The New York Yankees have settled down with the majority of players heading to refereeing before Friday’s deadline. Only Gleyber Torres and Jimmy Cordero failed to sign new contracts, but the two sides are not far from each other and will likely find a solution before the hearings.
While the contracts are settled, General Manager Brian Cashman can return to the commercial market or at least scour it for opportunities. The Yankees have tried to offload several players over the past few months, notably Aaron Hicks and Josh Donaldson, but have failed to find any. However, there are three players who make sense as potential trade pieces next season, even if it means moving them on deadline for replacement support.
Three players the Yankees should consider trading:
1.) German Domingo
The Yankees and Domingo German signed a one-year, $2.6 million deal to avoid arbitration. They controlled him until 2025 when he reached free agency. Last season, the Germans struck out 72.1 innings, recording a 3.61 ERA, 4.33 xFIP, 7.22 strikeouts per nine, and a 78.5% left-on-base rate. The German provides the team with a starting backfield option to help supplement fatigue down the stretch, but they also have Clark Schmidt, who can fill that role admirably. Having two shooters who can complete the starting hole is a worthwhile but not entirely necessary safety net.
The Bombers can look forward to moving the German to help fill a vacancy in left field. Max Kepler stands out from the Minnesota Twins but he may not be moving the needle as aggressively. In any potential deal, though, the German definitely fits in.
2.) Aaron Hicks
The Yankees owe Aaron Hicks $10.5 million for the 2023 season; And it’s an expensive number given how little value it has offered in recent memory. Last season, Hicks hit a must-have .261 with a 0.330 OBP, eight homers, and 40 RBIs with a 90 wRC+.
It could be a worthwhile decision if the Yanks can find a way to transfer Hicks and keep some salary in the process. The team signed and invited Rafael Ortega and Willie Calhoun to compete during spring training, and there’s a good case for making Ortega a better player than Hicks at this moment.
With Hicks not posting a WRC+ higher than 100 since 2020, the Covid-shortened season, it’s hard to believe he’d suddenly revive his career as his power metrics slip as well. Hicks’ problem appears to be psychological rather than physical, and he quickly loses confidence during cold spells, as he fails to go outside consistently.
3.) Jaliber Torres
Gleyber Torres appears to have a solid role at second base, but he could be a trade piece at the deadline next summer. Torres is coming off his rebounding season in 2022, hitting . 257 with a 0.310 OBP, 24 homers and 76 RBIs with a 115 wRC+. Torres was a warp 2.7 player last season and expects to be a warp 3.4 player in 2023, according to his Steamer forecast.
However, with Anthony Volpe expected to move to the majors this coming year, Torres may find his role diminishing later in the season. Especially if he’s going through cold stretches, the Yankees might prefer to give Volpe those chances because he’ll be part of the equation at some point.
With Oswald Peraza expected to fill in at shortstop and DJ Limahieu at third base, trading top pick Torres and replacing him with Volpe could be in the cards. Many are divided on the decision, but it makes sense to have a conversation.