New York Yankees: Yankee trade targets are quickly evaporating

Could the New York Yankees pursue Max Scherzer in a trade?

The New York Yankees have made many inquiries ahead of the July 30, 4 pm deadline. So far, they have only brought right-hand pitcher Clay Holmes to the Yankees. So far, they have a net loss to the team struggling to hold on to a wild card slot. The Yankees had to deal shortstop Diego Castillo and Shortstop Hoy Park to Pirates for Holmes. So they have pretty well cleaned out their shortstop prospects for a not very good pitcher.

In a puzzling move, the New York Yankee front office announced that they had traded long-time long-haul reliever Luis Cessa to the Cincinnati Reds at the end of last night’s game. Also included in the trade was Justin Wilson, and they got back nothing except a player to be named later.

Cessa has been the go-to long reliever for the last two New York Yankee managers. In his eleven seasons, he has a 55-54 record and an ERA of 3.74, which is very good for a reliever that usually enters the game with runners on base and has to give the team several innings of long relief.

This season has been his best with the Yankees. The 29-year-old is inducing ground balls at a massive 56.8% clip this year. Statcast shows he’s been among the top twenty percent of pitchers in suppressing opponents’ average exit velocity, hard contact, and barrels. In 38 1/3 innings, this season he has earned a career-best 2.82 ERA.

The only explanation I can come up with to get rid of Cessa involves Justin Wilson, who has not pitched well for the Yankees; he has an ERA of 7.50 in 18 innings of work and a contract that costs the Yankees close to $3 million. This amounts to a Yankees salary dump; unfortunately, the Yankees lose Cessa in the deal. Yankee fans can only hope that the salary dump brings something good to the team later this week. It must have been quite a shock to Cessa, who has spent his last six years in the majors with the New York Yankees.

Max Scherzer

The New York Yankees really would have liked to have the Washington Nationals ace to follow Gerrit Cole in the rotation. Unfortunately for the Yankees, Scherzer, who has a no-trade clause, doesn’t have Yankee Stadium on his list for places he wants to pitch.

Joey Gallo

A few weeks ago, Joey Gallo seemed to be high on the list of Yankees trade targets. However, the heat on that conversation seems to have cooled the closer we get to the trade deadline. Gallo would have given the Yankees a solid middle of the lineup power hitter that has been healthy all season. The Yankees have also worked with the Rangers before in obtaining Rougie Odor.

Starling Marte

Most recently, Starling Marte of the Miami Marlins seemed to be the most likely trade target to fill the centerfield gap and provide a lefty in the lineup. Also, a plus was that the Yankees work well with the head of operations for the Marlins, Derek Jeter, but just today, the Marlins traded him to the Athletics for left-hander Jesús Luzardo. He is a lousy 6.87 ERA pitcher this season. So the Yankees really must have offered next to nothing to get Marte.

Trevor Story

Yankee hitter DJ LeMahieu is trying to push the Yankees to trade with the Colorado Rockies to get Trevor Story. The big question here is if the Yankees want to absorb the remainder of the $9 million half-season rental. He is a free agent after this season. But, possibly with Marte out of the picture, they may reconsider.

Max Kepler

Joel Sherman of the New York Post has reported that Cashman talks with the Minnesota Twins about several players. The Twins are 41-55 this season, 17 games behind in the AL Central. Several of the players that are being talked about are lefty outfielder Max Kepler. Kepler, in 62 games, has 12 home runs and a .217 batting average. In addition, Kepler has a good arm, is a good defender, and can play any outfield position well. The Yankees are also looking at Twins pitchers Jose Berrios and ex-Yankee Michael Pineda.

Kris Byant

The Chicago Cubs also has an outfielder that the Yankees may be interested in. Kris Bryant a 29-year old that can also play third base. He is a righty that is in the last year of his contract. His relationship with the Cubs has soured after losing a grievance and will likely not return to the Cubs.

Whit Merrifield blockbuster

This wild blockbuster trade will most likely not happen, but it makes sense for both teams. The Yankees acquire Whit Merrifield, former Red sox Andrew Benintendi and pitcher Josh Staumont from the Royals. The New York Yankees give up Miguel Andujar, Gleyber Torres, and Michael King. Whitfield can play centerfield and in the infield. Benintendi would add a great left-hand bat to the lineup. Also, pitcher Josh Staumont is a better fit for Yankee Stadium the King is. The Kansas City Royals would really like to have Torres, and sweetening the deal with King and Andujar could make this deal done.

Kansas City sits at the bottom of the AL Central. At this point, the loss of Torres would not be a huge blow to the Yankees; Gold Glove like Gio Urshela has already proven he can play at short. Whit Merrifield is versatile and has great speed. He has also been one of the most productive players in the past few years. He seldom strikes out and hits for contact, very LeMahieu-like. Benintendi not only will add power to the Yankees lineup, but he can be a starter in left field.

Asher Wojciechowski

Along with Cessa and Wilson, the Yankees lost another pitcher. New York Yankees sent RHP Asher Wojciechowski outright to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. Wojo instead opted for free agency.

Yankees could be targeting Twins slugger, as Joey Gallo rumors fade

max kepler, yankees

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has made a few bewildering moves in recent days. Trading relief pitchers Luis Cessa and Justin Wilson for a player to be named later with the Cincinnati Reds undoubtedly creates a bit of confusion. Cessa has been performing well this year, hosting a 2.82 ERA over 29 games.

Considering the lack of bullpen depth, trading away two players doesn’t entirely scream efficiency, but Cashman must have a strategy in mind to replace them in the near future. With the trade deadline on Friday, the Yankees still have a few days to make additional moves, but one big lefty that could be on his way to the Bronx.

This time around, it’s not Joey Gallo who’s found himself in limbo between contract extension talks and a potential trade to an alternative club. The rumors have died down regarding the Yankees’ interest in Gallo, as Minnesota twins outfielder Max Kepler has emerged as a target.

Kepler signed a five-year, $35 million deal in 2019, and he’s heading into the third season of his contract. He is set to earn $6.5 million next year, a solid number that wouldn’t hurt the Yankees long-term. This season, he’s hitting .215 with 13 homers and 39 RBIs. He’s currently striking out 21.1% of his at-bats, which is his highest since the 2017 campaign.

Traditionally, Kepler is a solid power bat, hitting 36 homers in 2019 with a .252 average, the highest of his career. He doesn’t offer much regarding contact hitting and getting on base, but he does hover around the 10% walk-rate range, an adequate number. He’s an average defender but would provide depth at centerfield and diversity in the batting order as a lefty.

Kepler is 6’4″ and 225-pounds, providing another big body to help put runs on the board. He fits the Yankees’ slugger addition and has remained relatively healthy throughout his career. At this point, the best ability is availability for the Yankees, and they need players who don’t struggle with injury issues.

Could the New York Yankees acquire two players from the Minnesota Twins?

Today is expected to be a busy day for the New York Yankees front office. The team has an off-day and Brian Cashman is expected to be making calls throughout the day checking in on potential trade pieces.

One of those trade pieces is Max Kepler. MLB Network’s JP Morosi reported this morning that the Twins have started having discussions about trading the left-handed hitting Kepler. The Yankees have checked in with the Twins in recent weeks regarding Kepler’s availability.

Now, at this time it’s not entirely clear how interested they are in Kepler. What we do now is how bad the Yankees have been from the left side of the plate this year. They are one of the worst teams in baseball when it comes to left-handed production.

Kepler would not only assist them in that area, but he would also aid them in the outfield. Not too mention the fact that Kepler has a very team-friendly deal and would be under control for the next few seasons.

While Kepler’s numbers haven’t been sensational this year, we are just two years removed from him hitting 36 home runs. The Yankees could really use him at the plate and in the outfield.

The Yankees interested in reuniting with a Twins pitcher?

It is also being widely reported that the Twins are interested in moving Michael Pineda this week. Pineda is scheduled to start this week and there are expected to be a lot of eye balls on that start.

I wouldn’t rule out the Yankees as one of those teams interested. Obviously, the Yankees are very familiar with Michael Pineda. Pineda spend four years in The Bronx and made a total of 89 starts while he was with the Yankees.

So far this year, Pineda is 4-5 and pitching to a 3.93 ERA. Pineda is set to become a free agent at the end of the year. It’s widely known that the Yankees are also looking at pitching targets this week and perhaps they would entertain reuniting with Pineda.

At this time, there’s no word on if there’s any traction there. This is purely speculation considering the needs of the team and what Minnesota has available. I would expect the Yankees to remain engaged with The Twins throughout this week and perhaps a deal could materialize.

Sound Off: Would you be interested in the Yankees acquiring both Max Kepler and Michael Pineda from the Twins?

Report: Yankees eyeing Twins lefty slugger to aid outfield at trade deadline

max kepler, yankees

Get ready for an influx of rumors regarding the New York Yankees and the trade deadline on Friday. The latest name to come across is Minnesota Twins lefty slugger Max Kepler, who is on a five-year, $35 million deal.

Kepler is heading into the third season of his contract and is set to earn $6.5 million. Considering his price tag is rather reasonable, Kepler could fit the bill for the Yankees, given his consistent double-digit homer totals over the past six seasons.

According to John Morosi, the twins have had preliminary conversations regarding Kepler, and the Yankees are one possible suitor given their shortage of left-handed hitting.

This season, Kepler is hitting .220 with 13 homers and 38 RBIs. He hosts a 20.8% strikeout rate and 10% walk rate, posting a 1.4 WAR on the season so far. Again, the Yankees are intrigued by powerful bats, but his 20% strikeout rate is his highest since 2018, indicating a slow start to this season but traditional solid contact.

To acquire Kepler, the Yankees would likely have to give up a few prospects, as the 28-year-old still has plenty of baseball left in his bones. However, he has never hit over .252, but during that season in 2019, he posted 36 homers and 90 RBIs, attesting to the Yankees’ interest.

Bombers have also been connected to Colorado Rockies star shortstop Trevor Story, and while I fully anticipate general manager Brian Cashman executing a deal before Friday’s deadline, it could be a far less flashy player to fill a role on the cheap.