The MLB trade deadline is still nearly two months away, yet the rumors surrounding the New York Yankees are already starting to heat up. As the Yankees prepare to begin a three-game home series against the second place Boston Red Sox tonight, are they also on the verge to try and pick up a new third baseman as well?
When the 2017 MLB season began, not much was expected of the Yankees in terms of making the playoffs and contending for a World Series title. However, with their hot start, fans in the Bronx believe that this teams will be contending for the AL East title this September.
While so far this season players like Aaron Judge and Aaron Hicks have been pleasant surprises, the Yankees haven’t had much production for the first and third base slots as of yet. In fact, hitting wise, the Yankees carry one of the worst percentages in baseball at each position.
According to NJ reports, if the Yankees are going to reprise their big April and May performance, reinforcements are likely needed at first base (.563 OPS, worst in MLB) and third base (.622 OPS, 28th in MLB) – where they are literally getting no offensive punch from. So the question Yankees fans want to know is will general manager Brian Cashman try to land a veteran to replace the struggling Chase Headley?
Through his first 50 games of the season, Headley’s numbers -.227/.300/.348 – are some of the worst he has posted in his career. In his first 200 at-bats, Headley has just three home runs and 23 RBI. Headley has a great track record of putting up better than average numbers during his career, but are the Yankees willing to wait and see if things improve soon, or are they ready to make a change?
According to Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe, the Yankees are indeed shopping for a replacement, and are willing to talk about a deal with a number of teams.
“They’ve basically played at a high level all season. They’ve combined young talent with effective seasons from the veterans. The pitching staff — both starters and relievers — has been impressive. As Orioles manager Buck Showalter pointed out, “They’re for real. They really have gotten great work out of their starting pitchers. Aaron Judge is for real. That’s a good baseball team and I’m sure they’ll add to it if they need to.”
If these MLB rumors have some truth to them, which players could the Bombers be eyeing?
Right off the top, three of the best players out there that look to be inevitably shopped soon, that is unless their teams turn things around, are Kansas City’s Mike Moustakas Chicago White Sox’s Todd Frazier and Pittsburgh’s David Freese.
Of the three mentioned above, it seems Frazier has been the most rumored to have the best possibility to be headed to the Bronx. Frazier is very solid on defense, and he has some pop in his bat. He also will be a free agent next season, which could make him more attractive to the Yankees.
Moustakas may be a hard player to obtain for the Yankees just because he is probably the best MLB player out there that could be shopped around that plays third base. Moustakas is hitting.255 and right now would be a huge upgrade from Headley. Moustakas’ defense makes him a player that Yankees fans would love to see in pinstripes playing the hot corner.
Like Frazier, Moustakas is a free agent at the end of the 2017 MLB season, which makes him a definite possibility to be dealt if the Royals do not believe they can resign him.
Lastly, is Pittsburgh’s David Freese.
The Bucs could be interested in dealing Freese if the price was right, but this deal is the most likely not to happen. Freese is a solid player and compared by today’s pay scale standards he is bargain. He is currently under contract until 2019 with Pittsburgh and is making only 3 million for the 2017 season.
Another option for the Yankees is looking within. Miguel Andujar is waiting in the wings to take over at third base, but is he ready? Andujar, is hitting 0.302 with six home runs so far in Double-A Trenton. The 6’0″ 215 lb. 22-year-old from the Dominican Republic has all the skill to become an MLB player, but do the Yankees want to rush his progress? Of course, one huge advantage of calling up Andujar and seeing what he can do is not having to trade him — or any other prospect for that matter.
The 2017 MLB trade deadline is July 31.
[Featured Image by Elsa/Getty Images]