The New York Yankees need an offensive upgrade at multiple positions. The outfield contains two massive liabilities — Joey Gallo and Aaron Hicks.
Both left field and centerfield have struggled on the offensive side. Joey Gallo has been the primary starter in left, with the position hosting a .182 batting average with six homers and 10 RBIs in total. Gallo himself is hitting .176 with five homers and seven RBIs, hosting a 37.8% strikeout rate.
Gallo has looked slightly better in the month of May but has otherwise been a massive disappointment. There’s a legitimate chance that general manager Brian Cashman looks to replace him at the deadline this year. There is one perfect trade opportunity in Chicago Cubs OF Ian Happ.
The Cubs are one of the worst teams in the NL Central this year, winning just 17 games. They sit 8.5 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers in the division, so they could end up being sellers.
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What Ian Happ would bring to the Yankees:
Happ would be a perfect fit for the Bombers, who are looking for a player who can get on base but also has a proven track record of hitting home runs. Happ isn’t an Aaron Judge-style slugger, but he did smack 25 homers and 66 RBIs in 2021. This season, he’s hitting .286 with four homers and 22 RBIs. He’s earned a 20.3% strikeout rate and is walking at a career-best 15.7%.
Happ is generating a 42.3% hard-hit rate and 6.2% barrel rate, which is down from 11.2% last year. Early in his career, Happ regularly hit double-digit degrees with his launch angle, but that has simmered to 9.7° this year. The Yankees may look to add a bit more leverage in that category, trying to take advantage of their short right porch. Happ is a switch-hitting batter, which would offer tremendous value to the Yankees in the outfield.
Happ is on a one-year, $6.85 million deal but is arbitration-eligible for 2023. The Yankees would essentially be landing him for two years in a prospective trade. However, it is a matter of what Chicago would want in exchange for the outfielder.
According to baseballtradevalues.com, the Yankees would have to give up an intriguing package of prospects to sway Chicago. That would likely have to include outfielder Austin Wells and another decent prospect to move the needle.
If the Cubs were interested in swapping Joey Gallo for Happ, the Yankees could include Wells or Trey Sweeney, one of their developing shortstops.
Happ is capable of hitting home runs and getting on base at a 40% clip. The Yankees would be adding a tremendous hitter to the bottom of their order.