Grading Brian Cashman and the New York Yankees front office at midseason

Jun 20, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman on the field during batting practice before a game against the Seattle Mariners at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 20, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman on the field during batting practice before a game against the Seattle Mariners at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jake Bauers.  Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports
Jake Bauers.  Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports /

Acquired or traded

The Yankees were an active trade participant last season, acquiring such assets as Josh Donaldson, Harrison Bader, Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Jose Trevino.

We haven’t arrived at the trade deadline yet, and things may ramp up over the next few weeks. But to this point in 2023, only five players have been exchanged by the Yankees in transactions with other teams, none of them a central figure.

In fact, the most important trade acquisition to New York thus far this season is a fellow most Yankee fans had never heard of prior to this season, outfielder Jake Bauers.

The Yankees bought Bauers (-0.5 WAA) in 2022 from the Cincinnati Reds on the off chance that they needed backup in the outfield; Bauers wasn’t much of a hitter, but he could play first base or corner outfield. Lo and behold, Aaron Judge got hurt and suddenly Bauers was getting semi-regular time. He still isn’t an offensive threat — he’s batting  .225 in 138 plate appearances — but he’s healthy.

New York’s departures to other teams have been even less numerous and less dramatic. In fact, only one 2022 Yankee has been lost to another club due to a team-to-team transaction.

That lone player is pitcher Lucas Luetge (-0.6), who went to Atlanta in December with a minor leaguer for another minor leaguer. Luetge got a nine-game look in the Braves bullpen, resulting in a 10.24 ERA and an invitation to try Double A for a while.