The MLB trade deadline is coming up quickly on August 2, and the New York Yankees are set to make a big splash, whether that be in the starting pitching category or acquiring a stud outfielder.
The Bombers have been electric this season, currently featuring a 14.5 game cushion in the AL East after securing a series opening win against the Boston Red Sox on Thursday night. In all of baseball, the Yankees sit 5.5 games over the Houston Astros and 6.5 games above the Los Angeles Dodgers.
However, that doesn’t mean improvements shouldn’t be made, and general manager Brian Cashman is monitoring the trade market carefully.
“We’ll see if it takes us anywhere,” he said. “We’re certainly really happy with the team and we’re (it is) at.”
Cashman has been gathering information over the past few months, trying to match up stories and figure out who is the real deal. If the Yankees are going to acquire an above-average player, it is going to take a hefty package of prospects, so they need to be sure teams are telling the truth.
“You get as much information and share as much information as we can with opposing clubs,” Cashman said, “you receive all the information they’re providing, ask about a lot of different players to find out what’s real and what’s really not available and then see if you match up. Matching up is very difficult. We certainly like our record and where we’re sitting but that doesn’t guarantee anything as we move forward.”
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The Yankees have a few solid trade pieces to utilize:
Cashman did indicate that there’s no guarantee any moves are made at the deadline, but he has a few movable pieces he can look to package. Notably, players like Estevan Florial and Miguel Andujar stand out as players who could be on the move.
With Aaron Judge taking over the centerfield spot, Florial doesn’t have an opportunity with the Yankees’ top team. Nonetheless, he’s hitting .309 with a 38.8% on-base rate this season, including 10 homers, 43 runs, 30 RBIs, and 26 stolen bases.
Florial hosts a 29.3% strikeout rate and 11.2% walk rate. Defensively, he has great athleticism and range in centerfield with a decent arm. At this point, Florial seems to be a perfect trade candidate given his statistics this season.
“There’s a lot of guys like Flo, Andujar,” Cashman said. “These guys are putting up numbers and obviously going about our business and saying, ‘Hey, don’t forget about me.’ Or, ‘Pay attention to me.’ We noticed. No doubt about it. Other teams have noticed as well.”
Andujar has minimal value since he’s preparing to hit arbitration this upcoming off-season, but he still performing well with Triple-A, Scranton. The 27-year-old is hitting .316 with a 36.2% on-base rate, seven homers, and 27 RBIs. He’s striking out at just a 13% clip, indicating he’s making solid contact.
Of course, Cashman could look to a few other prospects to move at the deadline, maybe ones with a bit more value and youth. There’s no doubt the rumors will be flowing in the coming weeks, but the Yankees have a ton of leverage given the status of the team.