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Report: Yankees to acquire Andrew Heaney from Angels

The Yankees have made a move with the clock winding down. They’re getting Andrew Heaney from the Angels. He’s had a rough season in terms of run prevention with a 5.27 ERA in 94 innings. But he does own a 4.05 FIP and solid 28.2 percent strikeout rate vs. a 7.7 percent walk rate. Home runs are a big issue for him.

Heaney, a 30 year-old southpaw, is purely a rental for the Yankees. He’ll be a free agent at season’s end. He’s a natural spin rate guy, meaning, the sticky-stuff ban didn’t affect him. Still, his performance to date is unsightly, even if there are some underlying reasons that might indicate upside:

Nonetheless, Heaney is here to soak up innings over the next two months more than anything else. He’s not someone who I’d want to start a playoff game. The Yankees are taking a pretty big chance here by banking on one of Luis Severino and/or Corey Kluber to get healthy (and effective) in time for the postseason. A Gerrit Cole-Severino-Kluber trio is very tantalizing, without a doubt. But it’s also a gamble.

As for the prospect return: the Yankees sent away more Rule 5 eligible minor leaguers in Janson Junk and Elvis Peguero. Not surprising considering what we’ve seen the team do in trades in recent days.

Junk, 25, was the Yankees’ 22nd round pick in 2017 and has been a player development success this season. After being a pretty nondescript org-guy through 2019, Junk is in the midst of a breakout in Double-A this year. In 65.2 innings (14 games, 12 starts), Junk has a 1.78 ERA behind a 68:20 strikeout to walk ratio.

Peguero, 24, a righty who can touch 98 out of the bullpen. He’s spent time with High-A Hudson Valley and Double-A Somerset this season, totaling 44.1 innings pitched, 57 strikeouts, 16 walks, and a 2.23 ERA.

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2021 Trade Deadline Open Thread

  • Update, 11:36am: The Yankees “are at least lurking” on RHP José Berríos. (Joel Sherman)
  • Update, 12:05pm: The Rockies don’t plan to trade RHP Jon Gray. (Jon Heyman)
  • Update, 12:34pm: The first big deal of the day has been struck. The Blue Jays are getting RHP José Berríos. Strike one option off the Yankees’ list. (Ken Rosenthal)
  • Update, 12:39pm: Big haul for the Twins in return for Berríos: top prospects SS Austin Martin and RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson (Dan Hayes). Based on this, the Yankees would have had to include at least SS Anthony Volpe to get Berríos.
  • Update, 1:11pm: Here’s a weird one. Cleveland is trading OF Eddie Rosario to Atlanta for 1B/3B Pablo Sandoval. (Mandy Bell)
  • Update, 1:14pm: OF Adam Duvall won’t face the Yankees this weekend. Miami is dealing him to Atlanta. (Craig Mish)
  • Update, 1:29pm: Finally, something Yankees-related although it’s not exactly new news. The Yankees are still looking to move Luke Voit. (Mark Feinsand)
  • Update, 1:55pm: Not much interest in 1B Luke Voit thus far. (Brendan Kuty)
  • Update, 2:19pm: Wow. The White Sox are getting RHP Craig Kimbrel. (Jeff Passan)
  • Update, 2:32pm: 6 or 7 teams are looking at CF Byron Buxton. (Jon Heyman)
  • Update, 2:41pm: The Mets are going after SS Javier Báez. (Joel Sherman)
  • Update, 2:51pm: That was quick. The Mets indeed got Báez. (Andy Martino)
  • Update, 3:01pm: The Phillies are trading for RHP Kyle Gibson and RHP Ian Kennedy. They need pitching badly, and this helps. (Ken Rosenthal)
  • Update:, 3:11pm: Old friend LHP JA Happ is on the move. He’s going to the Cardinals. (Mark Feinsand)
  • Update, 3:50pm: The Yankees are on the board!
  • Update, 3:54pm: The Giants are getting Kris Bryant as the final bell draws near. (Jeff Passan)
  • Update, 4:00pm: Ding ding ding. We’ve hit the deadline. More announcements might trickle in, but as of now, Voit is still a Yankee.
  • Update, 4:05pm: The Yankees are done. There won’t be any post 4pm announcements for them. (Jack Curry)

ORIGINAL POST:

Yankees acquire Anthony Rizzo

Update, 8:46pm: It’s official!


Whoa! Didn’t see this one coming. Nothing official yet, but Jack Curry’s initial report has been confirmed by multiple reporters now: the Yankees are trading for Anthony Rizzo. In return, the Yankees are trading prospects Kevin Alcántara and Alexander Vizcaíno to the Cubs.

Rizzo, who turns 32 in a little over a week, is the second lefty power bat acquired over the last 24 hours, joining Joey Gallo. Rizzo is purely a rental, but the Cubs are covering the remainder of his salary this season. That leaves more room for the Yankees to navigate the trade market before tomorrow afternoon.

Quick reaction: this is a great trade for the Yankees. I could complain about the Cubs sending cash to obtain a better prospect package, and believe me, I hate it. The Yankees should be taking on money, not the other way around. And yet, this is a huge boost to the current roster without subtracting any of the organization’s top prospects.

Not only does Rizzo offer power, but he makes a ton of contact. This year, Rizzo’s 15.7 percent strikeout rate is in the 85th percentile of the majors. That’s right in line with his 15.8 percent career mark.

Prime Rizzo has come and gone — he hit .284/.388/.513 (141 wRC+) from 2014 through 2019 — but he’s still a damn good hitter. This year, he’s batting .248/.346/.446 (115 wRC+) and has 14 homers in 376 plate appearances. Yankees first basemen have been awful this year, though Luke Voit has been out much of the season (more on him in a second), so Rizzo is a huge boost at the position.

Additionally, Rizzo is an elite defender at first base. He’s in the 97th percentile in outs above average at the position this year, and is consistently one of the highest rated first basemen in the game. He and Gallo drastically improve the team’s defense immediately, which is much needed.

Rizzo will enjoy the short porch. (2020-2021 spray chart, LA>10)

Alcántara, 19, is a long way from the majors. The Yankees paid him a $1 million bonus as an IFA in 2018 and he’s currently in the GCL and hitting .360/.448/.520 in just 29 plate appearances. There’s a ton of upside here for the 6-foot-6 center fielder, who ranked 14th on the team’s midseason prospect list over at Baseball America. But given his age and distance to the majors, it’s difficult to project his future. He could make the Yankees look really bad a few years from now! He could also flame out.

Vizcaíno checked in at 12 on the updated Baseball America list. The right-handed pitcher had been hurt to start the season and was just getting back into games in recent weeks. He’s 24 years-old and looks like a future reliever, albeit a potentially dominant late inning type. Trading him opens up another 40-man roster spot, by the way.

Now, about Voit. He appears close to a return from the injured list after seeing him face Luis Severino in a simulated game today. His return just may not be with the Yankees, apparently. Curry mentioned on the YES postgame show, well before the Rizzo deal was reported, that Voit could be on the move. It would be a pretty unceremonious exit for Voit, who was the team’s MVP last year and an excellent hitter since his acquisition. Perhaps Voit goes in a deal for a pitcher.

It’s official: Joey Gallo is a Yankee

Bobby substantially covered this last night as word first broke, but now, it’s official.

The structure of the deal changed from the version reported last night. Instead of lefty John King, the Yankees are receiving southpaw Joely Rodríguez as a secondary piece. Additionally, prospects Everson Pereira and Randy Vasquez are no longer in the deal. Reports also indicate that the Rangers will pay all of the salaries for Gallo and Rodriguez this year, so the Yankees still have room to make deals under the luxury tax.

Aaron Boone said before today’s game that Gallo and Rodríguez should be ready for tomorrow’s series in Miami.

It seems that the Yankees balked at King’s medicals. He’s currently on the injured list with a shoulder injury. So, I’ll provide a quick briefing on Rodriguez. For everyone else involved in the deal, check out Bobby’s work last night.

Jaime is going to dig deeper into Rodríguez in the coming days, so I’ll just provide the nuts and bolts. The lefty reliever has appeared in 31 games for Texas this year (27.1 innings) and owns a 5.93 ERA (3.70 FIP). He was much better last year when he tossed 12.2 innings of 2.13 ERA ball (1.69 FIP).

Rodríguez generates a lot of ground balls (63.9% this season), which tracks with the Yankees’ current bullpen composition (see: Zack Britton, Jonathan Loaisiga, and the newly added Clay Holmes). As Mike Axisa pointed out in this morning’s RAB Patreon post, it may be in response to the sticky stuff enforcement and spin rates dropping.

The Yankees have a $3 million club option ($500k buyout) on Rodríguez for 2022. These next two months will likely be a referendum on that contract decision. The 29 year-old is out of minor league options, so the Yankees will have no choice but to try him out in the major league bullpen.

Yankees Acquire Joey Gallo from the Rangers

The big splash is here. According to every baseball writer you follow and have ever heard of, the Yankees have an agreement in place with the Rangers to acquire left-handed outfielder Joey Gallo. While there are many rumors swirling about the package, the fact is we have no idea what the Yankees gave up yet, so let’s start with the facts. (Update: we now know, so this has been updated accordingly.) Here is the trade, at least the key pieces, according to Jeff Passan, Joel Sherman, and Lindsey Adler:

  • Yankees Get: Joey Gallo, LHP John King
  • Rangers Get: RHP Glenn Otto, 2B Ezequiel Duran, SS Josh Smith, RHP Randy Vasquez, OF Everson Pereira, and 2B Trevor Hauver

(Update again: We in fact do not know the final package, as Jack Curry reported late last night that it didn’t include Vasquez and Duran, nor did it include John King but Joely Rodriguez. At this point, given the lack of official confirmation, we’re leaving this analysis up and will edit as needed later today.)

Okay, there is a lot to unpack here. A lot a lot a lot. Most of it good, though. The Yankees got potentially the biggest impact bat on the market for a lot of mid-level prospects who broke out in 2021. That is a pure upgrade for the team. It’s hard not to love that. It is also a Brian Cashman special, as the team unloaded a ton of depth (more on that later) without sacrificing any MLB talent or top-tier prospects. It’s why I can’t accept any proposals about moving beyond Cashman as serious. He is probably the best trader in the business.

Anyway, I think it makes sense to break this down piece-by-piece, starting with the two players the Yankees got in the trade, moving to the pieces they surrendered, and then an overall look at the move. Let’s get to it, shall we?

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