Before the baseball trade deadline on August 2, the New York Yankees were the best team in baseball with a record of 70-34. However, they felt they still needed more to end their World Series drought since their last championship in 2009.
The Yankees main needs were another starting pitcher or two, a bullpen arm, and dump struggling outfielder Joey Gallo.
On July 27, the Yankees made their first trade and acquired outfielder Andrew Benintendi from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for prospects RHP Chandler Champlain, LHP T.J. Sikkema and RHP Beck Way. Sikkema was the Yankees 19 rated prospect in the system and Way was the Yankees 21 rated prospect.
The Yankees won this trade by far as they acquired a lefty hitter (which is great for the short porch in right field at Yankees Stadium). Benintendi was hitting .320 before coming to the Yankees for three prospects who were not even ranked in the top-18. The Yankees earn an A for this trade as they acquire a great hitter who can help the Yankees who have struggled with runners in scoring position as of late without giving up anything valuable.
Even though Benintendi is hitting a mere .133 with the Yankees, he will hit better once he gains chemistry with his new teammates.
The Yankees also added a bullpen arm Scott Effross from the Chicago Cubs. The Yankees had their eyes on the sidearm pitcher from Chicago for months and were finally able to make the deal. In exchange for Effross, the Yankees gave up their 7 prospect Hayden Wesnecki who is a right-handed pitcher.
In 47 games with the Cubs, he has 50 strikeouts and a 2.66 ERA. However, with the Yankees he has a 9.00 ERA in just three games. I give the Yankees a C+ for this deal as they got a position of need, however they might have given up too much in Wesneski.
In one of the bigger deals the Yankees made, they got their starter in Frankie Montas as well as bullpen pitcher Lou Trivino. The Yankees shipped away prospect pitchers JP Sears, Ken Waldinchuk, Luis Medina, and second baseman Cooper Bowman.
Montas owns a 3.18 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP however has a record of 4-9. His record must be taken with a grain of salt as he was on a lackluster Oakland Athletics team.
One of the things that might excite Yankees fans even more about this deal is that he has done well against the rival Houston Astros. Since 2017, he has faced the Astros 15 times and has a record of 8-5 and has only let up three or more three times with the last time being in August 2020.
Trivino has done well with the Yankees so far as he has appeared in four games and has not allowed a run and has three strikeouts.
Even though some Yankees fans were not happy with acquiring Luis Castillo as he is debatably better than Montas. The Reds wanted Yankees top prospect shortstop Anthony Volpe whom the Yankees valued as untouchable. I would give this deal a B+ for the Yankees.
The Yankees in an expected move shipped off struggling slugger Joey Gallo to the Los Angeles Dodgers for their 15-ranked prospect pitcher Clayton Beeter. Gallo hit .159 with the Yankees and only 12 home runs. Gallo unfortunately was a prime example of players who can just not handle the pressure of being in New York.
On the other hand, Beeter is a player with a lot of potential. Even though he is struggling with an 0-3 record and a 5.75 ERA, he still has a bright future. He is only 23 years old and now will be working with Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake in the spring and potentially in the future and could make Beeter something special.
I give this deal an A + as they traded away a struggling player and managed to get a prospect that could be very valuable down the road.
The last trade the Yankees made might be the most confusing as they traded Jordan Montgomery to the St. Louis Cardinals for defensive gem outfielder Harrison Bader.
Montgomery has been on the Yankees his whole career and had an ERA of 3.69. His record was only 3-3 as the Yankees for some reason struggled often to give him run support. Brian Cashman and company must have thought Montgomery would not get any innings in the rotation after the Montas deal and with Severino coming back in September.
Bader has been out with plantar fasciitis in his right foot since June 26. When healthy Bader is a significant upgrade over Aaron Hicks both offensively and defensively.
Bader might be one of the best center fielders in the league and is hitting .256 compared to Hicks’s .226 batting average.
Even though the Yankees are cold as of late and just got swept by the St. Louis Cardinals. The Yankees are still one of the best teams in the American League and are 9.5 games ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays for first place in the AL East.
After the deadline moves and once Anthony Rizzo, Giancarlo Stanton, Bader, and Luis Severino come back, this team has no significant weaknesses and are looking to win the World Series for the first time since 2009.