The New York Yankees have spent much of the 2018 season as one of the top two teams in all of MLB. And as they come off a split of a two-game set against the Miami Marlins we get more NL East-related news. Unlike the Yankees, the Washington Nationals have had a down year for what fans in DC have become accustomed to over the last few years. And the news on the waiver wire came forth that Ryan Zimmerman and Matt Wieters have all cleared waivers and can now be traded.
The New York Yankees have struggled with consistency all season as has been documented on this site on multiple occasions. But more recently it has been health that has become the biggest culprit of the struggles. Struggles with staying on the field. This should have the Yankees looking to make deals. And they should look no further than the Nations capitol.
Ryan Zimmerman is the longest tenured Washington National as has put on some impressive moments for them in their short history. But with the Nationals in the midst of their fire sale “Zim” has cleared waivers and the Yanks should take a look into potentially acquiring him. Through 192 at-bats in 2018, Ryan has 12 home runs and 39 rbi’s and slashing .260/.332/.526. And yes, Zimmerman much like the Yankees own first baseman has been an injury concern throughout their careers. But even with only having 56 under his belt in 2018, Zimmerman has outproduced Greg Bird. The Bronx Bombers have not received much out of the first base position since the retirement of Mark Teixeira. And Ryan Zimmerman could provide some added offensive production.
Now the caveat with Zimmerman is the contract. Zimmerman is under contract through 2019 ($18 million.) Followed by another $18 million option in 2020 with a $2 million buyout. So if the Yankees are to make a deal for the corner infielder they will need to have the Nationals kick in some cash. Yet they will still come pressed up to the luxury tax threshold. But bringing in a versatile veteran with playoff experience could be an added benefit for a very young ballclub.
Another position that the Yankees have gotten a lot less productive than they expected is at catcher. Gary Sanchez possesses otherworldly potential but this season has regressed severely. Because of injury and just overall ineffectiveness, Sanchez has given way to Austin Romine and Kyle Higashioka. And at a clip more often than the Yankee brass could have expected. Therefore the second National that the Yankees should look into acquiring is the services of Matt Wieters. Wieters has always been an underrated catcher since his days in Baltimore.
In 2018, Austin Romine has enjoyed a career high in nearly all offensive categories. But as he has played more those numbers have continued to drop. Proven by his last 7 games, Romine is slashing .143/.174/.286. As compared to Wieters through his last 7 games, is slashing .333/.391/.524. The Yankees need more than just a receiver behind the dish and for the final month-plus of the season, Wieters can be that guy. And even when Gary Sanchez returns, Wieters can work with him on blocking. As Wieters is also a big man behind the dish and has been catching for a long time and been well viewed as a catcher.
The Yankees do not have much time left if they have any hopes of catching Boston for the AL East Division. And that must remain the focus for then to have the right mindset heading into the playoffs (even an AL Wildcard spot.)