Yankees Finally Show Their Cards – Make No Mistake They’re All In

Anthony Rizzo - The Newest Yankee (USA Today)

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.

Joey Gallo - One of two new Yankees
Joey Gallo – One of two new Yankees

Four prospects went to the Rangers for Gallo while right-handed pitcher Alexander Vizcaino and outfielder Kevin Alcantara, both minor leaguers, will be moved to Chicago in exchange for Rizzo.

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.

Nevertheless, his acquisition almost surely opens the door for the Yankees to trade their regular first baseman Luke Voit, who is set to come off the IL in a few days.

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.

Yankees Brian Cashman, Hal Steinbrenner, (Photo Credit) (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Yankees Brian Cashman, Hal Steinbrenner, (Photo Credit) (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

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.

Corey Kluber - Working out the kinks (si.com)
Corey Kluber – Working out the kinks (si.com)

To that end, the expected September return of Corey Kluber as the number two guy behind Gerrit Cole, plus the return of Luis Severino are paramount to the Yankees strategy.

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:

A: Gallo is mostly a salary dump for Texas trying to rebuild because there is more time in his contract more guys went the other way. He’s not a season-ending rental. He’s a huge defensive upgrade with speed who had 6 bunt hits last year, 3 this year all against the shift.
B: Chicago doesn’t need to dump the payroll, it’s already allocated. Essentially Brian already knows the potential for Rizzo going back there as a free agent is high. We are giving them 2 prospects to rent the lefty bat and play first base in case Voit is traded or doesn’t stay healthy.
It’s a good call because it’s a PR WIN, showing the fans they are not giving up on the season & they addressed the lack of lefty hitters in a right-handed dominant line-up, in a park built for left-handed hitters and both guys are defensive upgrades. Recommended Read
Chris Stevens Hasn’t even put a dent in the farm system. …not.bad. cash is good sometimes
Jim Schiavo Sr. And now if Cashman can somehow someway get rid of Stanton’s contract, that would be a miracle !! Patience. Next year when the DH comes to the NL.
Stephen Guardino As you all know I’m a vocal Cashman detractor but I have to be fair and say he’s done a very good job filling needs with this team at the deadline.

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.

T.J. Roberts Considering the Yankees performance last night, unless they can pitch I’m not sure this accomplishes much other than weakening our already below-average farm system.
David Trifilo I’d love to see them get something for Voit, & throw in Frazier please
Robert Chigi Cashman Could Not Have Afforded To Stand Pat. He Acquired Two Much Needed Big Left Handed Bats. They Are A Better Team Today Than They Were Yesterday. SixtyOne Games to Go, A HARD SPRINT TO THE PLAYOFFS!

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…

For More Yankees 2021 Themed Stories
Link To Main Page Here

And Thank You For Sharing –
Steve Contursi
– Story Teller

Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.