2022 MLB trade deadline rumors: what moves have the Yankees made so far?
The Yankees are already the best team in the American League, but they have made some trades to ensure their position.
The New York Yankees have a strong farm system and a strong major league roster, but only the latter of those can help them get to the World Series this year. They have invested some of their minor league team’s pitching depth into improving both their hitting and pitching squads. These are the three moves the Yankees have made ahead of this season’s trade deadline:
The Royals traded LF Andrew Benintendi to the Yankees in exchange for three prospect arms, RHP Chandler Champlain, LHP T.J. Sikkema and RHP Beck Way. New York did not exactly need outfield help, they have those three spots more than covered thanks to Judge, Carpenter, Gallo, Andújar and Hicks. Even Giancarlo Stanton can play there at points, but the fact that this outfield has worked so far was not enough for Brian Cashman to let it be, who tried to find a stabilizing bat in Andrew Benintendi.
The Royals keep rebuilding, so they had to trade the ex-Red Sox hitter before he hit free agency this offseason, even if he has been an All-Star this season. The Yankees were in on the Juan Soto trade talks at some point, but it would be difficult to see them add yet another outfielder right now. Joey Gallo, the starting left fielder right now, has been having an awful season so far (78 OPS+), so Benintendi can slot there immediately, even if projections such as Fangraphs’ still predict Gallo to play better than the ex-Royal for the rest of the season. Benintendi is a contact-hitter whose presence can help the line-up when mashers such as Stanton, Gallo or Judge cannot hit (although that does not seem to ever happen) with Aaron Judge lately).
The Chicago Cubs sent one of their middle relievers, Effross, to New York in a one-for-one trade for RHP Hayden Wesneski. The Yankees prospect was part of their Triple-A rotation this season and has good so/9 numbers. Effersson is a sidearm reliever who is 28 but will be under team control until after the 2027 season. He has a fastball that reaches 90mph and a xERA of 2.22 this season. He will be added to a Yankees bullpen that recently lost one of its biggest pieces in Michael King, who is on the 60-day injured list with a right elbow fracture that will probably keep him out for the season.
Frankie Montas and Lou Trivino
After the Mariners traded for Reds’ ace Luis Castillo, Montas became the most coveted starting pitcher in the market. The Athletics shed as much salary as they could coming into this season, but kept one of their best pitchers in Frankie Montas hoping he would have a good season and could be traded for a good return ahead of the trade deadline. They got that right as the Yankees offered them four total prospects in exchange for the starter and middling reliever Lou Trivino, who sports a 6.49 ERA for -0.9 WAR this season.
LHP Ken Waldichuk, LHP JP Sears, RHP Luis Medina and 2B Cooper Bowman will go from the East to the West Coast and stop being developed as players by the Yankees to be under A’s control. Tough luck. Waldichuk is the headliner of this deal, as he was the top ranked prospect in the Yankees system, but he is no sure thing to be an impact player in the majors as he is already 24. Sears was also playing in Triple-A but had already gotten to MLB with the Yankees, while Medina and Bowman are farther away from being ready.
Montas is having a good season, once again, but he has nagging shoulder injuries that have made him miss a start or two recently. The Dominican RHP has a 3.18 ERA with Oakland this season and will instantly be an upgrade over Jameson Taillon or Jordan Montgomery, with whom he will share a rotation while Luis Severino is injured.
What is left for the Yankees to do?
New York has kept all of their top prospects, getting both an outfield bat and a good starter without parting with any of them. They are reluctant to trade Anthony Volpe, one of baseball’s most promising players, as he might be ready for 2023 and can fill the void they currently have in shortstop (a void named Isiah Kinner Falefa, for now). If none of the Padres, Dodgers or Cardinals show up to the Nationals with a good enough offer for superstar Juan Soto, the Yankees might still make one last push, but after these moves they are probably set to conquer their division and see how far they can go in the playoffs.