The New York Yankees are struggling, but the team could make a splash at the trade deadline later this month.
Yankees chairman Hal Steinbrenner said Thursday he's not opposed to exceeding Major League Baseball's luxury-tax threshold to help his club, which has been swept by its rival Boston Red Sox twice this season.
Hal Steinbrenner on exceeding the luxury tax threshold this year:— Lindsey Adler (@lindseyadler) July 1, 2021
"I would absolutely consider, if a piece comes up that I think is a good piece and baseball ops thinks is a good piece and something we should do, I would *absolutely* consider it."
The Yankees had a relatively quiet offseason, re-signing D.J. LeMahieu while adding pitchers Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon. Unfortunately for the Bronx Bombers, LeMahieu has taken a step backward, Kluber is out until at least August with a shoulder strain and Taillon is struggling on the mound.
New York currently has the second-highest payroll in baseball at $201 million. The league's competitive balance tax begins at the $210 million mark and increases at the $230 million and $250 million thresholds.
The Yankees are fourth in the AL East with a 41-39 record, 8.5 games behind the first-place Red Sox.
Some have speculated that Steinbrenner's squad should do something similar to what the Red Sox did in February 2020 by trading Mookie Betts. They suggest potentially trading players like Aaron Judge because the Betts trade has surprisingly worked out for Boston thus far.
At this point, parting ways with Judge wouldn't make the Yankees better anyway, so adding another star player on the open market is the better option. Minnesota Twins ace Jose Berrios, Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Adam Frazier and Texas Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo have been mentioned as potential targets for the Yankees later this month.
However, MLB insider Mark Feinsand believes a sale is possible if things don't improve in the Bronx, with players on expiring contracts, such as Kluber and Brett Gardner, being the first to go. Feinsand also mentions Luke Voit and Miguel Andujar as potential trade candidates.
At this point, there's really no telling what the Yankees might do, and it seems like almost everyone is on the chopping block.