicks has been the worst player on the team for the Yankees this year. Personally, I don’t think it’s close. I would literally accept a trade for a bag of balls if it meant getting Hicks off the team.

One of these struggling outfielders might benefit from going to a smaller market in KC. Tie one of them with a decent prospect and you can bring back Benintendi. You’d still have four outfielders regardless of which one you gave up.

Juan Soto

Want a bigger stretch than Benintendi, alright I’m going in. How about the Yankees making a megasplash and trading for Juan Soto. Sounds crazy, but it’s not as crazy as you might think when you read it.

The Washington Nationals know that they aren’t going to sign Soto long-term. Soto is one of the best players in the game and it’s very clear that Soto is planning on leaving the Nats once his service time with them is up.

His value will never be higher than it is right now. The Nationals would demand the farm, and for Soto you absolutely give it up. Imagine the Yankees having Aaron Judge, Juan Soto, and Giancarlo Stanton going into the postseason.

Sounds too good to be true. Speaking of Aaron Judge, acquiring Juan Soto would provide the Yankees with Aaron Judge insurance. We all know that New York wants to sign Aaron Judge long-term. We also all know that Aaron Judge wants to stay with the Yankees.

However, the two sides are far apart on a deal. If New York were to acquire Juan Soto, it would allow them to hold their ground a bit more with Judge. Could acquiring Soto push Judge out the door? It’s possible especially if a team like the Giants blows Judge out of the water with an offer.

That being said, if the Yankees end up losing Judge, I’d rather them lose Judge knowing they have Juan Soto moving forward. It would take all the best pieces, but if Washington calls, the Yanks should be all over it.

Other Pieces

Don’t be surprise to see the Yankees look at relief pitching. While the bullpen has been good overall, there have been some shakey spots. Chad Green left yesterday’s game with an injury and Aroldis Chapman has been far from sharp recently.

Zack Britton is injured and the other arms are really getting utilized a lot. Look for Cashman to make another Clay Holmes-type of acquisition at some point. Who will it be? No idea, but I expect them to add a bullpen piece for the stretch run.

What do you guys think? Who do you want the Yankees to go after? Sound off in the comments!

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