While the Yankees are heating up in the Bronx, it’s clear New York is not a finished product regardless of how Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller comically end games or if Nathan Eovaldi is truly putting it all together. Money is not the problem; the Yankees have plenty of it coming off the books and will likely go lean this winter in a down free agency period to hit the luxury tax incentives before spending big the following two years. Until then, the Yankees have to continue to acquire young talent, whether through prospects or trades. Here is what they should do with the current players on the roster who don’t necessarily have a starting job:
Dustin Ackley – Trade (before the 2016 trade deadline):
Ackley is a man without a position or true role, and with Rob Refsnyder finally being trusted at the MLB level, Ackley is also redundant in said role. He hasn’t particularly played great defense as a super utility player, he doesn’t do anything elite on offense and he’s not fast enough to be a speed threat, so Ackley is really without a role in a walk year. The Yankees would be wise to move him if for nothing else than to guarantee Refsnyder a 25 man roster spot, but also potentially to land some sort of C level prospect. Something is better than nothing and Ackley will bring the Yankees nothing when his contract expires.
Austin Romine– Keep
Romine has turned his career around as a backup catcher this year, at one point disappearing from the depth chart all together to now being the only other MLB ready catcher in the organization. With a .250/.286 slash line through 43 at bats, Romine isn’t setting the world on fire like he was in April, but he’s still hitting enough and providing solid defense. Seeing as he wouldn’t net much in return and has team control, the Yankees would be wise to hold onto him as Gary Sanchez insurance.
Aaron Hicks – Keep
Speaking of backup catchers, Hicks was acquired for Jr Murphy this past winter and after a slow start is really starting to show his potential. The talented outfielder has a rocket for an arm, can play all three outfield positions (albeit inconsistently well early on) and has hit himself over the Mendoza line to .207/.253 with a couple of home runs and 10 RBI in 82 at bats. Hicks was hitting .067 as recently as May 4th but has been 15/52 with five extra base hits since. It seems the 26-year-old needs playing time to play better so he could be the reason for a trade, but it won’t involve a player under contract for the foreseeable future.
Ronald Torreyes – Keep
Torreyes is one of those players you sign to short-term deals and hang onto with very low financial investment for as long as he’s productive. The 23-year-old is signed long-term and shouldn’t command much when his arbitration years hit. He’s hitting a respectable .289/.333 and can play three infield positions, making him a versatile option off of the bench (and further making Ackley irrelevant). The Yankees would be wise to hold onto Torreyes as he would be worth more to the team than his value in a trade market.