Yankees could sell on 4 veteran players at the deadline

yankees, anthony rizzo
May 27, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Anthony Rizzo (48) hits a single against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

With the trade deadline looming in under two weeks, the Yankees are faced with critical decisions: will they opt to sell or buy?

Winning the first game of a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals on Friday certainly bolsters their odds of supplementing their roster at the deadline. This becomes particularly viable if the team is confident about Aaron Judge returning to his standard role, even if he has to play through some discomfort.

The Yankees are unwilling to squander the first year of Judge’s considerable extension, signed this past off-season. Therefore, procuring above-average bats appears to be their probable strategy. Players like Cody Bellinger and Dylan Carlson, among others, emerge as potential targets.

However, should the Yankees choose to sell, they possess a handful of veteran players who could fetch considerable value on the open market.

Four Yankees Players with Trade Potential

Luis Severino

At 29, Luis Severino hasn’t had his best season, posting a 6.66 ERA across 48.2 innings. Nonetheless, a change of scenery might be beneficial. Severino rebounded from several injury-plagued seasons to deliver a 3.1 ERA campaign in 2022 over 102 innings. His velocity remains strong but his struggles with pitch location suggest a possible confidence issue.

A team seeking a back-end starter might target Severino, as he would be inexpensive to acquire and could open an opportunity for a prospect to contend with the Yankees.

Anthony Rizzo

Anthony Rizzo is another player whose recent performances have been less than stellar. Currently mired in one of the coldest streaks of his career, Rizzo’s numbers have plummeted. He’s hitting .244 with a .332 OBP this season, which includes 11 homers, 39 RBIs, and a 102 wRC+.

A strong start to the season has kept his numbers respectable, but he’s presently hitting .123 with a .206 OBP in July. Given that Rizzo signed a two-year, $40 million contract with a club option for 2025, the Yankees could contemplate trading him at the deadline to shed some salary.

Harrison Bader

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the Yankees are unlikely to retain Harrison Bader beyond the 2023 season. Bader, who is in a contract year and has already sustained several injuries, is hitting .243 with a .276 OBP this year and an 89 wRC+. His performance has declined recently, hitting .180 with a .232 OBP in July.

A team seeking a strong defensive centerfielder with sporadic hot streaks might consider acquiring Bader at a low cost, particularly as he’s a rental for the rest of the season.

Gleyber Torres

Losing Gleyber Torres, arguably the team’s most consistent hitter this season isn’t a viable option for the Yankees at this point. Torres is hitting .263 with a .331 OBP, boasting 15 homers, 40 RBIs, and a 112 wRC+. His strikeout rate has dropped significantly from 22.6% in 2022 to 14% this season.

With improved plate discipline allowing him to reach base more frequently, Torres’ contribution to the Yankees has been a rare highlight in recent weeks. Trading him now would be ill-advised, but his current high value might tempt the Yankees to cash in, especially if they’re looking to strengthen another position.

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