With the Yankees in last place in the AL East despite a decent 55-51 record, their path forward remains somewhat murky with less than four hours to go before the trade deadline. Joel Sherman of the New York Post indicates that the club could look to both buy and sell, searching for long-term controllable pieces in areas of need while fielding offers on the pending free agents on their roster.
Several of the club’s pending free agents, including Luis Severino and Isiah Kiner-Falefa, have had difficult seasons in 2023, but could nonetheless draw interest as low-cost, depth additions from other clubs. Lefty Wandy Peralta, who has a 2.29 ERA in 47 appearances out of New York’s bullpen this year, and center fielder Harrison Bader have both fared better in their walk years, with Bader in particular drawing interest per the New York Post’s Jon Heyman. Sherman more specifically notes that the Yankees and Phillies have discussed Bader, though there is “limited traction” on a deal between the sides.
Sherman adds that the Yankees have discussed closer Clay Holmes in trade talks, despite Holmes being controllable through the 2024 campaign. That being said, Sherman noted that the asking price for Holmes is exorbitant, rendering a deal regarding the club’s closer unlikely. The Athletic’s Brendan Kuty adds to that doubt, noting that it’s “highly unlikely” the club parts with either Holmes or fellow leverage reliever Michael King.
As far as buying goes, the club has been frequently connected to Cardinals outfielder Dylan Carlson in the days and weeks leading up to the deadline, and those connections haven’t stopped today. Kuty, Sherman, Chris Kirschner of The Athletic, and MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand have are among those who have linked the Yankees and Carlson recently. That being said, Heyman cautions that the Cardinals are unlikely to deal Carlson unless they get a young MLB starter in return. That’s a price the Yankees could pay if they so chose, with youngsters Clarke Schmidt and Jhony Brito currently occupying spots in the club’s starting rotation.
As Feinsand notes, that Carlson’s ability to play quality defense in center field could be of particular value given Bader’s status as a pending free agent. Carlson could take over for Bader in center immediately in the event of a trade before the deadline, or play left field for the remainder of the 2023 campaign and shift over to center in the event Bader departs via free agency this offseason.