One player the Yankees will 100% not trade at the deadline this summer

MLB: Detroit Tigers at New York Yankees, anthony rizzo
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When it comes to the summer deadline at the end of July, the Yankees are expected to be active, reinforcing the few weaknesses they have on the roster. Currently, at the top of the power rankings, the Yankees have one of the most talented and deepest rosters in baseball, thanks to their phenomenal pitching performance this season.

Yankees’ Infield Concerns: Rizzo and Torres

However, half of their infield has been a bit problematic, with Anthony Rizzo and Gleyber Torres underperforming to start the year. Torres is starting to show signs of life, but Rizzo is ice cold, coming off a season where he dealt with undiagnosed concussion symptoms, ending his year prematurely.

This season, he is hitting .236/.296/.354, including seven homers and 25 RBIs, with an 18% strikeout rate, 5.6% walk rate, and a 90 wRC+. This is the first time in his career that Rizzo has an on-base rate below 30% and wRC+ below 100, suggesting that he’s quickly declining.

MLB: Chicago White Sox at New York Yankees, anthony rizzo
Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The clearest evidence that Rizzo is regressing is his slugging metrics. He currently features a career-low hard-hit rate at 33% and a career-low barrel rate at 4.9% with an 86.6 average exit velocity. His power is decreasing exponentially, and the Yankees are having a hard time working around him in the batting order. Fortunately, Aaron Judge and Soto are good enough to help shield him from further criticism.

Some reports have suggested that both Torres and Rizzo could be replaced by the summer trade deadline, but there’s simply no way they will trade the veteran first baseman. It’s not a matter of wanting to; instead, opposing teams don’t want to pay the remainder of his contract, and acquiring a struggling 34-year-old is certainly not a winning move.

In addition to Rizzo being a net negative asset, he’s also one of our Judge’s best friends in the clubhouse, so messing with their chemistry is not a recipe for success. The Yankees will undoubtedly keep Rizzo on the roster for the remainder of the season. Still, they will likely take the out in his club option next year, saving the $20 million and rolling it over to Soto, which should cover the increase in salary.

On the other hand, trading Gleyber could be a more likely scenario since the Yankees have tried to move him in the past, and it would give another team an opportunity to extend him before he hits free agency next winter. Of course, it would force the Bombers to find another second, but that’s easier said than done since the San Diego Padres were proactive in acquiring Luis Arraez, who is having another batting champion-caliber season.

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