Ranking the Yankees’ biggest weaknesses ahead of the trade deadline

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees, gleyber torres
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The Yankees face a grueling few weeks leading up to the trade deadline, but the All-Star break is smack in the middle of the next four weeks, giving the Bombers a much-needed rest.

Ultimately, the Yankees need the week off to reset and get to the second half of the season a little bit healthier. They’re trying to survive with the production of Aaron Judge and Juan Soto, but the rest of the lineup has struggled considerably to contribute.

General manager Brian Cashman is certainly scouring the market for good opportunities to reinforce the team, recently acquiring JD Davis from the Oakland Athletics to help supplement first base. However, they need far more, and it starts in the infield.

Ranking the Yankees’ Biggest Weaknesses:

1.) Third Base

In a perfect world, the Yankees might be able to secure a talent like Ryan McMahon of the Colorado Rockies, but he’s a risk. The 29-year-old is having a career year, hitting .266/.343/.450, including 14 homers and 43 RBIs. Acquiring him would likely come with a regression to the mean, and the Yankees shouldn’t bet on his offensive upside, considering he’s never been 100 wRC+ batter since this season.

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Colorado Rockies, ryan mcmahon, yankees
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At the moment, the Yankees have DJ LeMahieu featuring at third, but the 35-year-old is struggling to get going after returning from a right foot injury. Over 28 games and 107 plate appearances, DJ is hitting just .185 with a .283 OBP.

Manager Aaron Boone is keen on giving him plenty of time to rebound, but the Yankees face problems offensively until they find reinforcements. Unfortunately, third base seems to be a much more difficult spot to fill with a lack of talent on the trade market.

2.) Second Base

If the Yankees want to make a big upgrade at second base, that might be their best option. Gleyber Torres is in the middle of a career-worst season, hitting .223 with a .296 OBP, including eight homers and 33 RBIs. Cashman may have no choice but to replace him if he can’t turn things around leading up to the deadline.

Two great second base options, Luis Rengifo and Jonathan India, could be available on the market. Rengifo is a competitor for the batting champion award this year but is a bit of a defensive liability. However, he has one more year of control before becoming a free agent in 2026. The Yankees would be getting a massive upgrade, but it will certainly require multiple quality prospects to get a deal done.

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3.) Bullpen

The bullpen has been struggling to maintain pace over the past few weeks, currently hosting a 3.60 ERA. Considering the strategy of acquiring cheap players to serve a specific purpose, the Yankees have managed to get exponential value out of players who shouldn’t even be on MLB rosters.

However, that process has led to speed bumps, and they’ve been plummeting down the standings over the past few weeks. Cashman will likely have to bring in some reinforcements via trade, but the team is also eyeing the returns of Scott Effross, Ian Hamilton, Lou Trivino, Clarke Schmidt, and Cody Poteet. Eventually, the Yankees will get players back to utilize, but expecting everybody to be healthy at once is certainly an optimistic perspective.

mlb: new york yankees at tampa bay rays, ian hamilton

4.) First Base

At the moment, the Yankees have Ben Rice as the primary first baseman, and Anthony Rizzo is nursing a right arm fracture. The 25-year-old has been excellent offensively since being promoted from Triple-A.

Over 14 games, he’s hitting .270/.378/.351, including four RBIs, a 13.3% strikeout rate, a 15.6% walk rate, and 116 wRC+. Rice is a phenomenal hitter with great tools, so it is no surprise he’s translating to the MLB level. His slugging metrics have dropped quite considerably, but if he turns things around, the Yankees will be in great shape long-term at an essential corner infield spot.

Some may label first base as a need, especially if they can land a player like Christian Walker at the deadline, but upgrading second base feels like a bigger priority at this point, with Torres completely falling off a cliff.

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