The New York Yankees are going to be buyers at the 2022 MLB trade deadline, That much is certain. But what do the Yankees need? What are their main areas of weaknesses?
New York’s biggest need stems from the outfield. Although Aaron Judge has been nothing short of elite, players such as Joey Gallo and Aaron Hicks have struggled mightily. Other than the outfield, the Yankees are pretty much set. Their rotation has exceeded exceptions by a long shot, the lineup is producing at a high level, and the bullpen is taking care of business.
So which specific players should the Yankees target?
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4 top targets for Yankees ahead of 2022 MLB trade deadline
Andrew Benintendi is going to be one of the hottest names as the trade deadline draws near. The former Red Sox high-profile prospect now finds himself in Kansas City with the Royals. And he has been one of the few bright spots for KC in 2022.
The left-handed outfielder is hitting over .300 with a .374 OBP. He lacks much in the way of power, but his overall hitting prowess would mesh well with the Yankees lineup. Additionally, New York has more than enough power bats in the lineup. Adding a left-handed contact hitter such as Andrew Benintendi would be a nice compliment to right-handed hitting DJ LeMahieu.
But the Yankees are going to have plenty of competition for Benintendi’s services. He is expected to be one of the top candidates on the trading block.
It is unclear if the Pirates are going to make Bryan Reynolds available this season. But if they do, they will receive plenty of calls in reference to the center fielder.
Reynolds is a switch-hitting outfielder who possesses solid power and decent speed. He already has clubbed 15 home runs to go along with 3 stolen bases and an OPS just under .800.
Although his OBP is down in 2022, Reynolds posted a .390 OBP in 2021. So he has shown the ability to get on base at a consistent rate. Look for New York to pursue Bryan Reynolds should the Pirates make him available.
Anthony Santander of the Baltimore Orioles has a swing that would work in New York. He’s a switch-hitting outfielder with pop from the left side of the plate. Santander has 15 home runs to his credit so far in 2022.
It should be noted that the slash line is underwhelming. He has an OBP south of .330 and slugging percentage south of .430. But Santander would be an upgrade for Joey Gallo and Aaron Hicks.
Anthony Santander isnt a name that is going to make Yankees fans jump out of their seats. But he could be a cheap addition that proves worthwhile in the long run.
I know this was the first name you though of when you saw this story. However, the Yankees chances of acquiring Juan Soto are slim… but it’s not impossible.
The Nationals have expressed an interest in extending Soto. But the young outfielder has reportedly turned down multiple 9-figure offers. So his unwillingness to sign an extension may lead the National to trade him. But he isnt a free agent this offseason so Washington could wait to deal him away.
The Yankees would need to make a jaw-dropping offer if they realistically have a desire to acquire Juan Soto this season.
An outfield including both Aaron Judge and Juan Soto would simply be unfair.