Last year we delved into various trade opportunities for the Yankees, and they ended up acquiring one of our proposed targets of J.A. Happ. In 2019, the first place Bombers will again look to the trade market for rotation help. The IL-Yankees of 2019 have lost Luis Severino, Domingo German, James Paxton, and C.C. Sabathia to injury at some point this year, and Severino is still on the IL. With the uncertainty of Severino's return to form and the heaps of question marks surrounding the rest of the rotation, it is obvious the Yankees could use another arm to the rotation.
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The Yankees currently sit at 32-17 and are on top of the AL East. Despite this, the team has some areas it could improve in; however, Brian Cashman will not have to dig into his pocketbook or pick up the phone to get all the help this team needs. The team is expecting reinforcements off of the IL on both sides of the ball over the course of the next two months, which should give this already successful team an even bigger boost. However, this does not mean the Yankees will be silent on the trade market as more injuries could amount, setbacks can happen, and other teams will acquire big pieces resulting in the Yankees not wanting to fall behind. The Yankees are coming off two consecutive successful regular seasons followed by postseason failures, and still have the minor league talent to swing some game-changing deals. With this in mind, here are six early candidates to keep an eye on as the major league season transitions into the summer months.
News broke last night that the Yankees had made their first splash of the summer trade season by acquiring slugger Edwin Encarnacion from the Seattle Mariners. Encarnacion is the American League home run leader and will be a welcomed addition to the team he has hit well against over the course of his career. To many including myself, this trade was very fuzzy at first glance. The Yankees did not have a need to acquire an offensive player, especially when their pitching has been their weakness, thus far. Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton’s imminent returns further blurred the reasoning behind this trade. However, after further thought, I have come up with six implications that result from this trade, all of which help make sense of this move.