3 New York Yankees trades to bolster MLB’s best team

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are atop the MLB standings with the All-Star Break closing. Holding a massive lead in the AL East with a spot in the MLB playoffs, executive Brian Cashman should be looking for moves that make this club even stronger.

On the surface level, it may not seem like New York needs to do anything. Going into play on July 9, the Yankees are first in OPS (.770), runs scored (439) and home runs (143). Additionally, New York held the second-highest team ERA (2.95) and ranked third in defensive runs above the FanGraphs average (15.6).

However, no team is perfect. The Yankees’ daily roster often includes several disappointing players at the plate, including Josh Donaldson (.231/.318/.412), Isiah Kiner-Falefa (85 wRC+), and Joey Gallo (83 wRC+, .166/.285/.341 ).

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While a few of those players may hold onto starring roles, recent matchups against the Houston Astros proved there’s room for improvement. Couple that with the rotation’s long-term outlook, there are a few potential trade options the New York Yankees could explore this summer.

Luis Castillo traded to New York Yankees

MLB: Cincinnati Reds vs. Chicago Cubs
Kamil Krzaczynski – USA TODAY Sports

Many rightly feel confident in the New York Yankees rotation right now. Gerrit Cole (3.26 ERA), Nestor Cortes (2.74 ERA), Luis Severino (3.11 ERA) and Jordan Montgomery (3.19 ERA) are on the rise this year. During the regular season, there would apparently be no need for another starter.

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New York has to think about October. While Cole can be trusted in the playoffs, there’s more risk with the others. After a dominating start to the campaign, Cortes holds a 5.34 ERA with a 1.36 WHIP and a .274 batting average allowed in his last six starts. As for Severino, he’s already 84 innings pitched after combining to pitch just 18 MLB innings the past two seasons.

  • Cincinnati Reds Trade: Luis Castillo
  • New York Yankees Trade: Oswald Peraza, Ken Waldichuk

Many fans might not like the price of this offer, especially since Luis Castillo is not considered an ace. Take a closer look at his production this season, especially lately. Castillo’s fastball speed is in the 91st percentile (Baseball Savant). Among starting pitchers since May 20, he ranks 11th in ERA (2.49), 15th in strikeout rate (26.4%) and he allowed the sixth-lowest barrel rate (4.2 %).

Keep in mind, he does all of that with the majority of his starts in baseball’s most batting-friendly stadium. Under team control through the 2023 season, Castillo could be the Yankees’ No. 2 starter for the next two years.

David Peralta bolsters New York Yankees outfield depth

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Colorado Rockies
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

There are a lot of MLB trade rumors surrounding Kansas City Royals outfielder Andrew Benintendi. He is the No. 1 target for many teams with MLB insiders pointing to him as the perfect target for New York. In a scenario where the Yankees acquire Castillo to bolster the rotation, we’ll approach the outfield with a more affordable option.

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Similar to Benintendi, David Peralta is a post-season free agent. While the 34-year-old isn’t the same caliber of hitter, he’s still dependable at bat and would provide New York with a massive improvement defensively. More importantly, it will cost much less to acquire.

  • New York Yankees Trade: Luis Gil, Antonio Gomez, JP Sears
  • Arizona Diamondbacks Trade: David Peralta

The numbers speak for themselves. Peralta, a southpaw, ranks in the 92nd percentile for Outs Above Average and the 71st percentile for Outfielder Jump. A Gold Glove Award winner in 2019, Peralta also offers a respectable 109 wRC+ with .772 OPS in a less hitting friendly environment.

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David Robertson back in New York

MLB: Chicago Cubs vs. New York Yankees
Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

There’s nothing like having too much talent in the bullpen. Aroldis Chapman is at risk of injury and we’ve seen him struggle before. While Clay Holmes is electric as the closest, New York could fortify the deck that reaches him in the ninth inning or in clutch situations.

David Robertson is proving himself again in his 37-year-old season. The 2.10 ERA is impressive, but his .149 batting average allowed is far more remarkable. While the walks (12.1% BB rate) are a bit of an issue, he’s still missing plenty of bats (31.9% strikeout rate) and his 49.3 rushing ball rate % matches the Yankees’ infield perfectly.

  • New York Yankees Trade: Brock Selvidge, Deivi Garcia
  • Chicago Cubs Trade: David Robertson

The 37-year-old right-hander posted a 2.75 ERA in nine seasons with the Yankees, becoming one of the best relievers in baseball. Years later, he found himself in Chicago and a return to Yankee Stadium could be in the cards. Considering the real impact playing for this team has had on the players, it’s a wise move to acquire a veteran reliever with a history of performing in the pinstripes.

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