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Yankees Mailbag: Completing the deadline deals and managing depth

The mailbag is set to wrap up pre-trade deadline thoughts in this week’s edition.

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

Good afternoon everyone, it’s time for another edition of the mailbag. Remember to send in your questions for our weekly call by e-mail to pinstripealleyblog [at] gmail [dot] com.

The idiot that said, “Harper is coming” asks: If Benny is the start, which package of players would you prefer? 1) Benny and Castillo 2) Benny, Mahle, Robertson 3) Benny, Quintana, and two middle relievers

I think that they’re listed in order here personally. The Yankees need a big splash, both to shore up their own weaknesses and to keep pace with the rest of the league as they’re assuredly attempting to improve as well. Getting Mahle as an addition wouldn’t be bad for the rotation, but it wouldn’t be enough if the Astros or Blue Jays are the ones to go and get Castillo. Quintana as the other big get would be a disappointment, even if he’s accompanied by some relievers, because the Yankees already have the pitching depth to handle those types of additions. They need a solid top of the rotation arm to pair with Gerrit Cole and Nestor Cortes, that way they have a formidable trio going into any matchup.

Adam asks: With the trade deadline looming, who are the players the Yankees might be looking to move to free up some 40 man roster space?

From the 40-man itself there aren’t many players that the Yankees are looking to move. They are reportedly seeking a trade for Miguel Andújar, matching his request from a month ago, because they don’t really have a need for him at the major league level. Estevan Florial is also stuck in the Quad-A role and has been passed on the depth chart by Tim Locastro, so they could also look to move him if need be. Beyond that, if and when they find a taker for Joey Gallo that should free up all of the roster space that they need for the deadline — they can worry about upcoming Rule 5-eligible players in the winter, and some will inevitably be included in prospect packages if they swing multiple deals this deadline.

Richard W. asks: With King out, I was wondering if another young AAA reliever might get a chance to pitch with the big league club. Can you tell us about Greg Weissert at Scranton? Why not elevate him and see what’s up?

Weissert has certainly been successful this year in Triple-A Scranton, pitching to a 2.11 ERA in 38.1 innings with 60 strikeouts and just 18 walks. He’s also building off of a year where he dominated at Double-A Somerset and Scranton in 2021, but his ability to put away batters has only improved. The main reason we haven’t seen him, or a number of talented arms in the system, this year has been the success of a number of young arms already filling the holes in the bullpen.

Ron Marinaccio has taken the reins quite well in recent months, and Albert Abreu’s return to the organization takes up another slot. Sure, the team has underperformers in Jonathan Loáisiga and Aroldis Chapman currently on the roster, but they hold secure positions and aren’t going to be demoted any time soon (Chapman can’t, and the Yankees want to give Loáisiga time to see whether it was the injuries holding him back or if he’s regressed back to his pre-2021 form).

Erick S. asks: So, we have three months or so of data since the National League adopted the DH. How did it change the offense in the senior circuit? Granted, offense is down around the league. Did they catch up to the American League?

Entering play today, the National League actually boasts a better OPS (.712) than the American League (.702). This is mostly due to the bottom two teams in the AL — Detroit and Oakland — having completely inept offenses, but nevertheless the NL is ahead this year. That is notable because looking back at the last five seasons, the only other year where the NL had a better offense was in 2020 — a pandemic-shortened season, but also one where there was a universal DH. The league-wide offenses were never drastically different despite the inclusion of pitchers batting in the NL for as long as they did, as the range between the two varied from a difference of .006 to .013 over those five years, but without fail the AL was ahead otherwise. The leagues are definitely “caught up” now.