The New York Yankees have a hole to fill. That hole is in the outfield. With Aaron Hicks now out for the season due to wrist surgery, the Yankees are down an outfielder. Brett Gardner has been doing a majority of the work in center field, while Aaron Judge covers right field, and Clint Frazier patrols left field. Frazier occasionally plays in right field as well, and Miguel Andujar fills in left. But the Yankees need another true outfielder. With a few teams possibly becoming sellers at the trade deadline, and with the Yankees having a barrage of talented prospects, a trade is definitely possible. Here are some players that I believe the Yankees should go after to address the needs in the outfield.
1. Yankees Target #1- Ketel Marte
Ketel Marte’s name has been floating around in trade scenarios quite a bit this season. With the Arizona Diamondbacks currently in the last place in the NL West with an 18-33 record, it is possible they sell at the deadline and try to acquire prospects to rebuild. For his career, Marte is batting .384 with a .788 OPS. He has been sidelined for most of this season so far with an injury, but Marte is an all-star player that would be a very valuable addition to the Yankee lineup. The Yankees are badly in need of someone who can hit from the left side, and considering Marte is a switch hitter he fits that description.
The one issue that lies though is if the Diamondbacks want to keep him for the future, he will be off-limits. Arizona also has Marte under contract until 2025. Marte is a fantastic player who has all the talent in the world and if he is on the market the Yankees should go after him without a doubt. In order to acquire an all-star like Marte, the Yankees will have to give up quite a bit of asset and I would be on board with that. He is exactly what the Yankees need at this point in time.
2. Yankees Target #2- Joey Gallo
The big power bat and the former all-star from Texas might be on the market this deadline. Joey Gallo has been connected to the Yankees quite a few times, and talks of him possibly getting traded to New York are heating up. There are some pros with Gallo, while there are some Cons. According to Baseball Savant, Gallo is currently in the 98th best percentile in walk percentage. So he can definitely draw walks and get on base. He is also in the 84th percentile for average exit velocity, so he hits the ball hard when he makes contact.
Those are very good things, not to mention he is known for hitting the long ball, as he has 8 home runs this season. Say the Yankees trade for Gallo, and everything is going well in the batting order, putting Gallo with Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton can cause a huge power surge.
Concerns With Gallo
The one concern with Joey Gallo is his strikeout rate. Gallo currently is in the 5th percentile for his strikeout percentage, which is very poor. He strikes out quite a lot. Some fans are against the Yankees trading for Gallo due to his high strikeout rate, and that having another guy who strikes out a decent amount in the lineup may be concerning. Other power bats in the Yankee lineup like Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton also strike out a solid amount, and throwing another guy into the mix who is very similar to them may not work out the way some fans would like it to.
Personally, I would not be opposed to trading for Gallo. He is a solid outfielder as he is in the 89th percentile for outfielder jump, and he is a power lefty bat that could rake in Yankee Stadium, considering the short porch in right field. But the high strikeout rate is very concerning. Putting him in the batting order with Judge and Stanton can be a boom or a bust.
3. Yankees Target #3- David Peralta
Another Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder has found his way onto my list. David Peralta is having a real fine season right now with the D-Backs. This season he is batting .265 with 29 RBI’s, 4 home runs, and an OPS of .769. Yet again, another lefty bat who happens to be an outfielder, something the Yankees really need right now. His numbers are very similar to Marte’s, both are great hitters. Peralta also is in the 92nd percentile on max exit velocity and is in the 88th percentile for strikeout percentage. Peralta is more of a contact hitter and not a high strikeout guy. The Yankees need more contact hitters in their lineup instead of more power hitters in my opinion, so Peralta would be a nice fit in New York.
Peralta is under contract until 2023, so the Yankees would only have him for one full season in 2022 unless he is extended or re-signs as a free agent. He is another very talented player, as well as Marte, on a struggling Diamondbacks squad. Arizona may end up being sellers at the deadline, so the Yankees should keep an eye on Peralta. He would be a perfect addition to a Yankee lineup that needs contact hitters.
4. Yankees Target #4- Anthony Santander
This may come as a surprise to some Yankees fans. But it definitely can become a possibility. The Baltimore Orioles are heavily struggling right about now, currently in last place in the AL East with a 17-33 record. Baltimore has a bright future ahead of them, and they could be interested in acquiring more prospects moving forward to supplement the future. Anthony Santander had been out with an injury for a good part of the season so far but was reactivated off the IL last week.
This season Santander is batting .267 with 11 RBI, 3 homers, and an OPS of .747 in 23 games. Santander has been consistent at the plate throughout his career. Last season he was in the 92nd percentile for max exit Velo, 88th percentile for expected slugging, and the 87th percentile for K%. He is a righty bat, but he is another outfielder that does not have a high strikeout percentage. As I previously said, Baltimore may be looking to load up the farm system. The Yankees have some solid prospects that they can send Baltimore’s way for Santander. Santander is a solid outfielder with a good bat and can be a surprising yet pleasant addition to the Yankees.
All four of these players are great targets for the Yankees to look at going forward. Personally, I am leaning more towards a contact bat such as Peralta or Marte instead of a power bat like Gallo. The Yankees need more contact hitters badly to energize the offense. Trading for an outfielder should be a must for the Yankees right now, and the Yankees have the assets to give up to trade for any of these talented outfielders. It is going to be interesting to see what Brian Cashman does to address the outfield needs.