The New York Yankees find themselves in a challenging position with a clear need for an outfielder to take on a critical role, particularly with Aaron Judge’s health being uncertain and the left field position still in flux.
Brian Cashman’s Pursuit of the Ideal Deal
The team’s General Manager, Brian Cashman, has been diligently searching the market for the ideal acquisition. The St. Louis Cardinals, who recently announced their intentions to sell at the deadline, could potentially offer him the best chance of securing a player with untapped potential and future control.
Among the options available from the Cardinals, 24-year-old Dylan Carlson emerges as a top contender. With several years of control remaining before he hits free agency in 2027, and given his reasonable cost and substantial upside, there’s a strong case for his suitability in the Bronx.
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Evaluating Dylan Carlson’s Performance
Sporting a switch-hitting ability, Carlson boasts a .241 average with a .342 OBP this season, along with five home runs, 20 RBIs, and a 103 wRC+. He currently maintains a 20.7% strikeout rate and 10.4% walk rate – the highest walk rate of his career to date.
Furthermore, his performance in 2021, in which he hit 18 homers, demonstrates a powerful batting capacity that should not be overlooked. The short right field in Yankee Stadium might prove conducive to reinvigorating his home run statistics, potentially leading to a shift in his launch angle and aligning with the Yankees’ offensive strategy.
Currently, Carlson’s statistics showcase a 37.8% hard-hit rate, 7.9% barrel rate, 89.2 average exit velocity, and 12.3° of launch angle. While these are some of the best numbers in his career, he could further elevate his performance by improving his launch angle, potentially making him a formidable addition to the Bronx lineup.
The Defensive Implications of Dylan Carlson’s Acquisition
From a defensive standpoint, Carlson has clocked 2892.1 innings in the outfield, with only 160.2 of those in left field. Given the Yankees’ rotation this season and considering Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s struggles in the outfield, Carlson could be a fitting replacement.
The Potential Trade-off: What Would the Yankees Have to Give?
A critical question to consider is the Cardinals’ demands in exchange for Carlson, who undoubtedly presents significant untapped potential.
Derrick Goold, a St. Louis beat writer, has suggested that the Cardinals might be interested in the Yankees’ pitching prospect, Clayton Beeter.
As quoted, “Clayton Beeter, a right-hander at the Yankees’ Class AAA affiliate with 83 strikeouts in 71 ½ innings, appeared in this past weekend’s Futures Game and a source described him as a fit.”
Beeter was obtained from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the trade that saw Joey Gallo depart. Having made 12 appearances with Somerset in Double-A this year before being promoted to Triple-A, Beeter boasted an impressive 2.08 ERA across 60.2 innings, with 11.27 strikeouts per nine, an 87.4% left-on-base rate, and a 41.7% ground ball rate. With Scranton, however, his ERA increased to 5.73 across 11 innings, indicating a slight adjustment period.
Beeter, who perfectly fits the high strikeout pitcher profile that St. Louis might be seeking, has yet to establish himself as a definite starter. This could potentially encourage the Yankees to capitalize on his current hype.
Considering that the exchange for Carlson might only involve Beeter, this could be a relatively straightforward decision for Cashman, especially after having traded away his two top pitching prospects last season for Scott Effross and Frankie Montas, neither of whom have made an appearance this year.