The New York Yankees have an opportunity to get better at the trade deadline by adding an outfielder and another bullpen arm. There’s a strong possibility that general manager Brian Cashman dives into the starting pitching pool, especially with the Yankees rotation dealing with fatigue and adversity the past few weeks.
A starter like Luis Castillo seems to be on the market, but he will cost the Yankees an arm and a leg. Instead of going after a star outfielder like Bryan Reynolds or Ian Happ, Cashman may settle for a half-season rental in Andrew Benintendi.
Let’s take a look at a comprehensive trade with the Royals to acquire Benintendi and relief pitcher Scott Barlow.
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Yankees-Royals mock trade:
Benintendi is having a fantastic 2022 season, earning $8.5 million on a one-year contract. At 28 years old, the 5’9″, 180 pounds lefty is hitting .317 with a 39% on-base rate and .402 slugging percentage. While he’s only hit three homers this year, he smacked 17 in 2021, indicating he has underrated power.
Benintendi’s hard-hit metrics have dropped a bit this season, but the Yankees can get those numbers back up, which should translate to more home runs, especially with the short right porch in Yankee Stadium.
The former Boston outfielder does one thing exceptionally well, get on base. Putting him in the leadoff spot right in front of Aaron Judge should help capitalize on the slugger’s home runs.
The Royals are looking for a solid prospect in return for Benintendi, so it’s not gonna be easy for the Yankees to pick him up on an easy swap of assets.
If the Royals are truly in sell-now mode, the Yankees should also inquire about Scott Barlow, who has a 2.33 ERA this season over 38.2 innings. Barlow is striking out 8.84 batters per nine, featuring an 89.2% left on base rate and 45.6% ground ball rate.
Barlow has a ton of value at 29 years old and team control until 2025. He features a fastball, slider, and curveball. His fastball averages out at 93.4 mph and having dabbled with a sinker in the past, pitching coach Matt Blake may want to revitalize it. However, Barlow does feature a cutter, one pitch that Blake prefers.
Landing both Benintendi and Barlow will undoubtedly require a nice haul in return, but the Yankees have a few solid prospects they can flip to increase their odds of winning the World Series.
Right off the bat, the Yankee should be pushing Estevan Florial significantly. After several years of dealing with injury, Florial is absolutely dominating in Triple-A and can be a long-term solution for the Royals in the outfield.
Over 65 games this season with Scranton, Florial is hitting .307 with a 39% on-base rate, 11 homers, and 31 RBIs. He’s also tallied 26 stolen bases, an 11.5% walk rate, and 29.4% strikeout rate. Florial hasn’t had any opportunities to contribute at the top level, but his value is the highest it’s been in years, so the Yankees should take advantage of that now.
The Yankees include Yoendrys Gomez as a key part of the package. The 22-year-old currently features with Hudson Valley, pitching 10.1 innings this season, recording a 1.74 ERA, 7.84 strikeouts per nine, a 77.8% left on base rate, and 28.6% ground ball rate.
Gomez has great potential but requires a few more years of development before he can make an impact at the big-league level.
To even out both sides, the Yankees throw in Beck Way, a right-handed minor-league pitcher who currently features in A+ Hudson valley. The 22-year-old hosts a 3.88 ERA over 60.1 innings.
Way has struck out 69 batters this season, giving up 50 hits over 13 games. Way has solid potential but is more of a project, so the Yankees feel comfortable offering him up to get an elite bullpen arm in return.