With the Yankees still mulling over a team that’s toiled in last place, there’s plenty of debate regarding whether the Yankees would choose to buy or sell at the deadline. As we near the August 1st deadline, the Yankees have picked a direction. While they face an ever-growing reality that they’ll miss the playoffs, rival executives are under the impression that long-time GM Brian Cashman will buy at this year’s deadline according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.
While names like Juan Soto have been floated around, the sheer glutton of Wild Card hopefuls and lack of top-end rental talent has created a seller’s market, which brings into question how the Yankees will be able to improve a lineup that’s struggled to put runs on the board. Names like Cody Bellinger, Jeimer Candelario, and Jordan Hicks are rentals the Yankees are eyeing at the top of the market and supplemental bats such as Seth Brown and Randal Grichuk have been mentioned as possibilities as well.
Is it Too Little Too Late for the Yankees?
It’s clear that the Yankees are in need of offense, ranking in the bottom half of the league in OPS, wRC+, and Runs Scored. It isn’t due to a lack of financial investments, with the Yankees having over $155 million invested in their position players, the highest total in the sport. Gerrit Cole’s put together a Cy Young season and the bullpen has done a stellar job while managing huge injuries, but familiar faces on the team haven’t been themselves in this extended drought.
Giancarlo Stanton and Anthony Rizzo have failed to live up to their pre-season and 2022 billings, mustering pitiful OPS numbers since the start of June. In Stanton’s case, he’s been a below-average bat all season, and the Yankees might be stuck with a DH who not only struggles with staying healthy but also can’t hit enough to be an everyday DH. The Yankees will look in the outfield market to fix the LF position, one that’s netted them the 27th worst wRC+ in baseball since 2021.
If the Yankees are walking away from this deadline, it’s got to be with an outfield. The quality of said outfielder remains to be seen, but every report would suggest they’re going to at least acquire someone externally. Brian Cashman is likely not pleased with what he’s seen out there, and I can’t imagine that Hal Steinbrenner is going to be very happy if they fail to make an addition there.
They still have Oswald Peraza to aid them at 3B and take a youth movement approach, although adding a bat there would help too. The Yankees have always added bullpen arms at the deadline ranging from Scott Effross to Clay Holmes, so it’ll be interesting to see if go for an established name on the market or go for someone with multiple years of control that they feel they can develop, as they did with Holmes back in 2021.
As for other positions on the diamond, the Yankees could add a catcher with the loss of Jose Trevino and the reliance on Kyle Higashioka to become the starting catcher. Ivan Herrera of the Cardinals has largely been overlooked by the Cardinals, as while they may view him as a future longterm solution at catcher, Willson Contreras has a massive contract that should ensure him starting reps for the foreseeable future, and Andrew Knizer has been their backup catcher despite poor play.
The Yankees are pushing to make additions, and while it may be ill-advised with how poorly they’ve played lately, it only takes a hot streak and key additions to get a World Series title. Aaron Judge and Gerrit Cole are still some of the best players in the sport, and the Yankees look to try to reward their excellence with quality talent around them.