It’s an open question as to whether the Yankees will be buyers or sellers at the deadline, but if they do choose to buy, the standard “add veteran depth pieces” that contending teams often look to do probably isn’t sufficient. This club has half a season to pass or catch a bunch of good teams in the standings, and they need real impact players to do that.
That complicates analysis of the Texas Rangers, who are exactly the kind of team that contenders looking to add depth would be interested in. Brock Holt and Charlie Culberson offer defensive versatility, albeit without much offensive upside. Kyle Gibson is having a career year on the mound, with a 1.98 ERA and 3.42 FIP the best marks of his life. Maybe you expect regression — his xERA is a run and a half higher than ERA, and his xFIP is 3.93 — but at worst, he still offers potential in the third or fourth slot of a contending rotation.
And then of course there are the bullpen options, headed by our old friend Ian Kennedy. He sports a 2.86 ERA and the best K-BB rate of his career as the team’s closer, and as a free agent at the end of the season, is the classic kind of deadline acquisition — a strong reliever that you’re not committed to for long and can ride into a deep playoff run.