The New York Yankees’ history is filled with stellar free agent signings and savvy trades that changed the fate of the franchise.
Several of these transactions occurred after the turn of the millennium.
Here are the three best trades made by New York since 2000.
3. Gleyber Torres, 2016
The trade that sent Curtis Granderson to the Yankees that also involved the Detroit Tigers and the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2009-10 offseason was under strong consideration to make this list.
However, Gleyber Torres’ first two years with the Yanks were good enough to have some hope for the future, even though 2020 and 2021 were virtually lost seasons for him.
In 2016, the “retooling” Yankees sent closer Aroldis Chapman to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for a package of prospects headlined by Torres.
LHP Aroldis Chapman –> #Cubs
RHP Adam Warren, SS Gleyber Torres and OFs Billy McKinney & Rashad Crawford –> #Yankees
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) July 25, 2016
During his first MLB season in 2018, Torres hit 24 home runs and slashed .271/.340/.480, and in 2019, he had his best performance as a major leaguer: .278/.337/.535 with 38 homers, 96 runs, and 90 RBI.
He mostly struggled in 2020 (.724 OPS) and 2021 (.697 OPS), but he just turned 25 and will have more opportunities to get his career on the right path.
For half a season of Chapman (who ended up signing to return to the Yankees in free agency that year), it was more than worth it.
2. Giancarlo Stanton, 2017
Yes, Giancarlo Stanton has a huge contract that needs to be considered every time this trade is discussed.
And yes, he hasn’t always been healthy with the Yankees.
But there was no way New York would pass on the chance to bring a top slugger, an MVP award winner, and a 59-homer guy to the Bronx for little to no cost.
Stanton had a good debut season for the Yankees in 2018 (.266/.343/.509, 38 home runs), then barely played in 2019 and 2020 because of injuries.
However, he was one of the Yankees’ best performers in the 2020 postseason (with four homers), and showed what he’s capable of in 2021.
This season, he slashed .273/.354/.516 with 35 round-trippers and 97 RBI.
There is still a lot of Stanton for Yankees fans to see.
1. Alex Rodriguez, 2004
He was an extremely divisive figure even among his own team’s fans, but there is no question Alex Rodriguez was the best player in baseball when the Yankees traded for him in February of 2004.
The Yankees sent second baseman/outfielder Alfonso Soriano and infield prospect Joaquin Arias to Texas, and even if Soriano had a good career, A-Rod almost single-handedly took the Yankees to the World Series in 2009.
His postseason performances prior to that year were more frustrating than impressive, but he won two MVP awards with the Yankees and was always an offensive star.
Rodriguez had eight seasons of 30 or more homers with the Yankees, including 48 in 2005 and 54 in 2007.
Looking back on Alex Rodriguez’ 2007 season: .314/.422/.645, 54 HR’s, .445 wOBA, 175 wRC+, 9.6 fWAR.
— Eyes on 2022 (@volpeszn3) January 23, 2020
He was suspended for the whole 2014 season after performance-enhancing drug use, but returned to have a strong year in 2015.
He retired in 2016 with 696 homers (fourth in the history of MLB, most of them with the Yankees) and a .295/.380/.550 slash line.