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Yankees pitching has been better than most expected at the beginning of the season, but they now have a much bigger problem: They can’t hit. I’ve come up with FIVE trade targets Yankees GM Brian Cashman should consider as we approach the deadline (yes, there will be a pitcher on this list.)
1. Ketel Marte, Arizona Diamondbacks
There are a couple reasons why Marte makes an ideal fit in the Bronx. Since Opening Day, the Yankees let switch-hitter Aaron Hicks hit third — literally only because he’s a lefty. The front office determined that they needed to break up that righty-heavy offense with a left-handed bat, and that makes sense.
So why not bring in a player like Marte who can hit at least average from the left side of the plate? The best part is that the 27-year-old former All-Star can play any position, which works out well for a roster that has been plagued by injuries. God forbid Aaron Judge goes down for a month — Ketel Marte has the ability to fill into right field until the team needs him elsewhere.
Doesn’t hurt that he makes just $6 million in 2021 and $8 million next year. A team looking to stay under the tax threshold finds a player who won’t push them too far. Match made in heaven.
Unfortunately, I am now in love with the idea of Ketel Marte as a Yankee.— Stanzo (@ncostanzo24) May 25, 2021
Not sure if it’s more unfortunate for me or him considering my offseason obsessions with Hendricks & Castillo and how their seasons have gone thus far
2. Jesse Winker, Cincinnati Reds
This one is more of a “no duh” trade to make. Jesse Winker is leading the league in hitting (.359), and he’s a left-handed bat. Cashman stated a couple weeks ago that they were looking for a lefty, so why not ask for the Holy Grail?
There are better lefties in the game like Juan Soto and Shohei Ohtani, but you’d be pressed to find ones that are actually available. Luckily for the Yankees, the Reds stink, they play in the National League (so they won’t hesitate to deal him), and Winker is affordable. A one-year, $3.15 million deal from a slugging lefty would work in New York these days.
Looking for some Jesse Winker fun facts? Here you go:— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) May 22, 2021
🔴 1st in NL average (.356)
🔴 1st in MLB slugging (.664)
🔴 1st in NL OPS (1.081) pic.twitter.com/ogICiFfMQC
3. Joey Gallo, Texas Rangers
I know I’ve said that the Yankees can’t possibly buy into the boom-or-bust lineup anymore than they already have, but that’s technically inaccurate. They can. However, they could also get to that point by dealing for slugging outfielder Joey Gallo, which would actually make their team better.
Gallo has the second strongest arm in the big leagues, and when you combine that arm with Aaron Judge, who already possess a cannon in right field, the Yankees’ defense is suddenly impeccable out there.
JOEY GALLO WITH A CANNON TO SAVE THE GAME FOR THE RANGERS pic.twitter.com/NBL0G7Ir09— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) May 14, 2021
He also gives them that lefty bat they sorely need. Cashman was probably looking for a contact hitter as opposed to Gallo, though. He’d still be a sweet candidate to make this team better. Can’t get much worse than how Aaron Hicks and Clint Frazier stunk up the field the last two months.
4. Kyle Seager, Seattle Mariners
Seager is a great fit in New York, and I already know what some Yankees fans are thinking: “What about Gio Urshela? He already plays third base, and I like him over there.”
Well, guess what? Gio Urshela is dominant enough on defense to slide over to shortstop. That allows the Yankees to shift super-utility man DJ LeMahieu over to first base and open up second base for current Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres. The odd man out is Luke Voit (who just strained his oblique and expects to miss some time), not Gio Urshela.
AND Kyle Seager is a sure-handed glove over at third base that can put the ball in the seats from the left side. Only flaw I see is he’s a tad expensive as he currently makes $18 million this year and $15M in 2022 before he’s a free agent. This one’s a tough call.
5. Luis Castillo, Cincinnati Reds
Another Red made it on this list because they have some real pieces over there. Luis Castillo has what the Yankees need. Maybe not now, considering their sudden dominance on the mound, but they will need a big arm come October. The Yankees will be judged by their postseason performance in the end, so why not find an answer now?
Any cheap arm that’s chucking 98 with a devastating changeup projects to land big-time prospects, though. Except maybe one: Luis Castillo. Castillo’s having a down year with an ERA over seven, but most of baseball anticipates that he’ll bounce back.
We’ll see where Cashman goes from here.