With nothing to sell, the Yankees did the only thing they could, and they did it in a big way, acquiring two much-needed run producers. A win?
For the Yankees, a team built to score runs in bunches, the most telling stat of the season has been their ranking as the second-worst team in the league to do just that.
Torn between throwing in the towel on the season by selling off players from their 40-man rosters, the realization hit home that no team wants what they have to sell; the Yankees did the only thing left to do – jump in the pool as buyers.
Perhaps buoyed by the team’s win in the first two games against Tampa Bay, Brian Cashman completed two trades built to spark the Yankees offense, adding outfielder Joey Gallo and (today’s featured image) first baseman Anthony Rizzo.
Yankees Surrender Prospects But The Hit Is Minimal
Cashman followed his usual path, surrendering prospects from the Yankees farm system, except that this time the hit was minimal.
Rizzo is a three-time All-Star batting .248 with 14 home runs and 40 RBIs in 92 games this season. Unlike Gallo, who is contracted through the 2022 season, Rizzo is a rental who, unless the Yankees reach an extension agreement with him, will be a free agent after this season.
The word on Chicago streets, though, is this is one of those sweetheart deals in which the Cubs promised Rizzo, who is reportedly shaken by the deal, they would re-sign him as a free agent.
Prone to injury, the Yankees will not get much in return for Voit, but the removal of his salary, expected to be around the $6 million for 2022 in his first arbitration year, is the real target of Cashman.
Yankees: More To Come…
With only hours remaining before the 4 pm trade deadline, one noticeable absence from the Yankee’s flurry of activity is a trade for a durable starting pitcher.
Rumors about Max Scherzer and Danny Duffy are now history. The Dodgers acquired both of them while apparently thinking nothing of blowing well beyond the luxury tax limit to what is now estimated to be a $260 million payroll for 2021.
Cashman, however, is still living true to Hal Steinbrenner’s demand that Yankees stay under this year’s payroll limit of $210 million.
Thanks to the Texas Rangers and their willingness to pick up most or possibly even all (TBD) of Joey Gallo’s remaining salary, Spotrac now puts the Yankees payroll at a little more than $208 million.
The Yankees, like all teams, face a now or ever situation because, in 2019, MLB abolished the August waiver deals that enabled teams to continue making trades after the actual trade deadline had passed.
If a player cleared waivers, he could be traded and still qualify for the postseason roster.
Yankees: Playoffs Or Bust
Nevertheless, the Yankees have shown their cards to all teams with a full-blown effort that says they’re in it to win it, with the hope that even by merely qualifying as a Wild Card team, by October, they’ll be set with a team ready to make some noise in the playoffs.
However, while Gallo and Rizzo add two significant pieces to the Yankees offense, other players will need to pick up the pace on offense as well.
As noted yesterday, players like Gleyber Torres has to be better than .248, 6 HR, 37 RBI, DJ LeMahieu is not being paid the big bucks to bat .267 with only 22 extra-base hits in more than 400 plate appearances, and Gary Sanchez‘s paltry .217 BA and only 37 RBI over 78 games is not acceptable.
Look for updates to this article throughout the day as the hours wind down because almost certainly the Yankees are not finished…
Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
Matt Canty Steve, Here is my take:
Andrew Pal While I don’t regard these as bad trades, Cashman made these deals to try and fix the broken roster he created in the first place. Offensively, they might help, although they don’t seem to alter the current all-or-nothing composition of this lineup. Where I think their best contributions might come is on improved defense.
Closing Published Comments And Final Thoughts
With tonight’s game time approaching, we’ll close published comments on this one, but the conversation will go on, and already I have one on tap for tomorrow…