Though we’re all waking up this morning with a more sour Yankee taste than we’d like, the fact remains that the team is in contention. Given that fact and that it’s June, it’s time to look forward to the rest of the year and what can be done to improve the team.
In a surprise not many saw coming, the Yankee offense is the thing in need of improvement. The pitching staff has, for the most part, been excellent and likely won’t need too much tinkering. Luis Severino’s impending return will help bolster it, too. Now, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t look to explore trade options, but the priority needs to be the offense.
With Chris Gittens now called up to (potentially?) plug the first base hole and, thus, move DJ LeMahieu back to second base, the can be kicked down the road a bit and the focus can shift to the outfield, specifically center field, LHB if possible. Beggars, though, can’t be choosers and any outfield help should be considered.
MLBTR ranked the top 40 trade candidates the other day, so let’s take a look at the outfielders on the list. They are:
Mitch Haniger, SEA
David Peralta, ARI
Joey Gallo, TEX
Michael A. Taylor, KC
Robbie Grossman, DET
Starling Marte, MIA
Corey Dickerson, MIA
Kole Calhoun, ARI
Anthony Santander, BAL
Nick Castellanos, CIN
Of those, only Taylor and Marte are listed as CF and both are RHB. One name not listed, perhaps because his contract is pretty friendly–is Ketel Marte of Arizona, who plays center field and is left handed.
If the rest of the Yankee offense were clicking, I’d be okay with going after Taylor, who’s a good defender. But given his offensive profile and what the Yankee offense is doing right now, I think he’s a pass, even if his cost would likely be low. Starling Marte is just a better hitter and, even if he’s right handed, the Yankees have to take a surer thing to get the offense boosted a bit. Ketel Marte offers enough of a sure thing at the plate, too, and he is left handed, something the Yankees sorely need.
While early June certainly isn’t late, the time has come for the Yankees to press things a little bit. With each passing game, it’s harder and harder to say ‘they’ll come around’ or ‘they’ll snap out of it.’ Is it possible their hitters do that? Absolutely. But with their record falling over the last two weeks and few of those hitters showing signs of coming around, it’s time to go get some help.