Yankees Mock Trades: 2x Platinum Glove winner could be a perfect fit

MLB: New York Yankees at San Francisco Giants
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It’s no secret that the New York Yankees need help at third base, and the San Francisco Giants could be the perfect trade partner for that need. Amid a disappointing campaign, they’re hoping to turn their season around, but if they don’t we could see Matt Chapman get brought up in trade talks. While he technically has two years remaining on his contract, the 31-year-old infielder has an opt-out at the end of this season and will likely take it. After a slow start to the 2024 season, he’s posted a 149 wRC+ over his last 37 games to improve to a 110 wRC+ overall.

An excellent defensive third baseman with the power and speed to provide a punch to this lineup, the Yankees could get a huge upgrade with Matt Chapman at the hot corner.

Matt Chapman’s Power-Defense Combination is Perfect for the Yankees

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Atlanta Braves
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The Yankees clearly need a third baseman, and Matt Chapman provides the best upgrade among realistic candidates as he has very few holes in his game. While streakiness has always been a problem for him, especially in his two years with the Toronto Blue Jays, he’s always remained an above-average bat with a strong glove. This season he has a 110 wRC+ and 11 home runs through 83 games, and he’s still a great defensive infielder as well with 5 Defensive Runs Saved.

As a team, the Yankees have a 76 wRC+ at third base and 0.6 fWAR, as this position as been a problem for the Yankees dating back to 2021. Gio Urshela was a league-average player that year, and it spurred them to trade for Josh Donaldson, who wasn’t much of an improvement over their mediocre production in ’21. They entered 2024 without their expected starter in DJ LeMahieu, and while they tried to address the position with Jon Berti, he suffered two different injuries.

Over that 3+ year stretch, the Yankees have a team 91 wRC+ and .371 SLG%; yikes. Matt Chapman has been made available to the Yankees twice, once through trade with the Oakland Athletics and another in free agency this past winter. Both times they showed preliminary interest, but they could have another chance at him if the Giants continue to struggle.

READ MORE: Yankees could target potential batting champion at the trade deadline

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Detroit Tigers
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With the Giants needing some infield help, Jorbit Vivas could be of interest to them, and he’s picked things up in Triple-A after a rough start to his season. The 23-year-old has a 108 wRC+ and specializes in contact and plate discipline, something that could prove valuable to the Giants who have developed a serious power bat in Heliot Ramos. If they choose to sell, LaMonte Wade Jr. could be a trade target for other teams, and if they choose to deal him a first baseman could appeal to that front office.

For that, T.J. Rumfield could be a huge help, as he’s picking things up in Scranton as well after being promoted earlier in the season. In his age-24 season, he has eight home runs and 15 doubles while slashing .298/.350/.471, and last year he won a Minor League Gold Glove Award due to his excellent defense at first base. He could be a plug-and-play option, as Rumfield generates a ton of in-zone contact, but we’ve yet to see him consistently tap into his raw power.

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The final piece to this deal would be Carlos Lagrange, who has dealt with injuries this season but has the fastball velocity and raw stuff to appeal to any organization. Standing at 6’7, he boasts a powerful 100 MPH fastball and could be a popular name in the Minor League scene if he finds a way to get back on the mound soon. He made a rehab appearance in the Complex League and hasn’t appeared in a game since, but the Yankees haven’t placed him on the IL. Definitely a bit weird, but we’ll see if it’s something minor or more serious.

It’s a three-for-one, and while the return can seem a bit lighter than the one for Christian Walker yesterday, there is less value for Chapman because of the fact that he can opt into his second year if he doesn’t perform well. He can go from a positive value player to a negative value one with one bad month or injury, and that gets baked into the trade value here.

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