The Yankees’ current pair of wins towards the division-leading Pink Sox helped to maintain their postseason hopes alive, and the New York Post’s Joel Sherman writes that they’re in search of including outfield assist because the commerce deadline approaches. Particularly, the Yankees want to purchase somebody who can deal with heart area.
Heart area is an apparent, obvious want within the Bronx. Yankees heart fielders are hitting simply .183/.290/.309 on the season, and the ensuing 70 wRC+ ranks twenty ninth among the many 30 MLB golf equipment. Aaron Hicks is out for the season after present process surgical procedure to restore a torn tendon sheath in his wrist, and the following forged of replacements hasn’t picked up the slack.
New York was already reported to have shown interest in Marlins heart fielder Starling Marte, who’s more likely to be traded now that Miami’s hopes of getting him to signal an extension have been dashed. (Given the reported three years and roughly $30MM time period, that ought to come as no shock.) Sherman once more connects the Yankees to Joey Gallo, who has some heart area expertise, and he provides that they’ve “puzzled” about Minnesota’s Max Kepler — one other sturdy defensive proper fielder who has some expertise taking part in heart.
Marte would characterize a pure rental for the Yankees — albeit a wonderful one. He’s slashed at a .288/.389/.457 clip to this point in 2021 whereas clubbing seven dwelling runs and swiping 19 bases alongside the best way. He’s owed about $5MM of this 12 months’s $12.5MM wage between now and season’s finish, though by the deadline, that sum would dip to about $4.37MM.
From a luxurious tax standpoint, Marte is within the closing 12 months of a contract that wound up paying him $51MM over an eight-year time period — an annual price of $6.375MM. Prorating that luxurious hit for the rest of the season would imply about $2.22MM on the deadline or about $2.57MM as of right now. Sherman notes that the Yankees have “about” $3MM in luxurious respiratory room — Roster Resource’s Jason Martinez has them round $3.5MM shy of the edge — so Marte may technically match into the finances with out taking the Yankees over the road.
Each Gallo and Kepler are imperfect suits. Gallo is the far likelier of the 2 to be traded and, at $6.2MM in 2021, is a near-match with Marte when it comes to luxurious calculations. He’d give the Yankees a much-needed left-handed bat (not like Marte), however he’s a greater defender in proper area and can probably have one of many increased asking costs amongst viable commerce chips within the coming weeks. Gallo would add one other three-true-outcome kind of hitter to a Yankees lineup that leads MLB in stroll price and ranks ninth in homers and strikeout price. Gallo is managed through arbitration by way of the 2022 season.
Kepler, 28, is within the third season of a five-year, $35MM contract. He’s owed about $2.62MM by way of season’s finish and remains to be owed $6.75MM in 2022 and $8.5MM in 2023. There’s a $10MM possibility with a $1MM buyout for the 2024 season.
Kepler missed a month with a hamstring harm earlier within the 12 months and is batting simply .207/.296/.427 in 243 plate appearances on the 12 months. Kepler rising from that stoop with a scorching few weeks after coming back from the injured checklist in June, however he’s fallen again into an 0-for-15 skid on the plate. At his finest, Kepler is an influence defender with a powerful stroll price and loads of energy, as evidenced by his .252/.336/.519, 36-homer season again in 2019. The Twins most likely don’t love the thought of promoting low on him, and the Yankees might not need to roll the cube on a rebound for a presently struggling participant anyhow.
If something, the point out of Kepler is attention-grabbing for the truth that it illustrates the extensive web being forged by the Yankees of their search. Out-of-the-box candidates determine to emerge — significantly if the staff plans to stay beneath the posh threshold. Proprietor Hal Steinbrenner recently voiced a willingness to cross that barrier, however the Yankees’ offseason strikes had been all made with the thought of avoiding the tax.