The New York Yankees are in a rut right now, that is clear. They are an unthinkable 0-6 against the rival Red Sox and have fallen to fourth in the AL East. Not many expected a team with such great talent to fall so far, yet the Yankees are absolutely floundering to the high expectations put upon them. The Yankees biggest weakness has been their hitting with RISP, which is almost the worst in baseball. Their offense, in general, has been bad, so the Yankees trade targets this season will be mostly hitters. New York is towards the bottom in runs scored per game, yet one of the best in runs allowed per game. They are below league average in OPS+, but well above league average in ERA+. Despite the poor numbers, there are a few bright spots. Let’s check out the specific Yankees trade targets.
Joey Gallo – Rangers RF/DH
The Texas Rangers are in last in the AL West and are selling here at the deadline. Gallo is a left-handed bat and an outfielder, which is needed by the Yankees. Not including the switch-hitting Aaron Hicks, lefties are taking just 18% of the Yankees at-bats in 2021. This is not a good thing, because the Yankees hit worse off of righty pitchers (just .233 ), and they see right-handers almost 2/3 of the time because of their righty-dominant lineup. Gallo can help fix this, and he fits the Yankee mold, which is lots of strikeouts but lots of power. Gallo is hitting just .239, but his league-leading walk total and his massive power gives him a fantastic .894 OPS. His pull-the-ball approach is going to bode well in the short-porch if the Yankees can get him.
With Aaron Hicks out for the rest of the season, Gallo will be an important addition. He has played mostly right field, and his defense is far and away the most underrated part of his game. A judge has been playing center field much more often since Hicks’ departure, so he can stay there with Gallo in right. This will help the Yankees keep the poor-hitting Gardner and Frazier out of their lineups. If the Yankees can put together a Gallo deal, their outfield will have the improving Miguel Andujar, Judge, and Gallo, which is dangerous. Gallo will be a hot commodity as the deadline approaches, and so the Yankees must be ready with a backup plan.
Luis Arraez – Twins OF/2B/3B
While Gallo may be a perfect option for the Yankees, it will be more difficult to pick up Arraez. The Twins utility guy is young, valuable, and on a cheap deal. However, he is expected to hit free agency after this 2021 season, and the Twins may look to try to get something for him at the deadline if they don’t expect to get him back. Arraez is not a player synonymous with the Yankees’ mold, but he would still be helpful. He is another lefty bat, and he can play outfield, 2B, or 3B. Not only that, but he has hit above .300 against righty bats all three years of his short career. Arraez is a contact hitter, through and through, but that may not be a bad thing.
The Yankees have desperately struggled with RISP in 2021, and Arraez can help with that. The 24-year-old has one of the lowest whiff and strikeout rates in baseball. He also produces one of the highest contact rates in the game. Players that put the ball in play and don’t strike out would be very helpful for New York. In fact, no Yankee is currently hitting above .300. Arraez .316 career average would be wonderful for a Yankee team that is not lacking power but is lacking hits. Despite Arraez not being a power hitter or a pull hitter, he may be the most beneficial player to the Yankee lineup right now. He may come at a hefty price, but the contact legend will be a great addition if New York can nab him.
Jose Berrios – Twins SP
The Twins should be sellers at this deadline, and the Yankees could use another starting pitcher. New York’s bullpen has been dominant so far, except for a few blow-up outings by Aroldis Chapman. The starting pitchers have been good enough but adding another great arm could really be a turning point. The loss of Corey Kluber will hurt, but if the Yankees can trade for Berrios, the one-two punch with Gerrit Cole could be lethal. In fact, based on ERA+, only Gerrit Cole and Jordan Montgomery are above league average. Another elite starter should be a Yankees’ trade target, especially with a struggling offense.
Bryan Reynolds – PIT OF- The Pirates are currently last in the NL Central by a large margin and need to look to the future. However, Reynolds is one of their best players, and he is still young. The Pirates may want to continue to restock the farm system, and trading Reynolds would work.
Zac Gallen – ARZ SP- This acquisition is very unlikely because of how good Gallen has been for Arizona. The starter is young, but with a terrible Diamondbacks team it is possible that they could dish him out. He would play a pivotal role for the Yankees rotation and could easily bolster it.
Jasson Dominguez – NYY OF- The Yankees number one prospect is just 18 years old. If the Yankees are smart, then they will not rush his development and will continue to wait on him. However, his potential is intriguing, and he does fit the exact needs the Yankees are desiring. I do not think the Yankees should bring him up, but it is a possibility if they are looking to win now and take a chance.
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