By all accounts, the Yankees will continue to treat the $210MM luxury tax line as a soft cap, per the Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. That gives GM Brian Cashman just about $4MM of accessible payroll space. As Rosenthal notes, those limited financial resources could account for a perceived “lack of urgency” from the front office. The Yanks are now 2-8 in their last ten and just two games over the .500 mark. Of course, even if the Yankees were ready to spend, there aren’t necessarily pieces out there to buy. The market tends to move as one, and it’s tough to get much traction until selling teams feel they have heard from a large enough swath of potential buyers. In early June, there simply aren’t enough buyers at the auction.
But that doesn’t have to stop us from looking at the potential options. For example…
- Adam Frazier is generating trade interest, per Robert Murray of FanSided. The Pirates’ second baseman is one of the surest bets to find a new squad this trade season, as the 29-year-old is one of few veterans on a last-place Pirates team that’s one of the game’s few sure-thing sellers. He’s affordable, making just $4.3MM this season, and with one more year of team control, it’s the optimal time for GM Ben Cherington to net a high-impact return. While his .332/.394/.472 line hardly seems sustainable – nor does a .368 BABIP – he’s a versatile veteran with enough team control to convince potential buyers of his short-and-long-term value. The Yankees are a team that would seem like a particular fit for Frazier, though Murray writes that New York isn’t “among the teams to express early interest.”
- Reds’ rookie second baseman Jonathan India made a change at the plate recently that’s paying off. He has settled down his mechanics in the batter’s box, ditching a high leg kick and utilizing instead a toe tap as his loading action, per Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer. The early returns are encouraging: India torched the Cardinals this weekend, going 7-for-18 with two home runs, two doubles and four walks to just one strikeout. That output upped his overall line this year to a solid .261/.368/.423, 18 percent better than average with the bat.