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Yankees Hot Corner – A few new faces

The New York Yankees were poised to make a splash.  There was Archer, Harvey, Harper, and Fulmer.  There were plenty of big names they could have grabbed, and plenty of prospects they could have given up.  Instead, they went the conservative route, re-tooling a bit but not breaking the bank or making a big splash.  They somewhat filled their needs but there’s still a lot of work to be done.  They’re banking on grabbing an outfielder who clears waivers before the August 31st deadline.  Let’s take a look at the moving pieces;

Additions – Zach Britton, J.A. Happ, Lance Lynn, Luke Voit International Cash

Subtractions – Tyler Austin, Adam Warren, Dillon Tate, Josh Rogers, Cody Carroll, Luis Rijo, Brandon Drury, Billy McKinney, Chasen Shreve, Giovanny Gallegos



We already talked about Zach Britton a bit and what he can bring to this Yankees’ team, so let’s focus on the two other pitchers they received before the end of the trade deadline.  While it may be a bit strange that the Yankees didn’t make a huge splash, they still received two quality pitchers who have had success in the past and who will help the Yankees down the stretch.

J.A. Happ pitched six innings of three hit ball in his first start against the Kansas City Royals.  It was the Royals but he still looked magnificent and was very comfortable pitching under pressure.  He has good movement on all his pitches and can spot his breaking balls in all the right spots.  It also helps that he is an A.L. East killer and one of the main reasons the Yankees got him was for his 7-4 record and 2.98 career ERA against the Boston Red Sox.

Lance Lynn is a more interesting case because the righthander has struggled mightily in the American League so far.  He’s currently 7-8 with a 5.10 ERA but in fairness was on a bad Twins team.  It seems as though the Yankees grabbed Lynn for his potential, as he has a career 79-55 record, a career 3.54 ERA and is versatile.  He can both start and relieve, as he did for the St. Louis Cardinals.  With the Yankees having 20 games in 20 days, grabbing someone like Lynn was crucial as he can spot start down the stretch and can be used in case one of the younger starters struggles early in the game.  Luke Voit is a bit of a mystery but according to many writers he will take the role of Tyler Austin.  Not many people know much about him but it seems like he’s just as streaky as Austin was.

Overall, the Yankees got most of the pieces they needed.  Most people are still not sure about the Adam Warren move but Brian Cashman will hopefully use that extra international cash to grab the next Luis Severino.  They got two quality (though not sexy) starting pitchers and shored up their biggest strength in their bullpen.  They still need a backup catcher and an outfielder but those needs can be met at the August 31st deadline once players start to clear waivers.


It may seem like the Yankees gave up a lot for each of the players they received, but most of the players didn’t have a future with the team.  Tate, Rogers and Carroll all would have been lost due to the Rule 5 draft as the Yankees can only protect a certain number of minor league players.  McKinney is a good player but is still pretty far down the pecking order of young Yankee outfielders (Frazier, Florial just to name two) and Brandon Drury was Wally Pipped by Miguel Andujar and things never worked out between he and the team.  Luis Rijo is a low level prospect that was more of a throw in than anything else, so let’s hope he doesn’t turn out to be an All-Star.  Chasen Shreve was the whipping boy for all Yankee fans and now that Zach Britton is here there was no need for him.  Giovanny Gallegos was really only used as an extra arm in the bullpen when called upon.

The biggest mystery in all the deals was trading Adam Warren for international cash.  The Yankees must be after some highly touted international prospects to give up a legitimate reliever that can be relied upon in the clutch.  Tommy Kahnle is waiting in the wings but there can never be too much quality bullpen help.  The Yankees may like A.J. Cole more but he hasn’t proven to be the reliever that Adam Warren has turned into.  It must have been a deal they couldn’t refuse.

Tyler Austin is also another interesting one to trade, although realistically the Yankees had to give up at least something to get Lance Lynn.  Austin is a good player but is very streaky and not a great fielder.  He definitely had his moments and has some great pop, but he always seemed to be an AAAA type player;  Just good enough to stay in the majors but never good enough to consistently play.  While Greg Bird is made of glass, the Yankees still have plenty of options they can put at first base if Bird misses a significant amount of time.  Neil Walker has heated up and can be relied upon at first base, and Tyler Wade is the ultimate utility guy.  There was just no room for Austin in this crowded infield.

Overall Grades

The Yankees deserve a B for all their hard work.  They succeeded in getting a couple of Red Sox killers in Happ and Britton while also not selling the farm, both literally and figuratively.  This Lance Lynn pickup will be interesting to see, but regardless the Yankees did well overall.  Losing guys like Tyler Austin, Brandon Drury, and Billy McKinney hurt but there was no room for them.  The other young prospects would have been lost either way, so at least they got something for them.

The Yankees still have a lot of holes to fill.  Getting a veteran outfielder like a Jose Bautista or Curtis Granderson would be ideal while Aaron Judge is out.  Grabbing another catcher is of the essence as well because you can only go so long with a mix of Austin Romine and Kyle Higashioka.  Regardless, this team is 31 games over .500 and show no signs of slowing down.  It’s a good day for the Yankees.


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