After the New York Yankees had a poor start to the 2021 season, many folks speculated about whether the team should buy or sell at the trade deadline.
The Yankees entered deadline week with a multi-game deficit in the Wild Card race, and the gap in the division race was even bigger.
Ultimately, New York decided to go for it.
For a storied organization like the Yankees, selling would have come as a big surprise.
The club added several key players before the deadline hit on Friday, and the Yankees are now in pretty good shape to make a playoff push.
Evaluating Joey Gallo’s Impact
The Yankees had a desperate need for left-handed hitting, and they addressed that concern by adding two lefty bats in Gallo and Rizzo.
Gallo is working on a stellar season.
Despite a low batting average, he is getting on base at a .373 clip, and he has an OPS of .851.
He has homered 25 times, and he will likely go off at Yankee Stadium with that short porch in right field.
Gallo slides in as one of the best hitters in New York’s lineup, and he comes over at a great time, as the team desperately needed some reinforcements offensively.
The Yankees rank in the bottom-10 in most offensive categories.
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) August 1, 2021
Evaluating Anthony Rizzo’s Impact
Like Gallo, Rizzo provides a much-needed boost to a miserable lineup.
Rizzo is batting .256 this season with a solid .824 OPS and 124 OPS+.
He has homered 16 times and doubled 16 times.
He adds some decent defense at first base, too, and is just a really solid addition overall.
If the Yankees do sneak into the playoffs, they’ll be happy to know that Rizzo has a lot of postseason experience.
His playoff career has been rocky at times, but he was a huge performer in 2016 when the Chicago Cubs unforgettably snapped their title drought.
Rizzo batted .277 with an OPS of .866 throughout those playoffs.
It has been said countless times, but it’s worth repeating: Postseason experience is invaluable.
Evaluating Andrew Heaney’s Impact
Heaney is another lefty, but unlike Gallo and Rizzo, he won’t be making an impact offensively.
Heaney is starting pitcher with several years of MLB experience.
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
Heaney has a career 4.57 ERA, 4.30 FIP, and 1.26 WHIP.
As you’ve probably gathered, he is a decent back-of-the-rotation option, but nothing more than that.
For a Yankees rotation with injury concerns and a lack of depth, Heaney could end up being exactly what the doctor ordered.
It will be interesting to see how he performs with a contending team, because he has spent most of his career playing for the non-contending Los Angeles Angels.
The Yankees are certainly giving themselves a shot.
On paper, the team should be leading the American League East right now, so it seems treacherous to say that these moves will change everything for New York.
However, the club addressed some major needs, and there is a very real chance that the Yankees will land in the playoffs after their strong deadline.
Ultimately, we will have to wait and see how everything plays out.