Try as they might, the New York Yankees are never able to solve all of their problems via the trade market. Outside of first baseman Anthony Rizzo’s arrival in 2021, most of the Bronx Bombers’ midseason trade acquisitions in recent seasons have been mediocre at best, whether because of injuries or players simply not adjusting well to the pinstripes.
The less said about the Joey Gallo trade, the better.
Even before injuries decimated the Yankees’ lineup, it was easy to see they had a glaring Aaron Hicks-sized hole in left field. The infield could use another bat, especially if top shortstop prospect Anthony Volpe hits the rookie wall this summer.
We’ve tried to keep things realistic in determining hitters the Yankees should trade for over the coming weeks. No, the Yankees likely aren’t acquiring Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani for a group of mid-tier prospects. Also, we didn’t list catchers as the Yankees traditionally avoid adding starting backstops at the trade deadline, given the work involved in learning the pitching staff.
Which hitters should the Yankees try trading for this summer? Here’s who instantly comes to mind.
Three Hitters the New York Yankees Must Acquire
Jurickson Profar, LF, Colorado Rockies
You’re not mistaken if you’re surprised Jurickson Profar is only 30. The veteran switch-hitter debuted in 2012 as a 19-year-old infielder with the Texas Rangers, though he’s never quite lived up to his one-time status as MLB.com’s number-one prospect. Over a decade later, he’s a corner outfielder on a Colorado Rockies team facing another losing season. Profar owned a .230 average with five home runs, eight doubles, and 15 RBI through his first 36 games.
Profar profiles as a versatile lefty rental, albeit one lacking the established resume former fan favorite Matt Carpenter brought to the Bronx last summer. The best-case scenario is Profar mashes in pinstripes and potentially earns an opportunity to serve as the starting left fielder in 2024. Worst case? The Yankees trade a low-level prospect or two for a bat who doesn’t make it in New York.
The most realistic outcome? Profar has a critical hit or two but is mostly forgettable, winds up in Tampa Bay, and breaks out for 25 home runs and 80 RBI next season.
Mike Yastrzemski, CF/RF, San Francisco Giants
The irony of Mike Yastrzemski — whose grandfather, Carl, terrorized the Yankees for over two decades while playing for the rival Boston Red Sox — suiting up for the Bronx Bombers isn’t lost on us. Such a move would likely make the family’s next trip to Fenway Park quite awkward—and it’d certainly be among the more intriguing Yankees trades in recent memory.
Although Yastrzemski is a late bloomer who turns 33 in August, he’s nonetheless a left-handed hitter with pop. Arguably the biggest knock against the Yankees’ lineup for years has been their lack of lefties who can properly take advantage of the right-field short porch.
However, Yankees fans should also be cautious about trading for Yastrzemski, as the veteran outfielder has been out since early May with a left hamstring ailment. Before landing on the IL, Yastrzemski hit .292 with five home runs, 14 RBI, and an above-average .854 OPS, his highest mark since 2020.
A healthy Yastrzemski likely won’t put up All-Star caliber numbers, but he’d absolutely be a superior option over the likes of Hicks and Isiah Kiner-Falefa in the outfield.
Yoán Moncada, 3B, Chicago White Sox
We go from the grandson of a Red Sox great to a former BoSox top prospect. After missing the first month-plus of the 2023 campaign with back problems, Yoán Moncada returned to hit .300 with two home runs and a .327 on-base percentage in his first 12 games for the dismal Chicago White Sox. Don’t be surprised to see the White Sox officially enter a transition period by dealing Moncada, who can potentially hit free agent following the 2024 season.
At least on paper, Moncada is an upgrade over Josh Donaldson, who remains out with a hamstring injury. The 27-year-old would also give the Yankees another capable bat to regularly play third, allowing DJ LeMahieu to properly serve a utility role as initially planned. However, Moncada’s propensity for strikeouts makes him a risky option in a lineup already featuring Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.
Despite the early-season panic among fans, the Yankees don’t need to radically revamp the lineup. They have a significant need in left field and strongly stand to benefit from adding one more bat to the mix.
We believe Yastrzemski makes the most sense for the Yankees as a trade target, though his age and three remaining years of team control could potentially create issues down the line. But some risks are worth taking when a team possessing one of the sport’s largest payrolls hasn’t won a World Series in nearly 15 years.
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