Yankees beat reporters and members of the media weren’t expecting much from the 2021 MLB trade deadline. The Yankees have looked lifeless for much of this season and are often a bore to watch. For a while now, Brian Cashman has acted pretty reserved at the trade deadline. Cashman’s discipline in not wanting to overpay for guys, or forfeit future value for a short-term solution has prevented the Yankees from making aggressive moves to acquire players, even when, in recent years, it was clear the team needed reinforcements to succeed in the postseason. The front office has seemed unnecessarily thrifty and resistant to change.
So, the wheeling and dealing and flurry of activity that unfolded on the Yankees trading block over the last two days has pleasantly surprised the cohort of people who cover the Yankees. This year’s trade deadline had drama and exciting plot lines that appeared to reinvigorate reporters’ (as well as everybody’s) appreciation of the Yankees and the game.
What did the usual suspects think of Cashman’s moves during the last few days? Let’s recount how the media reacted to the news and review the deals and transactions that the Yankees made over the last 48 hours leading up to the trade deadline.
Information regarding the Yankees’ efforts to trade for Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo and rumors regarding possible terms of the deal began to trickle in Wednesday afternoon.
The New York Yankees’ deal to acquire outfielder Joey Gallo from Texas had undergone slight adjustments, sources tell ESPN, but is expected to be finalized Thursday.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 29, 2021
As @JackCurryYES said, this version will send four prospects to Texas, not six, and Joely Rodriguez to New York.
Lindsey Adler reported that the Yankees had originally shown interest in Gallo during Spring Training. It seems as if he is someone Cashman has been eyeing for a little while now.
Brian Cashman said he felt the Yankees were close to acquiring Joey Gallo in spring training.— Lindsey Adler (@lindseyadler) July 30, 2021
Brian Cashman said Joey Gallo has been a Yankees target for a while, and a deal was close in Spring Training— Yankees Videos (@snyyankees) July 30, 2021
Cashman also discusses the Yankees dealings with the Cubs for Anthony Rizzo, and how Luke Voit can fit in with the current roster construction pic.twitter.com/hZyJmRQMNF
Mark Feinsand laid out the favorable financial terms of the Gallo trade.
The Rangers will be paying "most" of Joey Gallo's remaining salary (which is about $2.2M) in 2021 as part of the trade with the Yankees, per source. That should allow New York - which is about $4M below the CBT threshold - to make another move prior to the Trade Deadline.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) July 29, 2021
What’s better than an OG Yankee fan in pinstripes?
Anthony Rizzo says he was at David Cone’s perfect game. !!!???!!!— Lindsey Adler (@lindseyadler) July 30, 2021
In contrast to how the news of the Gallo trade broke in piecemeal fashion, the announcement that Cashman had secured a deal with the Cubs for another left-handed power hitter — this time Gold Glove first baseman Anthony Rizzo — took the Yankees’ fanbase by complete surprise. It seemed like a number of Yankees reporters were equally shocked.
The New York Yankees are finalizing a deal to acquire first baseman Anthony Rizzo from the Chicago Cubs, sources tell ESPN. First on the scene was @JackCurryYES.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 29, 2021
In the last 24 hours, the Yankees have gotten Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo, two high-OBP lefties. Big moves in Bronx.
Ken Rosenthal and Jack Curry both noted specific and more granular details of the Rizzo trade.
Important detail in Rizzo trade: Whether Cubs are sending cash to Yankees to secure better prospects. Rizzo owed nearly $6M for rest of season. Rangers covered entire salaries for Gallo and Rodriguez, per @JoelSherman1. Yankees mindful of staying under luxury-tax threshold.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 29, 2021
The Yankees are trading Alcantara and Vizcaino for Rizzo. The Cubs are picking up all of Rizzo’s remaining salary.— Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) July 29, 2021
It was reported by multiple people on the beat that the Yankees were shopping around Luke Voit, likely in an effort to get more pitching help.
I'm told that in addition to the Anthony Rizzo trade, the Yankees were still eyeballing the pitching market (as of a half-hour ago), emphasizing bullpen help.— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) July 29, 2021
While it doesn’t appear as if the Yankees were able to secure the exact pitching help that Cashman had in mind, the CashGod did make a move to get a project with potential in trading for Angels right-hander Andrew Heaney. Heaney’s stats this year aren’t anything to write home about, as a few people pointed out, but the underlying metrics of his pitching reportedly indicate he has promise.
The Yankees keep adding. Now it’s Andrew Heaney from the Los Angeles Angels, source tells ESPN. Over the last 48 hours, that makes Joey Gallo, Anthony Rizzo and Andrew Heaney. The Yankees needed a change. They’re getting one. We’ll see if it’s the right mix.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 30, 2021
There are still some questions that linger after the deadline closed this afternoon. Jack Curry articulated the biggest question marks and speculated several lineup permutations and role shifts that could take place in light of the Yankees’ new roster.
Voit was dangled in trade discussions, but is still a Yankee. I’m curious how the Yanks will now use him. Rizzo is an every day player. One possible solution? Play Stanton in LF and use Voit at DH. That would require Judge or Gallo to play CF. Not sure Yankees will do that.— Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) July 30, 2021
The 2021 trade deadline was more eventful than anyone could have hoped for. Let’s hope the action and excitement carries over and creates some momentum for the Yankees in the second half of the season.