Quick Thoughts Before the Trade Deadline

Happy Sunday. Including today, we’re three days out from the trade deadline–August 2 at 6 PM eastern. While the Yankees have already traded for Andrew Benintendi–whom I identified as a target way back–it’s worth noting that August 2 is my seventh wedding anniversary, so it’d be nice of the Yankees to get my wife and me a present, like a starting pitcher and/or a reliever or two. And the best part is that you all would benefit, too. Not really sure why they can’t do this! Anyway…

Starting with the Benintendi trade, I’ll say what I said on Twitter. It’s a good trade (with a caveat). He’s better than Joey Gallo and that’s really what the bar was for acquiring an outfielder. With a high-contact approach, Benintendi continues the Yankees’ attempt at lineup diversification. Again, good thing. The Yankees have a lot of on-base and power types who could be on in front of Benintendi to take advantage of his contact skills. However, as Mike Axisa noted in the RAB Patreon right after the trade, we’re a BABIP regression away from having an outfield version of Isiah Kiner-Falefa in the lineup. For now, though, it’s a lineup upgrade that the Yankees could surely use.

The cost of the trade also helps make this a good deal. While it always hurts to give up three prospects at once (Beck Way, T.J. Sikkema, and Chandler Champlain in this case), these ones aren’t likely to be players the Yankees will miss in a few years, especially if this season ends the way we all want it to end.

One big addendum to this trade is that, as of now, Benintendi has not gotten his Covid vaccination. You’ll remember that he and nine other Royals were not allowed into Canada for the team’s series against the Blue Jays a few weeks back. He’s implied that he’s “open” to getting the vaccine, whatever that means, and he does have time. The Yankees’ series in Toronto isn’t until the end of the year, so by my count (14 days out), he’ll have to be fully vaccinated by September 11 to be eligible to play there for the regular season and any potential playoff series. It’s worth noting that the Jays themselves were apparently in on Benintendi, too, so maybe he really is open to getting his shot(s) , as he should be. If he happens not to get it, it’d be damn near impossible to not downgrade the trade’s evaluation. The whole point is to get better for the stretch run and the playoffs, and if he can’t play in one of or both of those, well…Hopefully it becomes a moot point.

With Benintendi, the Yankees are a better team than they were without him. However, they still need to make some tweaks to the roster going forward. With Luis Severino out, it’s imperative for the Yankees to get a starter to bolster the rotation. Number one target Luis Castillo is gone to the Mariners for a package of prospects that, apparently, the Yankees couldn’t or wouldn’t match. I’ve seen people suggest it may’ve been a slight overpay for the M’s but who can blame them? Their last playoff appearance came when I was a freshman in high school; they should be going for it. Castillo would’ve been perfect for the Yankees, but if the Reds liked what the Mariners offered more, well, so be it. Of course, as luck would have it, Castillo will be making his Mariners debut against the Yankees this coming week.

Now that he’s off the board, the Yankees’ focus will likely turn to Oakland pitcher Frankie Montas. They’ve also been linked to Noah Syndergaard and Jose Quintana. There was a report yesterday that the Giants are even willing to listen on Carlos Rodon. Any of these four would pass the “better than Domingo German” test, and that’s really what the Yankees need. Even when Severino returns, one of them could help deepen the rotation and give the Yankees plenty of post-Gerrit Cole options for a stretch and playoff run rotation. Montas and Rodon would be preferable to the other two, but I wouldn’t scoff at Quintana or Thor.

Additionally, the Yankees have been linked to (another) reunion with David Robertson, now of the Cubs. Given the injuries to Michael King and Chad Green, this move would make a ton of sense. He’s an established, experienced reliever used to playoff runs and high-leverage spots. It would likely behoove the Yankees to bring him home.

All of it, of course, is price-dependent, but with the position the Yankees are in, how close they are to a title run, I’m more than a little willing to pay higher prices. Flags fly forever, folks.

The Yankees are an excellent team with a big lead and virtually guaranteed playoff odds. That doesn’t mean they can’t and shouldn’t make tweaks and improvements. This, more than any other recently, is the year to strike hard at the deadline and go for it.


Looking back at the Yankees’ 2017 Draft


The Series Where Everything Goes Wrong


  1. Anthony Rizzeddardo

    Cole might be the worst “ace” in baseball. That’s why I always laugh when people call him one. We have no chance against Verlander in October. None. Verlander never gives up 6 runs in an inning. And thr excuse for baby Cole is always “it’s too hot” Why doesn’t the heat affect Castillo, an actual ace? What a gian waste of money. Between Cole and Hicks and Donaldson they’ve got an entire payroll of sunk costs. Unless Montas and Nestor carry this staff it’ll be one and done in October. And they traded away Monty! Tallion has been garbage for a month, Cole too and they just traded away a 3 ERA starter so we could watch more 5 ERA German. And Sevy was blindsided with a 60 day IL stint. He’s out until at least mid September! I’m not even sure if they’ll hold on for the division. The Jays actually made upgrades and didn’t trade away 3 ERA starters.

  2. Anthony Rizzeddardo

    And now we have Montas! Hell of a deadline by Cash. Upgrades made and no top prospects given up. Now trade Gallo and Donaldson for a bucket of dog poop and we’ll have a successful trade deadline. Finally they go for it instead of doing nothing.

  3. Anthony Rizzeddardo

    Well we got our reliever today in Effross. Reminds me of Jeff Nelson. Should be a good pickup. Now we need a starter. Monty has been garbage his past few starts. Tallion had been bad for months. German is not the answer. Two reliable starters and Cole isn’t that reliable. You won’t beat Houston with this rotation.

  4. The Original Drew

    If they don’t go for it now, then where will they ever actually push the chips in?

    Walking away with Plan C because the other team pushed you beyond your comfort zone isn’t acceptable.

    That being said, the only player I would trade Volpe for is Soto and it seems like the Yankees are out of that sweepstakes. Must be nice to be a Dodgers fan.

  5. Anthony Rizzeddardo

    And with the epic collapse of Clay Holmes we desperately need bullpen help immediately. Cash better be up all night with Gilbert Gottfried the next couple days. We need arms. And I’d put Chappy back in that closer role. Chappy has been the stable reliable one of late and Holmes the head case. Why you would ever throw that cookie to the one guy in the Royals lineup that can beat you is beyond me. Throw it in the dirt. I thought Holmes had a good sinker. Regression to the mean. I’m sorry but I just don’t have faith in Ralph Machio and Fat Albert Abreu to beat the Astros in October. And right now it’s looking like another loss in the ALCS. We don’t have anyone to go toe to toe with Verlander. Houston has a much better lineup. They don’t have any Josh Donaldsons and Joey Gallos. They have guys that hit for average and power. We have two of those guys, Judge and Carpy. And they keep saying Carpy will be relegated to the bench when Stanton returns. Why? If you’ve got a guy hitting .320 with 15 homers since May 1 with a 1.000 OPS I’m supposed to sit him on the bench and play the guy hitting .220 with 9 homers all year and a .600 OPS? I just don’t understand it. All the sabermetricians and analytics can’t tell you which is better? They pick and choose what they want to believe I guess. I can understand not wanting to play Carpy every single day but that’s what DJ is for. At the very least platoon Josh and Carpy at 3rd.

  6. Anthony Rizzeddardo

    If Benintendi is another IKF, good, Matt. And who cares what Mike A says on his Patreon ponzi scheme. Are people really still paying for that crap? If we listened to Mike A Judge would been traded for Quintana. We need more IKFs and less Gallos. At least they put the ball in play.. And now Josh Donaldson is the new Gallo. God he’s bad. I just don’t know what the sabermetrics community sees in these guys. Why the hell is Carpenter not the everyday 3rd baseman? Rather than putting him in the OF just put him at his natural position. Carpenter is the only one that can hit a decrepit Greinke! We need another starter and reliever or two. Tallion and Monty cannot be relied upon in October vs the Astros. We need a reliable #3 behind Nestor and Cole. Chappy is back to form. He’ll be good in the fireman role but we need another reliable back end reliever that can shut down Houston.

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