The New York Yankees have three areas of need as the MLB Trade Deadline approaches. The Yankees are always active at the Trade Deadline, and this year should be no exception.
We love playing games here at Bleacher Brawls. The Cuddle/Marry/Trash game is one of our favorites. Today, I’m going to Cuddle/Marry/Trash the Yankees’ three main areas of need: Left Field, Starting Pitcher, and High Leverage Relief Pitcher.
Marry: Left Field
This one seems the most obvious. This has been an area of need going back to last season. The Yankees have tried a few band aids, but nothing has really stopped the bleeding.
The biggest issue isn’t even the lack of production at the plate. I see the biggest issue being the poor fielding Yankees fans have been watching for the past two years.
We’ve seen too many misplayed balls. Misplayed balls hurt in the regular season, but they are absolutely crushing in the postseason. We saw Oswaldo Cabrera, a really good infielder, struggle in the 2022 Playoffs. We watched Aaron Hicks loaf after balls. We’ve seen Isiah Kiner-Falefa play a solid center field, then struggle transitioning to left field.
Yankee Stadium has a big left field, and trotting out converted infielders just isn’t going to cut it anymore.
Cuddle: Starting Pitcher
I recognize that the Yankees have some starting pitcher depth. You may not feel starting pitching is the second biggest area of concern for the Yankees. We’ve seen bullpen struggles and a rash of injuries and suspensions coming out of the bullpen.
Here’s my counter argument. Starting pitching can provide better relief in the playoffs than a dedicated bullpen arm.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen starting pitchers make major contributions to World Series teams. These starting pitchers have come out of the bullpen with an “all arms on deck” mentality in tight World Series games, providing innings of relief if the starter gets rocked or the game goes into extra innings.
Starting pitchers tend to have a stronger array of pitches, whereas relievers tend to be two-pitch pitchers. In a short series, the two-pitch pitchers can be exposed if they are overused. The Yankees are burned by bullpen overuse nearly every year. Adding a starting pitcher to the bullpen will only make them stronger.
The more starting pitching depth the Yankees have, the better set up they’ll be set up for post season success.
Trash: High Leverage Relief Pitcher
Don’t hear what I’m not saying. The Yankees still need a bullpen arm or two, the more high-leverage, the better. But a bullpen arm isn’t going to make or break the Yankees. This shouldn’t be a priority. The Yankees are better off taking the in-house approach.
Or maybe I just think Brian Cashman is terrible at his job. The stink hasn’t worn off from those Lou Trivino and Scott Effros trades of last year.