Now that the non-waiver deadline has passed, we’re taking a look back at what each team was able to accomplish before 4 p.m. ET on July 31. Next up in our recap series, the New York Yankees.
New York Yankees, (57-48), 0.5 GB in AL East, 1st in AL Wild Card
ACQUIRED: RHP Sonny Gray (from OAK), 1B/3B Todd Frazier (from CWS), RHP David Robertson (from CWS), RHP Tommy Kahnle (from CWS), LHP Jaime Garcia (from MIN), 1B Garrett Cooper (from MIL), 1B Ryan McBroom (from TOR)
TRADED: RHP Tyler Clippard (to CWS), OF Blake Rutherford (to CWS), OF Dustin Fowler (to OAK), SS Jorge Mateo (to OAK), RHP James Kaprielian (to OAK) LHP Ian Clarkin (to CWS), RHP Zack Littell (to MIN), OF Tito Polo (to CWS), 1B Rob Refsnyder (to TOR), LHP Tyler Webb (to MIL), LHP Dietrich Enns (to MIN)
Coming into this year’s trade deadline, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the team would be “careful buyers.” By that statement, he meant that the Yankees were looking to acquire controllable assets at the Major League level without giving up his top prospects, and that is exactly what he did, even in getting bigger names than most people imagined.
The Yankees had a need to upgrade at the corner infield positions, in the bullpen and in the starting rotation, and Cashman addressed all of the team’s needs, all the while not compromising the future.
In the team’s first move of the deadline, the Yankees acquired Tommy Kahnle, David Robertson and Todd Frazier from the White Sox. In one move, the Yankees potentially took Robertson and Frazier away from the Red Sox while solidifying the bullpen and the corner infield positons, with Frazier’s ability to play first and third. In the bullpen, Kahnle and Robertson have combined with Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman to give the Yankees a strong bullpen once again.
From there, Cashman made his first move in the rotation adding pitcher Jaime Garcia from the Twins, less than a week after he was traded by the Braves. The Yankees did not stop there in the rotation after making a big splash just an hour before the deadline acquiring Sonny Gray from the Athletics.
These two moves have given the Yankees six starting pitchers going forward, but with innings limits and concerns for Jordan Montgomery and Luis Severino, this should play to the Yankees advantage, while also setting them up to make a run at the AL East title.
Let’s be clear, the Yankees did part ways with some prospects with notable upside. The package with the White Sox was headlined by 2016 first rounder Blake Rutherford, who is currently the White Sox’s fifth ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline, which is a testament to how loaded their system is.
Additionally, the Yankees dealt Dustin Fowler, Jorge Mateo and their 2015 first rounder James Kaprielian in the deal for Gray with the Athletics. All three of these players have the an All-Star ceiling, but Fowler and Kaprielian are coming off serious injuries and Mateo has seen his value decrease significantly of late. The Yankees were able to deal from their deep system, without giving up top guys such as Gleyber Torres, Clint Frazier, Chance Adams and Justus Sheffield.
Now, the Yankees still have work to do. It was clear that the Yankees were not afraid to deal outfield prospects due to their logjam of outfielders in the big leagues, and that is something that may have to be addressed in August.
With Aaron Hicks set to return from the disabled list, the Yankees would love to move Jacoby Ellsbury and his albatross contract to allow Clint Frazier to take over in the Yankee outfield. If the Yankees are unable to do that, they may be forced to demote Frazier back to Triple-A, which may be the only possible play for the club, but would be a very unpopular move. However, Cashman did make some very popular moves at the deadline.
The Yankees were linked to a number of targets on the market leading up to the deadline as they managed to address all the holes on the roster. They will be fighting the Red Sox for the AL East once again, and the Yankees have to love their chances with the roster Cashman has assembled.
For a complete list of our trade deadline recaps, click here.