Position Player Trade Targets for the Yankees in 2016

Javier Baez - Chicago Cubs IF
Javier Baez wouldn't necessarily be my first choice in trade target, but in a lot of ways he does make sense for the Yankees to acquire. He's a young, versatile infielder who has seen time at 2B, 3B, and SS the last two years and was hyped as a prospect for his plus power potential.

Since breaking into the Bigs, we haven't been disappointed in that power potential, but we have seen it comes at the cost of some pretty high strikeout rates. The young infielder has struck out 137 times in 387 ABs which makes his strikeout percentage an alarming 36%.

That seems to be the norm in today's game though. Plus his ability to play multiple positions for the team would be huge. The team currently has Ronald Torreyes serving as their utility man, but after a hot start to the season has largely cooled off and doesn't seem to have a guaranteed future in the Bronx.

Baez could fill in at the utility slot while providing plus offensive ability and may be able to find his way into the everyday lineup in the future. His strikeout tendencies might make his batting average ceiling about .250, but in a full season, he could probably provide 15-20 homers a year, which is something the Yankees should explore.

There's been speculation the Cubs might look to strengthen their bullpen and thus a Chapman for Baez swap has been pretty extensively talked about in the Yankee Blogosphere. I think the Yankees should ask for more than just Baez for Chapman (and would prefer to just try and re-sign Chapman), but this at least gives you the sense that trading relief help to Chicago might get you Baez.



Joey Gallo - Texas Rangers 3B
By now you've probably heard of Joey Gallo. With Kris Bryant now graduated to the Majors, Gallo is probably the top power prospect in all the MLB.

In fact, the Rangers top prospect has been given a perfect 80/80 rating on his power ability, something that makes you salivate when you think about him hitting in a cramped park like Yankee Stadium. Some have compared said power potential to that of Giancarlo Stanton.

However, much like Baez, there are concerns about his ability to avoid strikeouts. This is evidenced by his 592 K's amassed during his time in the minors. If it's any consolation, he's also hit 135 dingers in the Ranger farm system.

In some ways, Baez and Gallo almost seem too similar. I think the difference is that here seems to be a general consensus that Gallo has more of a power potential and has a better chance to cut down on strikeouts, but who knows? Prospects love to break hearts.

Despite his similarities to Baez, Gallo's trade price will be astronomically higher. Conversations will probably have to start at a few top guys such as Sanchez and Mateo, but if they were able to hold onto Judge, they should be willing to put other prospects such as the ones mentioned out there for Gallo.

Or perhaps the Rangers would want big league talent in which case a reliever such as Dellin Betances could be very alluring. There's also been rumors that Texas has been interested in acquiring Brian McCann. I don't necessarily believe them, but if they're true, I would move McCann to Texas in a heartbeat in a package to get Gallo.

Gallo could potentially platoon with Headley until the latter's contract expires then take over the hot corner full time. Or at his size (6 foot 5 inches) he may be able to take over first base if Teixeira is not re-signed this offseason. Either way, Gallo is the kind of guy you make room for to hit in your lineup.


Miguel Sano - Minnesota Twins OF
While this one is probably my personal favorite, I will admit right away that it is purely speculatory. So far I have seen no official reports stating that Miguel Sano could be moved, but if we read between the lines, it would make sense for the Twins to make him available at the deadline.

At 14-34, the Twins have the worst record in Major League Baseball and things aren't looking up for them. The team is nowhere close to contention and it wouldn't be unreasonable for them to move assets they have for future years.

That's where Sano comes in. After launching 18 homers in 80 games last year, Sano has largely disappointed to the tune of hitting just .234 with 10 home runs through 47 games this year. However, Sano has been heating up and has hit a home run in three straight games.

Sano is the type of player the Yankees should be dying to acquire. He's got massive power and can work a walk and get on base. He could slot into the right field after Beltran's all but certain departure after this year and could be moved to DH once Alex Rodriguez retires, which would make room in right field for Aaron Judge when he's ready to be called up.

It's hard to gauge Sano's value since he's been largely underwhelming this season, but has such immense potential. The Twins don't have much at catcher with Joe Mauer moved to first base, so a prospect such as Gary Sanchez is a good place to get the conversation started. Pitching seems to be a major weakness for the Twins as they're 29th in the league in ERA, so perhaps they would take a chance on a guy like Pineda or Severino, or buy high on Ivan Nova.

I would also add in Jorge Mateo for good measure. The Yankees already have a solid middle infield consisting of Starlin Castro and Didi Gregorius and both are under club control for a while and Mateo's value is at an all time high.

I would be comfortable giving up Sanchez, one of the mentioned pitchers, and Mateo for Sano; he's just that good. And more importantly, I would have to think that's a pretty tempting trade for the Twins. This is just a bare-bones outline of what a potential trade could look like, so if you have a better one in mind, just act like I said that.


Ryan Braun - Milwaukee Brewers OF
Ryan Braun to the Yankees rumors have seemingly been swirling around on Twitter since the beginning of the season, but there really hasn't been anything officially confirming the Yanks have interest.

I think it's pretty certain the Brewers will move Braun this year and believe most of the big baseball gurus would agree with me there. The team isn't a contender and Braun could get them in a pretty penny in terms of prospects to rebuild for future years to come.

Braun is having a resurgent year and is really on a tear hitting .351 with 9 homers, 30 RBIs, and 5 SBs. Braun is the oh-so coveted five tool player teams drool about getting their hands on and he's shown why so far in 2016.

It's not all rainbows and sunshine though. We all know Braun was infamously suspended for PEDs in the Biogenisis scandal, not long after blaming a failed test on delivery man not long before. Clearly this was a sleazy act on his part, but if fans can forgive Arod, they'll surely forgive Braun. Especially when Braun is actually hitting the baseball.

The other issue here is that he's 32. I personally don't think it's the worst thing in the world, but a large group of people really want the Yankees to focus on getting younger. Braun is under control through 2021 and has decent contract as he won't make more than $20 million a year in that time span.

Despite his age and off the field issues, Braun is a player the Yankees should definitely take a look at, because he should definitely be available. With his strong performance, however, he won't be cheap.

The Yankees will have to give up some prospects and the usual names will have to be on the table. Again, I say put all the chips out there, save Judge, if possible. Mateo would likely make sense for the Brew Crew and if they choose to also move Jonathan Lucroy, Gary Sanchez could also be very appealing. I still think it would take more and maybe guys like Rob Refsnyder or Luis Cessa could be thrown in to seal the deal, but this is another tough one to evaluate. These guys probably get you in the ballpark and the specifics of what combination of these guys is up for debate.

Braun, like Sano, could slot into right field with Beltran's departure or perhaps the Yankees could find a taker for Brett Gardner and Braun could man left and Judge in right. Those two could contend for best corner outfield combination in the league.


The Wrap
I'm not sure how likely any of these trades are so I tried not to speculate on that, but all of these targets seem pretty reasonable. I also believe all of these trades help the Yankees not just now, but for years to come. You can substitute my suggested trade chips for yours in these scenarios if you so choose, but like I mentioned I was just trying to give a general idea on what it would take to get these guys.

I think the Yankees absolutely do need to make some moves if they want to seriously contend this year as they have serious flaws on the roster, with their offense having the most dire needs. There should be ways to get all of the mentioned players in the Yankee lineup, which was another goal I had in writing this piece. Time will tell as the season progresses and we will see if one of these names ends up in Pinstripes this summer.

By: Nick Scott
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Statistics and other information provided via MLB.com, MiLB.com, Fangraphs.com, and Spotrac.com

All photographs were provided via FoxSports.com

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