As the trade deadline rapidly approaches, the New York Yankees find themselves in need of an outfield upgrade. Various quality players, such as Cody Bellinger and Brendan Donovan of the St. Louis Cardinals, have been linked to the Yankees.
However, Brian Cashman, the Yankees’ general manager, is likely scouting for value deals that enhance the team without necessitating the trade of top prospects.
Yankees’ Trade Possibilities and Team Interests
There is substantial interest in the Yankees’ 2022 top international signing, Roderick Arias. Several of their pitching prospects also hold potential as trade commodities. While these assets draw attention, the Yankees may explore an intriguing option closer to home — their crosstown rivals, the New York Mets. An outfield rental upgrade could be a strategic move at the deadline.
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Potential Trade Targets from the Mets
The Mets secured 35-year-old outfielder Tommy Pham on a one-year, $6 million deal this past off-season. Pham is experiencing a resurgence, recording a .271 batting average with a .355 OBP, alongside nine home runs, 35 RBIs, and a 129 wRC+. His performance also boasts a 21.1% strikeout rate, an 11.6% walk rate, and 11 stolen bases.
On the defensive front, Pham has clocked 421.2 innings in the outfield, primarily in left field, coinciding with the area the Yankees seek to bolster. His fielding statistics include a .986 fielding percentage and near-neutral defensive metrics.
Given that Pham’s contract expires after this season, acquiring him wouldn’t necessitate a significant trade for the Yankees. Cashman might secure Pham for middle-tier prospects such as Juan Carela and Yoendrys Gomez. Additionally, as the Yankees reportedly aim to remain below the final luxury tax threshold, the Mets may absorb the remaining portion of Pham’s salary.
34-year-old Mark Canha is another potential trade target. Canha’s current stats include a .238 batting average, a .338 OBP, six home runs, 28 RBIs, and a 105 wRC+. His 17.1% strikeout rate and 10.3% walk rate are commendable, although he lacks Pham’s offensive contribution.
Defensively, Canha has put in 426 innings in the outfield with a flawless fielding percentage, five defensive runs saved, and -2 outs above average. Also capable of playing first base, Canha could provide added value if Anthony Rizzo requires rest.
Canha is on a two-year, $26.5 million contract with a 2024 club option. If a trade transpires, the Mets might need to absorb a significant portion of his salary for this year. In return, the Yankees might offer prospects such as TJ Rumfield and Anthony Hall.
Looking Forward: Striking the Right Balance
As rental players, the potential acquisitions of Pham or Canha would provide the needed outfield boost for the Yankees without having to part with any of their top prospects. However, a more significant investment may be required for a player like Bellinger. The market has potential options; Cashman’s task is to identify and secure the right one.