The New York Yankees have not looked too sharp on the field as of late, so what deadline moves could they possibly make to improve?
Although the 2019 season is only a few weeks old, with Yankees fans upset over the team’s abundance of players on the IL as well as players going through slumps, some fans are already starting to consider what positions they may want the team to upgrade at the trade deadline this season. Though the deadline is still three and a half months away, here’s a look at a few players who General Manager Brian Cashman could potentially target when July 31st rolls around.
Bumgarner is likely going to be the big, flashy name that everyone will be pursuing at the deadline. He has been mentioned in countless trade rumors in recent years, and he has especially been linked to the Yankees numerous times. On the surface, he seems like exactly what the Yankees need: a tall, hard-throwing lefty born for the big stage with one of the most impressive Postseason resumes in MLB history.
However, he has had his struggles with staying healthy, as he pitched in only 17 games in 2017 and 21 games in 2018 after pitching in at least 31 games every year from 2011-2016. Pulling a deal for Bumgarner would also require an impressive haul of prospects or young players going back to the Giants, so the Yankees might not want to sacrifice a potential future star like Estevan Florial or Clint Frazier in exchange for a rental who would only be on the team for a few months (Bumgarner is a free agent after this season).
Thus, it might make more sense for the team to wait til this offseason to pursue Bumgarner instead of pulling the trigger this July. However, if the Giants struggle as much as they’re supposed to this season and are looking to trade Bumgarner this summer, it would make sense for the Yankees to at least check in on a trade.
The Yankees got a first-hand look at just how much potential Boyd has when he shut down the team’s offense on April 3rd, recording 13 strikeouts and only surrendering 5 hits and 1 run in 6.1 innings of work as the Tigers beat the Yankees 2-1. Boyd has had a disappointing first few years in the league as he went 22-35 over his first five seasons in the league with the Blue Jays and Tigers.
However, he has looked great this year so far, as he has recorded a 2.60 ERA and leads the league with 29 strikeouts through his first three starts. With the Tigers in full rebuilding mode, they could decide to build around Boyd rather than trade him, so he’s not a lock to be available at the deadline, but he is a name the Yankees should definitely consider if they are in need of pitching help come July.
Like Bumgarner, Abreu’s name has been tossed around in trade discussions for a few years now. With the White Sox not expected to compete for a playoff spot this season, it could make sense for them to trade their two-time All-Star first baseman before he hits the free agent market this November.
Between Luke Voit and Greg Bird, the Yankees have two first basemen who have both shown plenty of potential at the major-league level, though neither of them have looked particularly impressive yet in 2019, as both of them are hitting under .215 as of April 11th. While it’s very much possible for one of Voit or Bird to go on a hot streak very soon and cement themselves as the team’s clear starting first baseman, if both of them continue to struggle, Abreu could be an intriguing name worth looking at as a first baseman or DH if the White Sox are looking to ship him off.
Gallo is another piece the Yankees could consider adding at the deadline to play first base if Voit and Bird continue to struggle. The Rangers, like the White Sox, aren’t expected to be too competitive this year, so it’s very much possible that they look to unload some of their premier pieces like Gallo, who hit 81 home runs over the last two seasons.
Gallo will be a free agent after the 2022 season so he could command a much higher prospect haul in a trade than Abreu. In addition to first base, he also has experience playing at all three outfield spots and at third base. He would be a nice addition as a lefty bat to a lineup full of righties, but with Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton already in the lineup, Gallo would be yet another free-swinging hitter who hits a lot of home runs but also strikes out very often, which might not be the best way for the Yankees to build their lineup.
However, the Yankees and Rangers have made some significant trades in recent years (like the Alex Rodriguez and Carlos Beltran trades) so it wouldn’t be surprising in the least to see Cashman get something done with them for another star player.
Castellanos is another piece that the Tigers could look to move if they are struggling as much as they are expected to when the calendar turns to July. He has expressed interest in staying with the team long term and the Tigers also seem to be interested in keeping him for the future, but MLB Trade Rumors reported that as of March 10th, no extension talks had taken place between Castellanos and the Tigers.
If the team does decide to trade him before he hits the free agent market this winter, he is another piece that Cashman could target to add to the lineup. The 27-year-old Castellanos has plenty of experience playing both right field and third base and has even appeared in left field a bit as well. Though he has plenty of power (he hit 49 home runs over the last two seasons), he is also more than capable of getting on base in other ways, as his .298 batting average and .354 on-base percentage in 2018 were both career highs. His defensive versatility and his ability to hit for both power and average could definitely make him another appealing option for the team to consider trading for.