The New York Yankees have been linked to the trade market consistently over the past few weeks, especially with an opening at the left field position.
Having missed out on the majority of top free agent options, trading for a new left fielder seems like the most likely scenario, and general manager Brian Cashman is already hard at work trying to find the right player for the right price.
In fact, during Carlos Rodon’s introductory press conference on Thursday, Cashman was texting a different general manager, going back and forth about a potential trade.
We’ll consider it, we’ll think about it,” Cashman said after.
The Yankees have two players in mind regarding a trade:
Two players come to mind regarding a deal with the Bombers, notably Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Bryan Reynolds and Minnesota Twins’ Max Kepler. There have been a significant number of rumors revolving around Reynolds the past week or so, suggesting the Yankees may be intrigued despite Pittsburgh wanting top pitching prospects in return.
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Jack Curry and Michael Kay of the YES Network indicated that the Yankees are interested at the right price.
“It makes sense for the Yankees to be attached to Bryan Reynolds because they need a left fielder and Reynolds is someone who the Pirates would potentially part with — with the right package of players coming back,” Curry said. “He’s under team control until 2025, so if you want a player with that kind of resume, you’re going to have to give up some of your top prospects.
Since the Yankees already gave up a number of their top pitching prospects at the trade deadline this past summer, a deal would have to be centered around Oswald Peraza, Anthony Volpe, or Jasson Dominguez.
“Word is out there that the Pirates would prefer top pitching prospects, but the Yankees’ top prospects are not pitching prospects and, on top of that, I don’t think the Yankees want to part with the likes of [Anthony] Volpe, [Jasson] Dominguez or [Oswald] Peraza.”
While Cashman has been caught prospect-hugging in the past, mortgaging your future isn’t necessarily a good idea. The Yankees can win a championship without Reynolds playing left field, but he undoubtedly gives them a better chance.
At 27 years old, Reynolds hit .262 with a 34.5% on-base rate, including 27 homers and 62 RBIs this past season. His 2021 campaign was electrifying, hitting .302 with a 39% on-base rate, 24 homers, and nine RBIs. The Yankees would be betting that he can replicate his 2021 stats, but the likelihood of that happening is low, considering his whiff rate has increased substantially over the past two years.
Cashman’s long-term plan always included Peraza, Volpe, and Dominguez, so trading them now right before they get an opportunity at the big league level might be seen as illogical.