No trades are coming, predicts Francesa, as Yankees fail to show the worth of additions

Yankees manager Aaron Boone and hitting coach Sean Casey are at practice session before the game vs. the Rays at Yankee Stadium on July 31, 2023.

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The MLB trade deadline is ending in a few hours but the Yankees are yet to be active in the market. Renowned radio host Mike Francesa foresees no trade from the Yankees. He claims that the team is not willing to invest money. Moreover, he doesn’t hold much hope for them throughout the rest of this disheartening season.

“This team has gotten old in bad spots and decayed … and let’s be honest, tell the truth, the Yankees don’t want to spend the money,” the WFAN star host announced on the BetRivers podcast.

He reminded the fans that the old days, when the Yankees spent big on players to bring players to the Bronx at any cost, are over. The present top brass, according to him, remains shy of committing big money and is more conscious about payrolls than performance.

“The Yankees don’t want to pay exorbitant fees. They don’t want to do it and they don’t want to be in a place where their payroll hurts them. Don’t think they don’t have their eye on payroll; they do. This is not the old days any more. They are not going to bring guys in at any cost. That is not going to happen.”

Yankees fail to show this group is worth adding

As the media entered the Yankees’ clubhouse on Monday night, a loud expletive echoed from the depths of the spacious locker room. Whether it was due to a minor mishap, a close video game defeat, or simply the mounting frustration of a disappointing season on the eve of the trade deadline, the tension was palpable.

It’s entirely possible that the Yankees could make moves and trade players from their MLB roster before the trade deadline on Tuesday.

Despite their challenging season and last-place position in the American League East, the Yankees are still within reach of the final AL wild-card spot, trailing the Blue Jays by just 3.5 games. This means they could potentially be in the mix for postseason action in October.

However, despite the possibility of contention, the Yankees find themselves in a somewhat unfamiliar position as they approach Tuesday’s trade deadline as potential sellers. While not explicitly using the term “sellers,” the Yankees have reportedly communicated to other teams that they are open to trading away certain major-league players who are approaching free agency after this season. This group includes Harrison BaderIsiah Kiner-FalefaWandy Peralta, and Luis Severino, as per Joel Sherman’s report in the New York Post on Monday.

According to Sherman, Yankees’ Chairman Hal Steinbrenner is prioritizing trimming payroll, making it a key objective for the front office. However, despite this focus on reducing costs, the team is not completely dismissing the idea of acquiring players who could potentially boost their playoff chances this season. It’s worth noting that the projected payroll for the Yankees in 2023 stands at approximately $297 million, slightly above the luxury tax threshold set at $293 million.

League sources have revealed that while the Yankees are exploring options to bolster their roster in areas like left field and the bullpen through short-term acquisitions, there’s also a possibility of them considering unexpected moves resembling a selling strategy. If a team interested in acquiring one of their current MLB players makes a compelling offer, the Yankees may be open to making surprising deals before the trade deadline.

Yankees struggle as veterans fail to live up to expectations

The New York Yankees boast a lineup of MLB’s most dangerous hitters American League MVP Aaron Judge, Anthony Rizzo, Giancarlo Stanton, and DJ LeMahieu. But none of these clicked on Monday, as the Yankees fail to score beyond a single run and meekly surrendered to the Rays.

On his return game from the injured list against the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night, Judge was also walked three times. Unfortunately, the Yankees couldn’t capitalize on these opportunities in both games, resulting in losses that pushed them deeper into the abyss of the American League East. Following Monday’s defeat, the Yankees now find themselves nine games behind in the division and in the sixth position in the American League, tied with the Seattle Mariners, a team that is actively trading players at the trade deadline.

With or without Aaron Judge, the rest of the team hasn’t been stepping up to the challenge and hasn’t been performing well throughout the season. As of Monday’s game, Rizzo has been struggling significantly since May 21, hitting just .189/.277/.242 with one home run and 13 RBIs. Despite his poor performance, Rizzo has still been placed in the top half of the batting order due to his career statistics, even though he has been the worst hitter in baseball for the past two months and beyond.

Yankees first baseman Anthony Rizzo is arguing with umpire during the game against the Orioles at Camden Yards.
AP

According to Boone, he contemplated the idea of moving Rizzo down in the lineup for Monday’s game but ultimately chose to keep him in the third spot. Following Rizzo’s five strikeouts on Sunday, he improved slightly with only two strikeouts on Monday.

The Yankees’ unwavering faith in their veterans is evident in their approach with players like Josh Donaldson, who was given a chance before his injury, and their belief in his ability to bounce back this season. This mentality was evident in the offseason as well when they decided not to make significant changes to the roster after a disappointing playoff exit. However, this loyalty to established players might be one of the reasons for the team’s current struggles. For instance, even when it seems like moving Anthony Rizzo down in the lineup would be beneficial, they stick to their traditional approach, disregarding recent performance in favor of past achievements. This adherence to the “baseball cards” approach may be contributing to the disconnect between expectations and on-field results.

The Yankees find themselves in a situation where they have little choice but to rely on their veterans to turn things around for the remainder of the season and beyond. Trading these players may prove difficult due to their hefty contracts, and potential suitors might only be interested if the Yankees agree to cover a significant portion of the remaining money owed. Even if the team were to make some acquisitions before the trade deadline, no single external player can single-handedly reverse their fortunes. Ultimately, the team’s fate hinges on the performance of their high-priced veterans; if they continue to struggle collectively, the prospects for success may be grim.

Yankees veterans Giancarlo Stanton, DJ LeMahieu, and Anthony Rizzo.

Judge acknowledged that it’s been challenging, particularly considering the caliber of players and the team’s overall track record. He expressed his lack of surprise regarding the struggling offense and stressed the importance of making adjustments. Judge emphasized the need for in-game adaptations since opposing teams are actively targeting them and adjusting their strategies accordingly. He emphasized the significance of players stepping up and making the necessary adjustments to succeed and get the job done.

As of now, there are a couple of reported players who could be available for the Yankees to consider adding. One such player is Dylan Carlson from the St. Louis Cardinals, a switch hitter who could bring defensive support but holds an average offensive performance. Another potential option is Teoscar Hernandez from the Seattle Mariners, who has not met expectations with his current team. However, it’s worth noting that Hernandez is a right-handed hitter with a tendency to strike out, which may not be the ideal addition for the Yankees considering their lineup’s existing composition.

Up until now, the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox are the only contenders in the race for the third wild-card spot who haven’t made any moves at the trade deadline. In contrast, the Toronto Blue Jays have acquired Cardinals relief pitcher Jordan Hicks, and the Los Angeles Angels have made significant additions, including starting pitcher Lucas Giolito, outfielder Randal Grichuk, and first baseman C.J. Cron. Meanwhile, other potential playoff opponents like the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers have been proactive and may continue bolstering their rosters before the deadline.

Due to their poor performance, the Yankees have not convinced owner Hal Steinbrenner and general manager Brian Cashman that this team is worth investing in and making additions to.

Boone acknowledged that they have faced significant challenges with multiple key players being out for extended periods. However, he emphasized that the team needs to perform better and put themselves in a more favorable position. They are focusing on what they can control and striving to improve their performance.

Throughout the season, injuries have undeniably been a significant factor affecting the team’s performance. However, it’s worth noting that this roster includes several key players with a history of injuries. Relying on injuries as an excuse for the team’s lack of success cannot be a constant narrative, nor should it come as a surprise when these players do get injured.

Yankees facing a challenging situation

As the trade deadline approaches, the Yankees find themselves in a challenging situation. While they have a standout pitcher in Gerrit Cole, their starting rotation as a whole has underperformed, ranking 24th in fWAR. The bullpen, with the best ERA, is ranked 13th in fWAR, and the offense, largely dependent on Aaron Judge, sits at 18th in the league.

Boos and rants by fans greeted the Yankees in the game vs. the Rays on July 31, 2023, at Yankee Stadium.

Given the numerous issues that need addressing midway through the season, the Yankees may have to consider the option of selling some players set to become free agents after the season, like Harrison Bader, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Luis Severino, and Wandy Peralta. It’s an unfortunate reality for a team with prime players like Judge and Cole, but they must explore this path to address their current challenges.

Judge expressed his desire to win when questioned about the team’s potential selling. He stated that everyone in the room shares the same goal of getting closer to becoming a better team. While uncertain about the outcome, he emphasized the team’s focus on winning, as that is the primary reason they all came together.

The Yankees’ success seems contingent on Rizzo, Stanton, and LeMahieu regaining their expected hitting form, which could lead to winning games. However, current outcomes suggest that these three players won’t be carrying the team to victory in the near future.

The team is well aware that its chances of success are slim if Anthony Rizzo, Giancarlo Stanton, and DJ LeMahieu continue to struggle and contribute little to the overall performance.

Although they are not actively seeking to trade their veterans, they are receptive to exploring innovative trade proposals, according to sources within the league.

Similar to the situation in July last year, the Yankees were not actively shopping Gleyber Torres, but they engaged in discussions with Miami regarding a potential trade for pitcher Pablo Lopez.

As the trade deadline approaches on Tuesday at 6 p.m., the New York Yankees (55-50) find themselves in a position somewhere in between becoming sellers like the Mets and aggressive buyers like the Texas Rangers. While they are not actively selling off assets, they are also not aggressively pursuing acquisitions for a playoff push. The Yankees are still in the wild-card race and appear to be approaching the deadline with a cautious and balanced approach.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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One thought on “No trades are coming, predicts Francesa, as Yankees fail to show the worth of additions

  1. Hasta La Vista, this team is toast…All of the current management must go. They should have been actively pursuing improvements at least a month ago… Volpe should have also been in the mix. His defense is good but his offense is not like Jeter nor will it ever be. The Yankees treat him like he’s a Golden boy. With all the striking out he leads the team in strikeouts which shows his inability to even make contact. Most of his few hits come when the team is already losing big and the opposing pitcher is just laying it in. That’s my opinion and I stand by it.

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