New York Yankees Trade Deadline: What are the Needs? Potential Targets?

How does one improve a team that is already the best in baseball? That is the question facing New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman as MLB’s August 2 Trade Deadline draws near. Fortunately, the answer(s) is rather obvious for Cashman and Co.

Below, I have outlined two areas where New York can bolster its roster and potential trade targets that could be intriguing.

1) Upgrade the Outfield

First and foremost, the team must find a replacement for the struggling Joey Gallo. The veteran slugger has offered New York very little offensively this season, batting a miserable .164 with just 11 home runs and 23 RBI in 219 plate appearances.

Taking a deeper look into Gallo’s struggles, the 28-year-old is striking out at a 44.7% clip, boasts a walk rate of 17.3%, and is getting on base a measly 29% of the time. While management has waited patiently for Gallo to show signs of his former self, it’s hard to imagine that patience lasting much longer.

A fascinating case is what Yankees’ brass decides to do with the resurgent but streaky and oft-injured Aaron Hicks. After batting just .127 in May, Hicks hit a more respectable .247 in June. The 32-year-old has continued his upward trajectory in July, slashing a spectacular .333/.478/.722 with three home runs and 11 RBI while sporting a 1.200 OPS.

Hicks’s recent production is likely enough to keep him entrenched as New York’s everyday centerfielder. However, the team would be wise to add depth behind him if his early-season struggles or another bout of the injury bug resurfaces.

The challenge for Cashman becomes how much of a price he is willing to pay for the wide range of available talent.

Potential Targets: Juan Soto (WSH), Bryan Reynolds (PIT), David Peralta (ARZ), Ian Happ (CHC)

2) Added Pitching Depth

The Yankees have arguably the most impressive pitching staff in all of baseball. However, management could look into adding some extra arms to relieve some of the stress on those pitchers who may be at risk of being overworked.

New York has several hurlers that fall into that category. Luis Severino, who is currently on the shelf with a right lat strain, has thrown 86.0 innings after being limited to just 18.0 IP the past two years due to injury. Nestor Cortes, who has shown cracks in his armor of late, is already approaching last year’s innings total of 108.0 (95.2 IP). The same holds true for relievers Clay Holmes and Michael King.  

As the old saying goes, you can never have enough pitching.

For teams amid a rebuild, veteran pitchers (both starters and relievers) can be had if the price is right.

Potential Targets: Luis Castillo (CIN), David Bednar (PIT), David Robertson (CHC), Andrew Chafin (DET)