July 18, 2024

Potential Yankees Trade Target: Ryan McMahon

As the July 30th trade deadline approaches, the Yankees are dealing with an unsettled infield. Anthony Volpe remains solid at shortstop, but elsewhere there are issues. DJ LeMahieu has struggled offensively since returning from the IL, Gleyber Torres has underperformed and is now injured, and Anthony Rizzo is also on the IL with a poor .630 OPS before his injury. Ben Rice has shown promise but remains unproven, and J.D. Davis has not made a significant impact.

A potential solution could be found with the Colorado Rockies’ infielder, Ryan McMahon. Since his full season debut in 2018, McMahon has been a consistent performer for the Rockies. This year, he’s having a career-best season with a .272/.347/.454 slash line, 14 home runs, and a 117 OPS+ over 379 plate appearances. His hard-hit metrics are impressive, ranking in the 98th percentile for hard-hit rate and 97th for average exit velocity. Although he strikes out often (27.4% rate), he also maintains a solid on-base percentage with over 10% walk rate.

A significant factor in McMahon’s success this year is his improved performance against left-handed pitchers, achieving an .864 OPS, compared to his career OPS of .706 against lefties. However, sustainability of this success is uncertain.

Concerns about the “Coors Field effect” are present, as McMahon’s career home OPS is almost 150 points higher than his road OPS. Despite this, he has managed a .798 OPS on the road this year, nearly matching his home OPS. Additionally, his potential power at Yankee Stadium looks promising.

Ryan McMahon, Rockies agree to 6-year, $70M contract - NBC Sports

McMahon’s defensive abilities add to his value. He ranked ninth in Defensive Runs Saved last season and second among primary third basemen. His range and arm strength are well above average, making him a good fit for the Yankees, particularly as a third baseman. This would allow LeMahieu to move to second base, where he has been more successful defensively.

However, the primary challenge in acquiring McMahon is the Rockies’ unpredictable trade behavior. Despite their poor performance, the Rockies have historically been inconsistent at the trade deadline, sometimes failing to move key players. If they decide to sell, McMahon’s affordable contract and versatility would likely attract significant interest.

Should the Rockies choose to be active sellers, McMahon is a well-rounded player who could significantly benefit the Yankees’ infield.

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