Even if the New York Yankees began the 2022 campaign on a rampaging start, there was no doubt they would be very active before the August 2nd trade deadline. The struggles in July due to various things may have forced them to perform some moves that would bolster their chance of winning a World Series crown.
The great season by a slew of players led by Aaron Judge has catapulted the Yankees to greater heights. However, the franchise still had weaknesses to fill, like their starting rotation, bullpen, and outfield. Juan Soto was the lingering name New York hoped to acquire, but the San Diego Padres offered one of the most extensive trade packages in baseball history.
Even without Soto in a Yankee uniform, these are the moves New York executed before the trade deadline.
Even before other organizations started pulling the trigger, the Yankees added Kansas City Royals outfielder Andrew Benintendi for three prospects. The unvaccinated status of Benintendi this season has been more of the topic than his play with the Royals. Still, there were reports that he would be inoculated soon, especially with a possible postseason series against the Toronto Blue Jays.
The colossal boost of having Andrew Benintendi is his familiarity with the AL East because he spent many years with the Boston Red Sox. Furthermore, he brings a contrasting style from Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton as he is more of a contact hitter who would keep the ball in the park. In his first few games with New York, Andrew Benintendi is still adjusting, but there it is definite that he will be a critical piece in September and October.
Frankie Montas and Lou Trivino
With Luis Severino on the 60-day IL, the franchise would welcome any starting pitching help. Frankie Montas was a massive acquisition who will likely be the second or third pitcher in the rotation. Finishing sixth in the AL Cy Young race in just his fourth season as a full-time starter was an impeccable achievement for Montas.
Frankie Montas has that incredible mix of pitches that forces batters to swing and miss. The A’s have been struggling this season, but Montas’ ERA is excellent at 3.18 with 109 SO. Additionally, the Yankees were able to add reliever Lou Trivino who has been struggling this year, but he will have an opportunity to rectify his struggles.
The bullpen is starting to be a cause for concern for the Yankees for several reasons. Zack Britton and Chad Green are still recovering from their injuries, Michael King is not returning this year, and Aroldis Chapman is far from his unstoppable self. With the Yankees recruiting the youngster Scott Effross, this supplements closer to Clay Holmes.
A 2.66 ERA and 28.1% strikeout rate are two fantastic assets of Effross. He will likely be slotted into the setup man role as his off-speed pitches will be instrumental in keeping the ball on the ground. The hope is for New York to have as many reliable arms on high-leverage postseason games, so Effross is an enormous step in that direction.
Swapping Jordan Montgomery for St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Harrison Bader was an incredible deal from the Yankee’s point of view. As previously mentioned, the starting rotation of New York has always been a question mark. Furthermore, having Andrew Benintendi, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Aaron Hicks as outfielders will crowd the depth even more with the acquisition of Bader.
There is no question that Harrison Bader is a talented outfielder, especially defensively. Conversely, the starting pitching is far more critical in constructing his current iteration of the Yankees. Montgomery will be a fifth starter or LRP in the postseason, but his presence will be more than essential for the whole squad.
OVERALL GRADE (A-)
The reports on the needs of the New York Yankees were all addressed in these four MLB trade deadline deals. The front office must remain optimistic and hope for fewer injuries for this immensely talented Yankees team. The grade could have been an A+ or A if not for the buzzer-beater deal between Bader-Montgomery. As co-favorites with the Houston Astros in the AL, the trajectory is positive for the 27-time World Champions.