July 18, 2024

The New York Yankees are increasingly likely to strengthen two positions before the upcoming trade deadline at the end of July. With a roster already considered capable of contending for a World Series title, strategic additions of key players could set them apart from their fierce competitors and enhance their chances of success.

The Yankees’ Trade Deadline Approach: Pursuing Aggressive Moves Recognizing the need to surpass their American League rivals, particularly the Baltimore Orioles, the Yankees are preparing to bolster their lineup with additional talent to meet this challenge head-on.

Reevaluating the Infield Setup Reports from The Athletic indicate that the Yankees are expected to explore potential acquisitions for both first and third base positions. Currently, Anthony Rizzo handles first base duties, while DJ LeMahieu primarily plays at third base. However, both players have struggled offensively this season.

Rizzo, who has appeared in 66 games, has posted a batting average of .221, an on-base percentage of .279, and a slugging percentage of .332. He has hit seven home runs and driven in 26 RBIs. His weighted runs created plus (wRC+) stands at 78, indicating he is performing 22% below the average MLB hitter. His current form, marked by career lows in slugging metrics such as a 33.5% hard-hit rate and a 4.3% barrel rate, raises concerns for the Yankees as they approach the playoffs. Although there is potential for improvement, underlying metrics suggest a substantial regression rather than a return to his peak performance.

MLB: Chicago White Sox at New York Yankees, anthony rizzo

LeMahieu, on the other hand, has faced inconsistency since returning from a right foot injury. The 35-year-old has struggled with a batting average of .205, an on-base percentage of .326, and a slugging percentage of .205, along with one RBI and a 69 wRC+. While the Yankees hope for a rebound, particularly given his defensive value, optimism for a significant offensive resurgence to his 2022 levels remains limited.

The Yankees are open to giving LeMahieu time to regain form, but they may consider alternatives at third base. Ryan McMahon of the Colorado Rockies has been mentioned as a potential candidate, though his availability is uncertain given the Rockies’ current stance on trades despite their poor season performance.

Expanding the Talent Search Securing high-caliber infielders is expected to be challenging due to the limited availability of talent that matches championship aspirations. Nevertheless, the Yankees plan to cast a wide net in their search, targeting teams willing to trade quality players in exchange for prospects.

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