Yankees’ big Baltimore night sends a subtle trade message to the top brass

Aaron Judge and Kyle Higashioka celebrates as the Yankees beat the Orioles 8-3 at Camden Yards on July 29, 2023.

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BALTIMORE — On Saturday night at Oriole Park, the Yankees demonstrated their winning formula to secure another American League East title. Their performance sent a subtle yet strong message to the team management about the potential trade deals they should go after.

The Yankees’ dominant 8-3 victory over the first-place Orioles was a moment to cherish, yet it also brought about questions of why they couldn’t perform like this throughout the season. Had they played at this level consistently, they wouldn’t currently be at the bottom of the division and out of contention for a wild-card spot with the looming August 1 trade deadline.

During this game, strong pitching combined with the power of Aaron Judge and the rest of the lineup propelled the Yankees to a convincing victory. The Yankees showcased their hitting prowess as if they were making a strong case for general manager Brian Cashman to pursue impactful trades instead of settling for minor additions, maintaining the status quo, or even considering selling assets.

Yankees trade expectations from Cashman

According to Aaron Judge, the Yankees are capable of competing with the current roster. But he also recognized that trade decisions were beyond their control and emphasized that he would let others handle their respective roles and responsibilities.

“It’s out of our control, he said. “We’re fully capable of the guys we’ve got in this clubhouse to go out there and compete. It’s out of our hands. I’ll let (Cashman and the front office) do their part.”

In his second game back from the injured list, the Yankees captain hit a home run, and the same feat was achieved by Giancarlo Stanton and Kyle Higashioka, forming a powerful trio of hitters.

Cashman with Aaron Judge
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Several other players came through with significant hits, notably Isiah Kiner-Falefa, whose bases-clearing double in the sixth inning, following a 10-pitch at-bat, widened the Yankees lead from a close game to a comfortable five-run margin.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone expressed his excitement and admiration for the at-bat, calling it “awesome” and labeling it as one of the best at-bats of the season.

Throughout the game, Aaron Judge had a strong performance, getting on base three times and going 3-for-5. His two-run homer in the third inning gave the Yankees the lead they needed to secure the victory at 3-2. Higashioka also stood out with three hits and two RBI from the ninth spot in the lineup. Contributions came from LeMahieu and Rizzo with their hits, while Torres brought in a run with a sacrifice fly. Bader and Volpe showcased their speed by stealing bases during the game.

Boone commented that the team’s performance was exactly how he envisioned it, stating, “That’s what it’s supposed to look like right there.” He expressed his satisfaction with the consistent quality of at-bats throughout the game, even when some did not result in positive outcomes. Boone felt that the players maintained a high level of competitiveness and toughness during their at-bats throughout the entire night.

The Yankees manager conveyed that the team’s performance was a reflection of their identity and the kind of team they aspire to become. He emphasized that they are continuously striving to embody that style of play and build upon it.

The Yankees’ pitching also showcased a strong performance. Clarke Schmidt managed to grind through five innings, allowing three runs, on a humid 82-degree night. Their bullpen, holding the lowest ERA in the majors, remained stingy, delivering four perfect innings, with Ian Hamilton and Nick Ramirez contributing two innings each.

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It was an enjoyable evening for the Yankees, particularly their batters.

A glimpse of what Yankees need to acquire in trade

Boone emphasized that Aaron’s presence in the lineup is of immense importance. However, he also mentioned that the game offered a glimpse into what they believe other players are capable of achieving. Giancarlo’s early homer set the tone, and even players like Anthony Volpe, who didn’t get a hit in the series, displayed impressive hitting performances with four strong hits. Boone stressed the significance of having such quality at-bats, but he acknowledged that Aaron’s impact remains significant.

With the score at 2-1, the Yankees had one down in the third inning when Judge stepped up to the plate, with Higashioka already on first base.

Up against Tyler Wells (7-6), the Orioles’ starter, Judge crushed a 443-foot home run over the center-field wall. The pitch was a letters-high, outside-corner fastball. This marked Judge’s 20th homer of the season and his first since July 3, which was the day he sprained his big right toe while making a game-saving catch through the right-field wall at Dodger Stadium.

After spending 42 games on the injured list, Aaron Judge returned on Friday and had a hitless performance with a lineout to right field and three walks in the Yankees’ 1-0 loss to the Orioles. However, the next night, he had a much better outing, hitting three liners – two for singles and one over the wall.

With the Yankees comfortably leading by five runs, Judge was given some rest after striking out swinging to close the seventh inning. Greg Allen took over in right field for the final three innings. Boone is considering not starting Judge on Sunday, primarily because he’s still working on building up his stamina after being out of action for nearly two months. This is a key area where the Yankees need someone near his level as a backup.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

5 thoughts on “Yankees’ big Baltimore night sends a subtle trade message to the top brass

  1. I think the Yankees can do well with the current roster but they need a better manager. They haven’t won a pennant since Boone took over. They have not beaten the Astros since. I will give you an example why let Wandy pitch to one lefthander why not let Santander hit a Homer over the left field wall 380ft rather than right field? I also question the trade of Bader for Montgomery. A true starter for an injured fielder.

  2. Wonder how the Yankees feel after the 9-3 loss to Baltimore on Sunday night???
    Yankees are in last place for a reason…they are not a very good team.
    Time for a total rebuild…stop buying high priced superstars who won’t play together and start over with young players who can mesh together as a team.

  3. I want the Yankees to go back to letting the farm develop enough so they can make it to the big boy level. No more rushing talent through the minors & trading so many prospects away that it not only hurts the team now but in the future. Also mentioning the minors , the scouts for the organization are a super important part of the club and the ownership must put more trust in their decisions on evaluation . The yankees need to have a good old players only meeting and look themselves in the mirror for their stats so far. In the movie Bull Durham there was a line that was said ( we need a good old rain out) I think that is the case for this team also. They need a feel good bonding day of partying . A good swift kick in the ass helps sometimes – but a pat on the back can also do the trick in many cases. I am a yankees fan since 1976 & I have stuck with my team through thick and thin , and have no intention of leaving my boys high and dry now.!! A 10 game win streak is not impossible and that could be just what the doctor’s ordered. The Yanks are 55-51 so far in last place in the east , just to put this in perspective the twins are a top of their division at 54-53. The rays started the season on fire at 20-3 if I remember – they have sputtered since going 45-41 and look human again . The orioles are riding young talent to the top of the division with the same formula of the 90’s Yanks with Jeter, Williams, posada,Pettitte.

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