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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 7/29/22

The need that Benintendi fills on the team; Benintendi trade means less time in center for Judge; Reds in no rush to make a Castillo trade; what else the Yankees might seek at the deadline

Kansas City Royals v New York Yankees Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images

FanGraphs | Dan Szymborski: Why was the first trade deadline move for the Yankees the swap for Andrew Benintendi? The outfield needed some stabilization despite the MVP-caliber season from Aaron Judge. Joey Gallo is not an everyday player at this point, so the team needed another starter there, especially considering Giancarlo Stanton’s current injury. Even considering that Benintendi is not vaccinated for COVID-19 (he’s indicated that he might get it now), the team only has one more series in Toronto, and the odds are not in favor of the the two teams meeting the playoffs if the Yankees keep their hold on the division. With the team floundering recently, it’s a simple decision to essentially swap Gallo for a player who cannot be shifted against and is having a career year.

NJ Advance Media | Brendan Kuty: One of the pleasant surprises of this season has been Judge’s consistent playing time in center field, where his excellent skills on defense add even more to his value when combined with his powerful bat. However, the acquisition of Benintendi means that Judge will be spending more time in right field, according to manager Aaron Boone. That’s to protect him from potential injuries as the playoffs get closer. Aaron Hicks will see more time in center field, as opposed to left. Judge has had some time off recently with lower body soreness, and any IL stay for him would of course be a huge blow to the team overall.

NJ Advance Media | Brendan Kuty: Benintendi improves the team, but he’s not the big fish that Luis Castillo would be for this team. The Yankees have a strong interest in the Cincinnati ace, but apparently that front office isn’t in a rush to get a deal done well before Tuesday’s trade deadline. Castillo would fill a huge need on a team that’s seen the starting rotation underperform lately and Luis Severino miss time with yet another injury. Seeing him go to Houston or Toronto would feel fairly disastrous, but the Reds aren’t going to cut the suspense immediately, it seems.

Sports Illustrated | Emma Baccellieri: SI went through what all 30 teams are likely looking for ahead of the trade deadline. The Yankees’ needs are pretty clear — besides a strong starting pitcher like Castillo, bullpen help is sought after the season-ending injury to Michael King. Even with Benintendi now in the fold, some more position player depth couldn’t hurt either to hedge against injuries to Stanton, Hicks, or Josh Donaldson.