We are just over a month away from the MLB trade deadline, and while the Yankees are having a great season, they have some areas they could improve.

The obvious area is left field. Joey Gallo has disappointed since coming to the Bronx, and while Aaron Hicks is having a good month of June, he has been inconsistent to start the season. The Yankees have also been connected to the starting pitching market. Oakland A’s starter Frankie Montas is a possibility, along with Cincinnati Reds starter Luis Castillo.

There has been some talk amongst the fanbase about whether the play of Isiah Kiner-Falefa is good enough, but the question that almost always gets raised is, “but what upgrade is available?”

While the trade market for shortstops is thin this year, there is one potential solution the Yankees should consider. Marlins infielder Joey Wendle is someone the Yankees are familiar with from his time with the Tampa Bay Rays, and could be an upgrade at the shortstop position.

Kiner-Falefa has hit for an 84 wRC+ so far this season. While that is below average, when you consider he has pretty much zero power and is at the bottom of the lineup, it could be much worse. It gets harder to accept when looking at Kiner-Falefa’s defensive metrics. He currently has 0 defensive runs saved and -4 outs above average so far this season. That is a significant drop-off from 2021.

Wendle would be an improvement on that. He posted 6 DRS and 3 OAA in just under 200 innings at shortstop in 2021. He has also posted a wRC+ of 100 or above in all but one season since 2017. There is concern regarding Wendle’s hard-hit data, as he was well below average in nearly every metric on baseball savant in 2021. Despite those concerns, his defense would be an upgrade from Kiner-Falefa alone.

Wendle has been plagued by a hamstring injury so far this season, so the Yankees will have to make sure he is healthy before acquiring him. This is the first time in a long time the Yankees have had a clear-cut argument for being the best team in baseball, they should strike while the iron is hot. Brian Cashman should leave no stone unturned when it comes to upgrading the roster.

Photo Credit: Mike McGinnis

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