It has just been announced by the Yankees that RF All Star Aaron Judge will be sidelined at least 3 weeks with a wrist bone chip that he suffered in the bottom of the first of Thursdays game against the Royals. This could easily be more than a month on the DL for Judge as wrist injuries can be tough to get through. Also figure there be a week to two spent rehabbing in the minors.
If there is a silver lining to the timing of the injury it is that it happened a few days shy of MLB’s trade deadline which is this Tuesday July 31st. The Yankees have been amongst the most active teams already by acquiring pitchers Zach Britton and J.A Happ.
This injury might spur GM Brian Cashman to look and make a deal to sure up the recently shaky offense before that deadline comes and goes. Who makes sense given the Yankees desire to stay below the $197 million luxury tax threshold? Lets sort out some options. Keep in mind, well regarded Yankees outfielder Clint Frazier has recently been sidelined with post-concussion headaches and is out indefinitely at this point.
Moustakas signed a 1 year $6.5 million deal to come back to the Royals this past offseason. He’s hitting .249 with 20 home runs, 62 RBIs, and an OBP of .310. The Royals are putrid and should look to sell anything with a heartbeat and close to free agency. The Royals are already in the Bronx so he can simply walk to the other dugout. The Yankees would love to add a left-handed power bat to their right-handed dominated lineup. Moustakas could take over Giancarlo Stanton’s DH spot and Stanton would move to his native right-field full time. Moustakas can also play thirdbase and does so quite well. When Judge does come back, Moustakas can fill in as Miguel Andujar’s back up and even be a defensive replacement late in games and in any possible playoff run.
The Marlins and Yankees have made numerous trades over the past handful of seasons and Bour had been rumored in a deal to the Yankees last trade deadline season. The lefty first baseman is hitting .236 with 16 homeruns, 47 RBIs, and an OBP of .359. Bour in Yankee Stadium would be fun as his raw power is exciting. Bour will not a be a free agent until 2021 so the package might take more prospects than GM Brian Cashman would be willing to give up. Long term, Bour doesn’t have much of a fit for the Yankees but he would provide some much needed lefty power down the stretch
This is more of a familiarity pick than anything. Granderson is currently on the Toronto Blue Jays hitting .229 with 9 HR, and 29 RBIs. The Yankees and Jays just came together for a deal to get the Yankees All Star pitcher J.A Happ Thursday afternoon. Granderson saw back to back 40 homer seasons with the Yankees back in 2011 and and 2012. He was also a fan favorite who could be jolted by a Bronx return. He could play RF twice a week or so, and provide a nice bench spark
This one would be fun. Beltre has aged gracefully as he is in the last year of a 2 yr $36 million dollar deal with Texas. He has been sidelined with some hamstring issues this year but it would be interesting to see him in another postseason run. DH’ing full time could save Beltre’s legs and he would be a terrific mentor to young up and coming star third basemen Miguel Andujar. Beltre is hitting .282 with 5 HR and 31 RBIs. Money could be somewhat an issue here for the Yankees as they remain approximately $4 million under the luxury tax cap.
Adams signed a 1 year $4 million contract with the Nationals this past offseason. He’s having a nice season hitting .279 with 16 HR, 41 RBIs, OBP of .355 and an OPS of .909. Adams is another lefty the Yankees would love to add to their lineup. He fits the DH profile well but can play first base to spell Bird and can fake a corner outfielder. Lefty power? Check. Cheap? Yes. Won’t cost the Yankees much in prospects? Check. Will the Nats actually sell? Remains to be seen.
Yeah Bryce Harper ain’t happening. How wild would that be though? It would be Arod to the Yankees all over again in terms of mass hysteria. His $21 million dollar salary pro rated to the last third of the season (and prospect cost) would be too much for Cashman to stomach
Other names to consider:
Adam Jones: AL East familiar and terrific defender with some pop. Maybe jolted by being thrusted into a pennant chase?
Jose Bautista: Crazy to imagine him in a Yankee uniform but Bautista can play some third base and right-field (would DH mostly). Again another player who could benefit from being thrown into a playoff situation, as it likely would be Bautista’s last chance for a ring. With the Mets this year he’s hitting .231 but does have an OBP of .384 in 143 at bats. He does hit in Yankee Stadium very well. Disclaimer: Mets won’t trade with the Yankees, even for someone as inconsequential as Bautista (remember Jay Bruce last year?)