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Trade Deadline Preview: The New York Yankees

The good news is that the Twins will not lose more playoff games to the Yankees this season. The bad news is there can be multiple current Twins players that help the Yankees regain their October glory.


What's Their Situation?

In baseball's toughest division, the Yankees find themselves eight games out of first place, which puts them behind three other teams. New York would need to pass Tampa, Boston and Toronto to claim the AL East crown. They may need to turn their sights to one of the two Wild Card spots and that might be tough with the other teams in front of them. 

The last time the Yankees missed the playoffs was back in 2016, so to avoid that fate, the Bronx Bombers are going to have to go on a second-half run to get back in the race. At the All-Star break, New York was tied with Toronto and Cleveland at 4.5 games back of a playoff spot. That's a lot of ground to make up, especially with that many teams in contention. 

What Do They Need?

New York's most significant need is clearly in center field after Aaron Hicks suffered a season-ending wrist injury. Brett Gardner and Clint Frazier have struggled to fill in, but outfield help isn't their only need. Starting pitching depth is vital for all contenders, and New York is missing Corey Kluber (shoulder) and Luis Severino (Tommy John). The Twins have a few players that fit these needs.

Which Twins Are the Best Fit?

Byron Buxton is the player that can best fit the Yankees center field need, but he is still on his way back from a broken hand. Buxton can certainly still be part of a trade, but a team dealing for him likely wants to make sure he is completely healthy before pulling the trigger on a deal, especially since Buxton was bothered by a hip injury before he broke his hand. Buxton has been playing at an MVP level when on the field, which adds to his intrigue. 

Jose Berrios is Minnesota's most valuable trade target on the starting pitcher front, but the thought of him in a Yankee uniform is tough to swallow. Yankees GM Brian Cashman has been clear that his team will be buyers at the deadline and trading for Berrios keeps him out of other AL contender's rotations. Besides Berrios, Michael Pineda is another starting pitcher option. He is familiar with the Yankee organization, but he will need to put together some strong starts leading into the deadline. 

Who Could The Twins Get Back?

It seems unlikely that any teams will lay a hand on Jasson Dominguez, the Yankees' top prospect, but here are some other names to consider.

Clarke Schmidt, RHP, 25yo – Schmidt has yet to appear in a game this year as he rehabs from an elbow strain. He was New York's first-round pick back in 2017, and he is one of their top pitching prospects. His medical records are essential to a trade, but the Twins need starting pitching help next season, and he is close to big-league ready.

Deivi Garcia, RHP, 22yo – Garcia has made eight big-league starts and allowed six earned runs in 42 2/3 innings. He is significantly younger than Schmidt, and he might have a higher upside for the long term. Also, there aren't current injury concerns with Garcia like there are with Schmidt. On national prospect lists, he is at the back end of the top-100.

Luis Gil, RHP, 23yo – Gil is an intriguing name because he was initially part of the Twins organization. Back in 2018, the Twins traded him to the Yankees for Jake Cave. Gil has developed into a borderline top-100 prospect, and the Twins are familiar with his background from signing him as a teenager. He has yet to make his big-league debut, but he has posted a 3.76 ERA with 76 strikeouts in 52 2/3 innings this year.

Click here to read all of Twins Daily's trade deadline coverage.

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Never underestimate how desperate the Yankee's need is to WIN.  That's what they do.  It's expected of them.  Let's make it a blockbuster:

Yankee's get:  Buxton 25.3   Berrios  40.8  Cavaco  5.7  Pineda 1.0  Smeltzer 2.8 =  75.60

Twins get:  Jasson Dominguez 38.0  OF  D. Garcia RHP  14.8  Clint Frazier 1.8  Vargas  SS  14.5  Luis Gil RHP 8.0  77.1

Remember:  Never underestimate the Yankee's need to WIN and WIN NOW.  

The Yankees need rotation help.  NOW.  Berrios & Pindea are an instant infusion of starting pitching talent.  And their OF is in tatters.  Especially CF.  Buxton gives them MVP caliber talent at that position.  THAT's why you ask for Dominguez...and GET HIM.  You add Frazier as a SH OF'er to fill in for now and see if he can regain his value back.  You add a nice, young RH SP to your rotation and get a solid SS prospect back who is not even NY's TOP rated SS (That would be Oswaldo Peraza 23.6).  Yankee fans and the New York media would be all over the Yanks FO if they turned down a trade like this.  And I think you could get even a little bit more from NY if you had multiple suiters (Dodgers, Padres, Braves etc...)

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With one exception, the Yankees would be particularly dumb to be sellers or buyers at this point.  They are back too far with too many teams to leapfrog.   They have a chance, so they shouldn’t sell but the chance isn’t big enough to dump any elite prospects.  However, making a trade for Buxton makes sense shirt-term and long-term.  They would help themselves this year snd be in a better position to sign a longterm superstar in center field (as long as Buxton’s health issues are just a series of weird flukes).   However, if Buxton’s durability problems persist or even cut his career short, they are one of the few teams that can afford to eat that longterm contract, shrug it off and sign more players.  

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Interesting article in today's Strib about Berrios.  After reading the headline and beginning, where it seemed going to free agency was a done deal, it went on to say he was open to discussing a deal...but it would have to be at what is perceived as market rate.  But if the Twins were to trade him to the Yankees, no one could be off limits in the return.  So if you want to talk about Jose, Dominguez must be part of the package.  If not, hang up the phone.

As for Buxton, got a feeling he is going to be signing a long term contract with the Twins sometime this week.  So that leaves Pineda returning to NY as the lone option.   

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If Berrios was to go to Yankees, only way I would do it would be to get 3 players in return at a minimum.  Give me any 2 of the 4 pitchers that they have on their 40 Man - Abreu, Garcia, Gil and Gomez.  The 3rd player would be 40 Man player in minor league SS - Peraza.  That has to be the starting point for me.  Don't want a guy with arm issues so obviously you have to be a little gun shy on that front in any trade.  Berrios on Yankees wouldn't be their ace of the staff so the haul in return might not be worth it. 

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Any trade for Berrios needs to be Dominguez plus a guy like Garcia. BTV lists that trade as a moderate overpay on the Yankees part but any Berrios deal needs to be an overpay. 

The Twins might be better off finding a pitching prospect to headline any deal for Berrios. The Yankees might not be the best fit here.

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I think the best fit for the Yankees would be Max Kepler. They need a left handed bat more than anything, Kepler and the short porch in right would be great. They also would stay under the luxury tax, which is their biggest concern right now.

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