As expected, the New York Yankees will once again scour the market, looking to fortify their roster as the trade deadline approaches.
Despite an aggressive offseason, injuries and underperforming players have once again found the Yankees in a mid-season crisis, seeking improvements mainly in their outfield and offensive lineup.
Without their star, Aaron Judge, the Yankees’ reality is gloomy, exposing their over-reliance on veteran players with costly contracts. The trade deadline offers an opportunity to enhance their offense by leveraging prospects or capitalizing on high-performing pitchers.
Potential Yankees on the Move:
1. Oswald Peraza: A Promising Asset
Oswald Peraza, rather than languishing at the Triple-A level, could be an invaluable addition to the Yankees’ MLB lineup. Unfortunately, current speculations suggest he might be a trade asset, given his minor-league success.
The 23-year-old infielder has been impressive with Scranton, recording a .306 batting average and .377 OBP, hitting 10 homers with 22 RBIs and seven stolen bases across 29 games. Known for his top-notch defense across multiple positions, Peraza has also been refining his offensive game, demonstrating power and discipline.
“He’s currently finding this happy medium of ‘I can make really good swing decisions and not strike out a lot and still hit for power,’” Yankees’ Triple-A hitting coach Trevor Amicone said. “Whereas I think last year, between (Triple A) and the big leagues, there’s maybe that bouncing back and forth between ‘Who am I capable of being?’ I think now he’s in that spot where he’s beginning to realize that he could do both as long as the kid takes care of (everything) in the cage and with his body and game plans.”
Yet, the Yankees have historically followed a risky strategy – trading away budding prospects in exchange for a temporary rental with the hope of an immediate victory.
2. Clarke Schmidt: A High Return Opportunity?
An interesting potential trade asset could be Clarke Schmidt. Given his lackluster start to the season, capitalizing on his current high performance might be a smart move for the Yankees. At 27, he’s reduced his season ERA to 4.70, conceding only five earned runs in his last four games.
The Yankees control Schmidt until he becomes a free agent in 2028. So, any team acquiring him will secure either a reliable starter or a strong bullpen addition if he’s demoted.
Nevertheless, with their injury-ridden rotation, the Yankees might hesitate to trade their pitchers, especially with Frankie Montas’ failure, Carlos Rodon’s untested reliability, not to mention Luis Severino’s underwhelming comeback from a lat injury.
3. Gleyber Torres: A Debate for the Infield
While the Yankees can ill afford to lose quality bats, replacing Gleyber Torres with Peraza could spark a debate. Torres, 26, will be under team control for another year before hitting free agency in 2025.
With a current batting average of .252, a .329 OBP, 11 homers, 28 RBIs, and a 110 wRC+, his performance has been commendable, highlighted by an impressive 12.7% strikeout rate and a double-digit walk rate (10.2%).
Despite Torres’ streaky inconsistency, he’s been among the team’s top performers this year. If GM Brian Cashman can trade this infield asset for an above-average outfielder, he may seize the opportunity, considering the team’s glaring lack of quality options aside from Harrison Bader and Judge.
Looking Forward: Possible Yankees Trade Scenarios
The Yankees may also opt to stand pat, banking on their roster to reach full health. However, considering their injury history over the past few years, it is more likely that they will be grappling with player health issues for the rest of the season, possibly missing key players in the postseason.
Therefore, as the trade deadline looms, we can expect some potential maneuvers from the Yankees to fortify their lineup.