3 perfect trade candidates that would make the Yankees World Series favorites (2024)

The New York Yankees started the year with a bang, sweeping their bitter rivals, the Astros, in four games. From there, the Yankees kept rolling. But now, the story has changed.

A slew of injuries has managed to slow their offense significantly, the once great Yankee starting rotation is now a dumpster fire, and the bullpen never ceases to allow runs. What was thought to be a monster of a team has several fatal flaws that will not keep them in postseason battles.

While the Yankees sit in a vulnerable spot amongst their many recent series losses, there are bits of good news and lingering question marks. Beginning with the good news, the Yankees have three starting pitchers due back this year (Cody Poteet and JT Brubaker will be back soon, Clarke Schmidt will be back a little later). On the offensive side, Giancarlo Stanton and Anthony Rizzo are due back in the near future.

Even with the return of valuable players, there are still questions on a variety of topics. For one, we don’t know whether the impending return of Stanton and Rizzo will be enough to turn the tide for the Yankees stagnant offense. We also don’t know what to expect from Carlos Rodon and Luis Gil.

For now, the Yankees can afford to take a wait and see approach on their rotation since they will soon have eight options (Cole, Rodon, Stroman, Cortes, Gil, Poteet, Schmidt, Brubaker). But their most glaring problems (bullpen and lineup) are clear and in need of immediate repair. With that said, let’s take a look at some trade candidates that are perfect fits.

Luis Rengifo has been one of the most underrated breakout stories of the season. Currently slashing .315/.358/.442 with 6 HR through 269 ABs, Rengifo has made a huge improvement over the .264 batting average he posted in the prior two seasons. Unfortunately, Rengifo is missing some time with a wrist injury. X-rays have come back negative, so we’ll likely see him again sometime soon.

The 27-year-old Angels’ infielder is a switch hitter and has experience at shortstop, third base, second base, as well as all three outfield positions. Thus far, on the base paths, he has stolen 22 bases in 28 attempts.

How well would he fit on the Yankees? For a player that can play all over the diamond, steal bases, and hit like the wind, a better question would be: what team doesn’t he fit on?

The Yankees will have plenty of power when the injured Stanton and Rizzo rejoin Soto and Judge. Still, the Yankees lack quality bats throughout the rest of the lineup.

To put it into perspective, let's revisit a past Yankee team (though both players referred to are still Yankees). One fond memory that Yankee fans cling to is the LeMahieu-Judge tandem that resulted in many two-run home runs. Together, they made a brilliant one-two punch. Unfortunately, the oft-injured LeMahieu is now struggling mightily.

Rengifo might not be what LeMahieu was in his younger years, but he has proven he can fill the leadoff role previously occupied by him. When you add Soto to the mix, Rengifo’s at-bats become high-stakes ordeals for any opposing pitcher. But no matter where he hits in the lineup, Rengifo’s presence would considerably improve the Yankees batting order. Under his current contract, he’ll be a free agent after the 2025 season.

2. IF Ryan McMahon (Rockies)

Ryan McMahon has already landed on the Yankees' radar, and for good reason. Through 324 ABs, the Rockies third baseman has hit 14 HR and is slashing .265/.342/.451. And with the Yankees' short right porch, those 14 HR provided by the 29-year-old left-handed hitter look even better.

But before the papers are signed and the trade is completed, one question remains: could McMahon be benefitting from the altitude in the Mile-High City? Below are his home and away splits:

Home

Away

AB

160

164

HR

7

7

AVG

.269

.262

After a brief look at his splits, we see there is no major difference. McMahon’s combination of power and on-base potential make him a perfect fit to add stability to the often shared third base position. In previous years, McMahon also had two seasons of over 30 doubles which is appealing to teams that leave a lot of runners on base such as the Yankees.

Under his current contract, McMahon will be a free agent after the 2027 season giving the Yankees plenty of years of control should they acquire him.

Kyle Finnegan’s great pitching performance this season has gone widely underappreciated. So far, as the Nationals’ current closer, he has a 1.98 ERA having thrown 36.1 innings. Over that time, he has accumulated 23 saves. His 39 strikeouts and 12 walks give him a K/BB rate of 3.25.

With a season like that, one would figure trying to pry him away from the rebuilding Nationals would be somewhat difficult. However, the soon-to-be 32-year-old righty will be a free agent after the 2025 season. The short period of control combined with the fact that the Nationals will need to rebuild further in order to be competitive make a trade much more likely.

While one reliever might not be the silver bullet that will save the Yankees’ disappointing bullpen, having a reliable arm goes a long way toward solving that problem.

Next. Inside the Clubhouse: Trade deadline latest on Braves, Brewers, Yankees and more. Inside the Clubhouse: Trade deadline latest on Braves, Brewers, Yankees and more. dark

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3 perfect trade candidates that would make the Yankees World Series favorites (2024)
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