MLB insider claims Yankees open to trade Harrison Bader, Kiner-Falefa

Harrison Bader and Isiah Kiner-Falefa of the New York Yankees

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The Yankees are willing to engage in trade discussions regarding their walk-year players, including Harrison Bader, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Wandy Peralta, and Luis Severino, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The insider claims to have the knowledge of the Yankees front office conveying other MLB franchises know that they are open to trade their players in the last year of their contracts. The above players fall in that category.

The Yankees continue to maintain their dual approach, attempting to explore potential trades to offload veterans for prospects and salary relief, while also seeking to acquire players with long-term control beyond 2023. This reflects a cautious outlook from the leadership, suggesting they are not overly optimistic about the team’s playoff chances. Their focus lies in both subtracting assets and prioritizing upgrades with future control in mind.


Yankees ready to sign as well as sell

There remained a glimmer of hope that the Yankees could strike a deal for players like Cardinals’ switch-hitting outfielder Dylan Carlson, who won’t be a free agent until after the 2026 season. However, a common sentiment reverberating throughout the baseball industry as the trade deadline approached was the persistently high prices for quality players, especially those with control beyond 2023.

There have been discussions about Hal Steinbrenner’s desire to reduce the Yankees’ payroll below the $293 million top tax threshold, especially if it becomes apparent that this season won’t lead to a playoff run. Currently projected at approximately $297 million, the Yankees could potentially achieve this goal by trading players like Severino, who is owed around $5 million for the remainder of the year, without having to absorb additional financial burdens or a combination of other factors.

Among the walk-year players, Peralta could be considered the most valuable asset for the 2023 team. Up until Sunday, he maintained an impressive record against left-handed hitters, holding them to a mere .091 batting average, making him the pitcher in the AL with the lowest average against lefties, having faced at least 60 of them. Additionally, none of the 67 left-handed batters who went up against Peralta in 2023 managed to get an extra-base hit. In contrast, the Yankees’ other lefty reliever, Nick Ramirez, struggled more against opposing lefties, allowing them to hit .306 with a .848 OPS.

Wandy Peralta could leave the Yankees injury list soon.
(Frank Franklin II/AP)

The Yankees‘ primary right-handed relievers, including Ian Hamilton, Clay Holmes, Tommy Kahnle, and Michael King, all exhibited strength against left-handed batters. Additionally, historically, Jonathan Loaisiga has been solid against lefties and is set to return from injury soon. Despite this depth, Peralta’s value lies in his durability, composure, and reputation as a good teammate, in addition to his excellence against left-handed hitters. If he were to be traded, his absence would leave a noticeable void in the bullpen.

Despite some control issues, especially earlier in the season, Peralta has displayed an impressive body of work. With a 2.29 ERA and a .188 batting average, along with his consistent durability, he has been an excellent asset to the team. In his most recent 13 appearances, spanning 10 ¹/₃ innings, Peralta only allowed one run. Considering the high demand for quality relievers in the current market, the Yankees would likely receive a favorable return if they ultimately decide to trade Peralta.

Will the Yankees let Harrison Bader, IKF go?

After being acquired from the Cardinals in a deadline deal last year for Jordan Montgomery, Bader’s journey with the Yankees has been filled with ups and downs. Despite hitting five home runs in 10 playoff games and showcasing his exceptional defensive skills in center field, he arrived with an injury, dealing with right foot plantar fasciitis. Furthermore, he solidified his reputation as an injury-prone player by experiencing two stints on the injured list earlier in the current season.

He has the ability to both excite and challenge with his daring style of play, and in the current season, he managed seven home runs, 10 stolen bases, a .260 batting average, and a .711 OPS.

AP Photo

Severino’s situation is intriguing. Among pitchers with at least 50 innings this season, his 7.49 ERA ranks as the third-worst. He has struggled throughout the season, with opposing hitters batting .329 against him and a staggering .978 OPS. However, given his past success as a strong starting pitcher and the fact that his fastball velocity remains intact, some teams in need of starting pitching might be willing to take a chance on him, believing they can help him rediscover a better, if not the best, version of Severino in a fresh environment.

isiah kiner-falefa-new-york-yankees
Twitter-Talkin’ Yanks

Kiner-Falefa has taken on his multi-faceted role admirably this season, adjusting to the outfield with ease and delivering solid or even better defense. While he might not be a game-changer for any top contender, he offers versatility, speed, and a reliable ability to make contact, making him a valuable asset for teams seeking a 26th man to bolster their roster. Since April 29, across 184 plate appearances, Kiner-Falefa has been hitting .281 with a .774 OPS.

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