July 21, 2024

Despite falling 3-7 over their previous ten games, the New York Yankees remain one of baseball’s greatest teams, with a 52-28 record. However, as the July 30 trade deadline approaches, the Bombers face a dilemma at first base. That is especially true with Anthony Rizzo now injured. Could Andrew Vaughn, the Chicago White Sox first baseman, be the solution?

Mark Feinsand of MLB.com examined 13 top trade candidates and their potential matches on June 22. While discussing Vaughn, he specifically mentioned three teams that could be a good fit for his services: the Yankees, the Houston Astros, and the Seattle Mariners.

“Unlike [Paul] DeJong, Vaughn isn’t headed for free agency this offseason, so the White Sox might not be inclined to deal the 26-year-old,” Feinsand pointed out. “But the first baseman could be one of Chicago’s most intriguing trade chips because Vaughn is earning $3.25 million this season and will be arbitration-eligible for two more years after 2024.”

Vaughn’s.681 OPS through 297 plate appearances is significantly lower than the.735 mark he achieved in his first three big league seasons. However, he recently hit career highs in home runs (21) and RBIs (80) in 2023.

Vaughn Has Recently Turned His Season Around

The White Sox weren’t projected to be a postseason contender in 2024. They wasted little time putting that in stone after a 3-21 start to the regular season. This puts them in the thick of the trade deadline as a seller, with some fascinating players potentially available. around addition to Vaughn, Garrett Crochet and Luis Robert Jr. have had their names circulated around the rumor mill.

Vaughn’s season at the plate began poorly. In his first 34 games (137 plate appearances), the right-handed batter hit just.183/.241/.230 with six extra-base hits (all doubles), seven RBI, and seven runs. Over the next 38 games, he performed more like himself. In 160 plate appearances, Vaughn batted.293/.338/.520, with nine home runs, 28 RBI, and 19 runs scored.

Based on previous scenarios, it’s unclear whether Chicago will genuinely consider making Vaughn available in the coming weeks. And it primarily has to do with his current contract situation. As Feinsand pointed out, he earns only $3.25 million in 2024 and is under team control until 2026. Chris Getz, the White Sox’s general manager, waited all winter for the package he desired in a Dylan Cease trade. According to The Athletic, other teams are also persuaded Chicago isn’t in a rush to deal Robert. His current contract allows him to play for several more years.

 

Andrew Vaughn gets a look at third base for White Sox

Acquiring Vaughn Could Be Huge for the Yankees in 2024 & Beyond

It is not unreasonable to believe Vaughn will remain on the South Side until the winter. However, it would be a good idea for Yankees general manager Brian Cashman to try to lure him away from the White Sox.

Rizzo is anticipated to miss around two months due to a fractured forearm. Even before then, whispers circulated about whether he would be replaced by a trade deadline acquisition. With this injury and his.630 OPS, it is increasingly doubtful that New York will exercise his $17 million club option for 2025.

That means the Yankees will most likely be looking for an established first baseman. Pete Alonso, a slugger with the New York Mets, is said to be available. However, it would contradict the idea that Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner wishes to reduce his salary to less than $300 million soon. Acquiring someone like Vaughn could solve a variety of problems. He’d give the club an offensive lift in 2024 while also providing Cashman with an inexpensive alternative for the future. It would also provide the Yankees with greater financial flexibility in their projected pursuit of Juan Soto.

Vaughn appears to fulfill numerous boxes for what the Bombers require right now. It remains to be seen how intrigued they are, and whether Chicago will make him accessible.

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