June 13, 2024

Yankees Trade Deadline Buzz: Possible Upgrades for Two Veteran Players

With a strong 42-19 record, the New York Yankees are on track for the playoffs and have been described as the league’s top trade deadline buyer by a former general manager.

However, two veteran players may not be part of the push. According to Jim Bowden of The Athletic, second baseman Gleyber Torres and first baseman Anthony Rizzo are under scrutiny by league decision-makers. If their performance doesn’t improve, they might be replaced after July 30. Bowden, the former GM of the Washington Nationals and Cincinnati Reds, noted, “The Yankees’ right side of the infield has underperformed and if the production doesn’t improve, that will be the area of focus to upgrade via trades.”

New York Yankees' Anthony Rizzo, left, gestures along with Gleyber Torres  after hitting a solo home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game  against the Los Angeles Angels Monday, Aug.

Despite the Yankees’ strong hitting — leading with a 123 wRC+ and ranking third in runs scored — Torres and Rizzo have struggled. Torres has an 81 OPS+ with a .230/.308/.324 line, four home runs, and 16 RBIs, while Rizzo has an 87 OPS+ with a .240/.301/.360 line, seven home runs, and 25 RBIs. Though trading these long-standing lineup staples might be surprising, the Yankees’ strong position allows them to address these weaknesses.

Torres, 27, is likely feeling the pressure of his contract year, potentially his last as a Yankee before becoming a free agent this offseason. Rizzo, 34, is earning $17 million this season with a club option for 2025 that the Yankees are unlikely to renew, especially as they aim to acquire Juan Soto. It appears age may have caught up with Rizzo, signaling his best years are behind him.

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