4 Yankees trade goals if August waiver deadline still existed
The New York Yankees are still limping along, dealing with injuries and regressions after the trade deadline, a week of turnover and trades that many believe will make the team better after a month-long storm. Turns out Frankie Montas, Andrew Benintendi, Lou Trivino, Scott Effross and an injured Harrison Bader weren’t enough.
Unfortunately, if it was before 2019, the Yankees would still have a chance to fortify the roster, which would have been helpful this time around as general manager Brian Cashman traded a pitching asset with no move in place to complete the loss. Until the end of the 2018 season, the waiver trade deadline existed throughout August, providing teams a last chance to add players to their roster with playoff eligibility.
If we had to guess, the Houston Astros ruined it for everyone, though. In 2017, they reached a deal with the Detroit Tigers, who agreed to trade struggling veteran Justin Verlander for a giant package of nothing. Sound familiar? Houston is famous for this (they did the same in trades for Gerrit Cole and Zack Greinke).
Verlander’s move had such a ripple effect, however, that MLB probably couldn’t justify a player of that caliber changing hands during a relatively meaningless trade period. Verlander in Houston has changed the complexion of the entire AL since.
But that won’t stop us from going back in time. What if the waiver period still existed and the Yankees had a chance to right their wrongs? Who could they have realistically targeted and acquired?
4 Yankees trade goals if August waiver deadline still existed
4. SS Jose Iglesias Rockies
The Yankees could use a shortstop right now, huh? Isiah Kiner-Falefa, despite his consistent batting average of around .270 and above-average defensive range, makes incredibly low contact and has shown a penchant for bolstering routine plays. Frankly, Yankees fans have seen enough in 2020 and 2021 with Gleyber Torres in charge.
And since the Bombers won’t be calling one of their top shortstop prospects, they might have been able to convince the Colorado Rockies to part ways with Jose Iglesias during the waiver period if the situation had lined up. .
The veteran has a one-year contract and doesn’t see himself as a part of the Rockies’ future. They’re also out of contention this year, so maybe getting a month or two out of Iglesias before they could call up one of their top prospects might have swayed them to a deal.
Offensively, Iglesias has always been a contact batter, but there are also times when he gets on base and throws doubles. This year, he hits .316 with a .774 OPS and 108 OPS+. He hit 41 runs and scored 42 with the help of his 26 doubles.
On the defensive side, it’s a pretty safe glove even if the advanced metrics don’t support it (42nd percentile in Outs Above Average and -5 Defensive Runs Saved). However, he was good for a positive dWAR and only committed seven errors in 789.1 innings. It wouldn’t be a massive upgrade, but it would give the Yankees a true veteran shortstop with a better bat and a more consistent glove.
3. Rangers SP Martin Perez
I don’t know why Rangers didn’t trade him until August 2, especially after it was revealed they weren’t talking about a contract extension, but Martin Perez would be a nice target for the Yankees after. the loss of Jordan Montgomery. !
Perez, also a left-handed soft thrower, is even having a better season! He is 9-3 with a 2.85 ERA, 3.23 FIP and 1.18 WHIP over 22 starts (136 innings). His two years in Boston also help, with that valuable AL East experience.
The 31-year-old’s first All-Star Game appearance was in 2022 and Rangers, while both parties are interested in maintaining the relationship, would have done him a favor by treating him to a competitor. They can still bring it back after this year! He has a one-year, $4 million contract.
It looks like a win-win. The Yankees get another starter – a better one! — to replace Monty and maintain their deep rotation, while Rangers get more prospects from their preferred farm system in the big ones for a player they don’t need at the moment. I should have done it before August 2, though.
2. Tigers PR Andrew Chafin
Ah, the Tigers “fire sale” that never was. What is this organization Do? They ended up moving Michael Fulmer and Robbie Grossman despite various reports suggesting they were open to “moving almost anyone”. Then, a week later, they moved GM Al Avila. Connection.
Well, with a need for bullpen help (and a southpaw to boot), maybe Andrew Chafin could have been of interest to the Yankees. Detroit has no use for Chafin, who is signed until next year, if they don’t plan to fight until 2024 (which is actually a generous schedule for them).
New York could have offered prospects and an ability to eat most of that $13 million contract. Such an acquisition would have allowed the Yankees to part ways with Albert Abreu/Domingo German or Jonathan Loaisiga option for now to get him back on track. Adding Chafin’s 2.23 ERA, 2.04 FIP, 1.02 WHIP and 44 strikeouts in 36.1 innings could have hugely saved this overworked bullpen with top-of-the-line veteran assist. Maybe at a discount, too, because he’s not vaccinated.
A few more weeks would have made the Tigers realize they should have sold more, and it would have made the Yankees realize that their bullpen acquisitions just weren’t good enough.
1. SP Giants Carlos Rodon
And finally, a few more weeks would have made the San Francisco Giants realize, to quote Gob Bluth, that they “made a huge mistake.” Whatever the Giants did at the trade deadline (does anyone really know?) clearly didn’t help. They are now two games below .500 and 6.5 games away from an NL Wild Card spot…which was the only chance they had of making the playoffs anyway.
Apparently, before the Aug. 2 deadline, the Yankees checked in with the Giants on starter Carlos Rodón, but SF ended up not moving his ace (or star slugger Joc Pederson). Both are on one-year contracts (counting Rodón’s player option) and are unlikely to return in 2023 as we’re betting the Giants aren’t going to spend big to keep them.
But what if Giants executive Farhan Zaidi had a few more weeks to diagnose whether the Giants were real contenders or not? That probably would have helped! Every team ahead of them in the Wild Card standings has improved quite significantly before the deadline, in addition to already having an advantage over the Giants before that date.
While it was tough for the Yankees to have a shot at claiming Rodón, you just never know. There aren’t many other candidates who would be willing to take on his remaining salary (~$10 million) and give up prospect capital.
Montas and Rodón would have been a game-changer, and Yankees fans wouldn’t worry about inning limits, injuries and overall firepower come October.