With the Major League Baseball trade deadline fast approaching, the thought on every New York Yankees fan's mind is how General Manager Brian Cashman and company can improve the roster heading into the second half of the season to strengthen the club's World Series odds. Although the team holds a 14-game lead in the American League East and the best record in baseball, the Yankees still have multiple areas where they can improve their roster.
The Yankees' main focus heading into the deadline seems to be in the outfield. Just yesterday, it was reported by MLB Network insider Jon Heyman that the Yankees have been considering moving Joey Gallo in a deal to upgrade the corner outfield. Gallo was acquired by the Yankees at last season's deadline. Since the trade, Gallo has hit a lousy .163 with just a .666 OPS. If the Yankees do decide to pull the trigger on a deal this deadline, here are five potential trade candidates the club could have their eyes on.
Andrew Benintendi, Kansas City Royals, OF
Yankees fans are very familiar with Andrew Benintendi from his five seasons with the Boston Red Sox. In 2017, he was neck and neck with Aaron Judge for the rookie of the year race early on in the season before Judge ran away with the award after a record-setting rookie campaign. Benintendi has found new life this year during his second season with the Royals. He is slashing .317/.389/.401 with three home runs and provides a stellar glove with the ability to play all three outfield spots.
If Benintendi were to join the Yankees, it may mean the end of Joey Gallo's tenure in New York. With Aaron Hicks, Giancarlo Stanton, and Matt Carpenter all putting together solid seasons, Gallo would be the odd man out in this scenario.
Benintendi seems to be the number one outfield bat on the market for contending teams, and there is no shortage of teams looking for outfield help. The Yankees would have to submit an offer that would satisfy the Royals brass to make this trade a reality.
Mock Trade: Yankees acquire OF Andrew Benintendi and RHP Daniel Mengden for Miguel Andujar, #8 prospect Yoendrys Gomez, #21 prospect Beck Way
David Peralta, Arizona Diamondbacks, OF
If Brian Cashman and company are unwilling to meet the Royals asking price for Andrew Benintendi, they could turn their focus to a cheaper, yet productive alternative in David Peralta. Peralta is a nine-year veteran who will be eligible for free agency at the end of the season. He has posted a respectable .241/.307/.452 line with 11 home runs this season.
Peralta could slide into the outfield mix with Hicks, Judge, Stanton, and Carpenter. Similar to the hypothetical Benintendi trade, a move for Peralta would likely mean the end of Gallo's time in New York. Peralta could split time with Carpenter in left field, while Stanton mans the DH spot with occasional appearances from both Peralta and Carpenter.
Peralta's price tag should be significantly cheaper than the return that Benintendi would command, but with fewer teams willing to enter sell mode due to the extra wild card spot in each league, the bidding for a productive outfield bat could cause a team like the Yankees to offer a more valuable package than their competitors.
Mock Trade: Yankees acquire OF David Peralta for #17 prospect Brandon Lockridge and #30 prospect Edgar Barclay
Tommy Pham, Cincinnati Reds, OF
Tommy Pham's best days are behind him and there are better options on the market, but if the Yankees strike out on better outfield options, Pham should be worth a look. Like Peralta and Benintendi, Pham will be eligible for free agency at the end of the season, so this would be another rental for the Yankees. Pham has posted a modest .248/.335/.406 line with 11 home runs this season.
The Yankees could use a lefty/righty platoon in left field with Pham and Carpenter while giving Stanton full-time DH duty. While Pham is undoubtedly out of his prime, his on base percentage remains almost 100 points higher than his batting average, proving that he still possesses an elite eye at the plate with a knack for getting on base. There is still some pop in that bat as well.
Pham should command a substantially lower price tag than the likes of Benintendi and Peralta. But still, Pham will be one of the better outfield options on the market come deadline day, so the Yankees would still have to present the Reds with the best offer.
Mock Trade: Yankees acquire OF Tommy Pham for #29 prospect Estevan Florial and RHP Carlos Espinal
Michael Fulmer, Detroit Tigers, RP
At one point, it seemed as if Michael Fulmer was on his way to establishing himself as one of the premier young pitchers in the American League after he was named the AL Rookie of the Year with the Tigers in 2016 and was named to the AL All-Star team the following season. But after a shaky 2018 season followed by Tommy John surgery which forced him to miss all of the 2019 season, Fulmer was converted to a full-time relief pitcher. Since the transition, Fulmer has shined out of the bullpen, posting a 1.93 ERA with 32 strikeouts over 32.2 innings pitched this season.
Although the Yankees bullpen has been one of the league's best this season, contending teams in pursuit of a championship can never have enough capable arms in their bullpen come the postseason. With Chad Green out for the year and Zack Britton also out of extended time, the Yankees could be encouraged to add a veteran to their bullpen mix.
Every other postseason contender will also be in hot pursuit of bullpen arms on deadline day, and with Fulmer being one of the best options on the market, the Yankees will have to present the Tigers with a convincing offer to bring Fulmer to the Bronx.
Mock Trade: Yankees Acquire RHP Michael Fulmer for Miguel Andujar, #19 prospect T.J. Sikkema and #25 prospect Josh Breaux
David Robertson, Chicago Cubs, RP
A return to the Bronx for David Robertson following a nine-year run from 2008-2014 that included an All-Star game appearance and a world series championship will certainly be welcomed by Yankees fans. After undergoing Tommy John surgery with the Phillies in 2019, Robertson has managed to revive his career with the Cubs, posting a 2.10 ERA with 45 strikeouts and 12 saves over 34.1 innings this season.
As previously mentioned, the Yankees bullpen has pitched exceptionally well this season, but if a team in search of a World Series has the opportunity to bring in a veteran with an ERA just over two, it is never a bad idea to give them a look. Perhaps Brian Cashman and company would feel more comfortable with the ball in Robertson's hand in October as opposed to younger options such as Albert Abreu and JP Sears, who are both throwing the ball well but lack the postseason experience that Robertson would bring to the table.
As was the case with Fulmer, Robertson will be one of the better relievers on the market come deadline day, so the Yankees would not be alone in their potential pursuit of Robertson. With the Cubs seemingly in a rebuilding stage, the Yankees should have no problem finding a suitable prospect package to send to Chicago.
Mock Trade: Yankees acquire RHP David Robertson and international bonus pool money for RHP Clarke Schmidt and #21 prospect Beck Way