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The Tuesday Discussion: Reaction to the Trade Deadline Deals

August 3, 2021

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This week we asked our writers to comment on the Yankees’ trade deadline deals.

Here are their responses:

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Paul Semendinger – I wrote about these deals at length a few days ago, but in short:

I love that the Yankees brought in two big lefty bats.

I wish they had also acquired a high-end starting pitcher (but I now have high hopes for Andrew Heaney).

The Yankees are going for it, and they did this without sacrificing their top minor league talent, which is very impressive.

I wish, if even for sake of show, that the Yankees exceeded the luxury tax threshold. That would have sent a strong message to the players, and the fans, that the entire organization was all-in. The fact that Brian Cashman was able to get Texas and Chicago to pay for Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo is impressive, but, that matters little to me. I have to wonder, if those teams weren’t willing to pay the remainder of the contracts, if they be Yankees.

I wish I didn’t have to wonder if the owner was “all-in.”

Still, overall, I am very happy. I love the lineup balance, the better defenders, and the hope that these new acquisitions bring.

Let’s Go Yankees!

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Chris O’Connor – I was a huge fan of the Yankees deadline. I was one of the people who believed that more offense was the primary need, as opposed to pitching. While a team can never have too many arms, the Yankees pitching has been largely good this year.

On the whole, Yankees pitchers rank second in Fangraphs WAR at 15.8. They are also top 5 in strikeout rate, walk rate, and SIERA. So while I thought it was very helpful to get an innings eater in Andrew Heaney, as well as relief help to offset the departures of Luis Cessa and Justin Wilson, I was more impressed with the Rizzo and Gallo acquisitions.

The Yankees offense ranks next to last in the American League in runs scored. If the new guys can spark the lineup, and the pitching holds up, the Yankees can go on a playoff run. It is well known at the point the lack of left-handed hitting in the Yankees lineup, but an underrated aspect of the acquisitions is that Rizzo and Gallo are both among the very best defensively at their positions. This can have a big impact on the pitching, as well.

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Cary Greene – I think Brian Cashman worked very hard and did the best he could to make up for how he chose to construct the roster, which had grown increasingly one-dimensional based on all of the cumulative decisions that Cashman had made in years prior.

He certainly was financially handcuffed by Hal Steinbrenner and really the entire approach that Hal has gone with over the past decade hasn’t produced a winner. That’s also an excuse because many teams are doing a lot more with less.

The Yankees play for today not tomorrow and the way Brian Cashman has implemented this philosophy has resulted in a clogged roster. Because of this there’s no flexibility in the Yankees lose a lot of players that really could have helped. Garrett Whitlock, Zack Littell, JP Feyereisen, Thairi Estrada, James Kaperlian..etc.

Scoring Gallo and Rizzo was awesome and getting creative with situational relievers and also getting a starter on the cheap while staying under Hal’s dumb mandate has to go down as a win. I wonder why the heck Hal ever invested so heavily in Cole If he planned on taking Cashman’s checkbook away from him going forward. Did Steinbrenner actually think one player could win a World Series all by himself?

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Patrick Gunn – The Yankees successfully maneuvered through the trade deadline to patch up several holes and provide the energy boost the team needed for the stretch run. They not only found left-handed power, but the Bombers also got arguably the two best such hitters on the market in Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo. Clay Holmes looks like a talented pitcher who can help their bullpen and Joely Rodriguez will help them get tough lefties out in big spots. Andrew Heaney provides a less obvious fix, but he does provide starting pitching depth. Brian Cashman brought in all of these players without gutting the top of the Yankees’ deep farm system. Granted, the Yankees could have used an elite reliever – especially after sending off Luis Cessa and Justin Wilson in a salary/roster dump move. With that said, the Yankees improved their biggest weakness in their lineup going forward and have put themselves in a much better spot to make it to the playoffs.

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Mike Whiteman – I like the Yankee deals. Gallo for one is a player that the team controls into next year. His lefthanded bat, versatility and athleticism should be an asset.

Anthony Rizzo is a winner, and has had success performing in a passionate fan base. I like having him on the team and would be interested in retaining him in a short term deal in the offseason.

Andrew Heaney is a good depth piece, insurance against Severino/Kluber not coming back and other injuries. He doesn’t have to be great, just good enough to keep the Yanks in the game.

These deals don’t fix all that ails this team – a plan will need to be put into place after the offseason. All three of these players could be pieces moving forward. What Brian Cashman has done for the present is move the team forward in their bid for a postseason spot and not ravage the minor league system while doing it. Acquiring an impact pitcher would have garnered an “A” grade from me, but at the least this trade deadline haul receives a solid “B”

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#AndrewHeaney #AnthonyRizzo #BrianCashman #JoeyGallo

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