The New York Yankees made major moves ahead of the MLB trade deadline in hopes of a late-season push that could propel them into the postseason.
The Yankees acquired outfielder Joey Gallo and pitcher Joely Rodriguez on Wednesday in a trade with the Texas Rangers. New York traded pitcher Glen Otto and infielders Ezequiel Duran, Trevor Hauver and Josh Smith.
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On Thursday, New York pulled off another shocking blockbuster. The team acquired first baseman Anthony Rizzo from the Chicago Cubs for pitcher Alexander Vizcaino and outfielder Kevin Alcantara.
The shrewd moves come in a moment of peril for the Yankees.
New York held firm the last few years at the trade deadline, opting not to make moves that would affect the prospect pipeline. In those years, the Yankees were better positioned to make the playoffs than they were this week.
The Yankees (53-48) enter their weekend series with the Miami Marlins 8.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox for first place in the American League East and 3.5 games behind the Oakland Athletics for the second American League wild card spot. The team is also behind the Seattle Mariners in the wild card standings.
YANKEES ACQUIRE ANTHONY RIZZO FROM CUBS IN BLOCKBUSTER DEAL
Adding Gallo and Rizzo is an effort to add to a lineup that has underperformed all season.
Gallo, an All-Star for the second time in his career this season, has 25 home runs, 55 RBI and an .869 OPS. He doesn’t hit for average, as he only bats .223 and has 125 strikeouts to his name. But surrounding him with Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez may make pitchers wonder who to throw to.
Rizzo, a three-time All-Star in his own right, is hitting .248 with 14 home runs in 92 games this season. He’s also an incredible defensive player, having won the Gold Glove award four times and three consecutive times entering 2021.
The power bats certainly help the lineup, but New York has to take care of the lesser opponents on its schedule. The Marlins, Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals and Minnesota Twins are all on the schedule for the Yankees in August along with series against the Mariners and Red Sox.
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There’s no time to wait. The Yankees need a hot end to the summer to have a chance at the postseason.