The New York Yankees faced a challenging loss against the Boston Red Sox on Sunday night. Despite commendable starting pitching, the Yankees lost two out of three games, highlighting their glaring vulnerabilities and shortcomings.
The management seems to perpetually depend on the return of injured players, a strategy proven unsustainable over the past decade.
The deficiency in offensive play has become increasingly evident since Aaron Judge was sidelined due to a toe injury last week. Although the Yankees haven’t scored more than three runs in four successive games, they have still managed to win two of their last four.
General manager Brian Cashman is expected to be proactive at the trade deadline, seeking to reinforce the team with valuable contributors. However, the Yankees always seem to be working from a position of disadvantage, and it would be a welcome change to have a strong roster at the deadline.
The Yankees are in dire need of:
1.) A starting outfielder
The Yankees’ need for a consistent, high-performing outfielder is glaringly apparent. They have already rotated through a plethora of players, including Oswaldo Cabrera, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Willie Calhoun, and Greg Allen, among others.
Cabrera began the year as the primary starter in left field, but with a batting average of .199 and a .247 OBP this season, yielding a wRC+ of 51, his performance has been less than stellar. Not many players have stepped up, a factor that has been Cashman’s saving grace in the past.
Although the outfield market may be sparse this summer, the Yankees could consider acquiring Cody Bellinger from the Chicago Cubs, should the latter decide to sell.
Bellinger, currently recovering from a knee injury and expected to return soon, is hitting .271 with a .337 OBP, seven home runs, 20 RBIs, and a 122 wRC+.
On a one-year, $17.5 million deal, Bellinger would essentially be a cost-effective rental for the rest of the season. The Yankees could opt to accept his 2024 mutual option, with the decision due in the next off-season.
Unfortunately, a cursory look at the offensive performance in Judge’s absence reveals the team’s need for another offensive outfielder. Cashman’s strategy of hoping for an unlikely talent to emerge hasn’t materialized.
2.) An additional starting pitcher
Despite Luis Severino’s struggles and Carlos Rodon’s continued absence since signing his six-year contract with the Yankees, the team’s starting rotation has been exceptional lately.
However, the truth remains that the Yankees cannot rely on the rotation to stay fully healthy, as Nestor Cortés recently landed on the injured list with a left rotator cuff strain.
The inclusion of a dependable starting pitcher would be a prudent move to alleviate any concerns. Although Clarke Schmidt has been exemplary over the past few starts, it remains a reality that any Yankees starter can encounter difficulties or injuries at any given moment.
Moreover, it is uncertain what type of performance Rodon, recently sidelined by a left forearm strain and a chronic back injury, will deliver despite his impressive 2.88 ERA in 2022. It is unclear whether he will live up to expectations this year.