The 2021 Major League Baseball Trade Deadline was one of the more eventful and entertaining deadlines that I can remember in quite a while.
There was a ton of activity, a ton of big names were on the move and both local teams were actively involved in the proceedings. The Yankees drastically changed the entire feel of their lineup by adding two major lefty power bats in Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo.
So when I heard the news about both trades, I was far more enthusiastic regarding the Rizzo move.
It’s nothing against Joey Gallo, who will most certainly help the Yankees with his power, on base prowess and his defense, but he strikes out way too much for my liking. Rizzo fits the Yankees perfectly. He’s won a World Series with the Cubs, he is one of the toughest hitters to strike out in baseball and plays Gold Glove caliber defense at 1st Base. This weekend, Rizzo was in the middle of everything for the Yankees in their sweep over the Miami Marlins.
He hit two big home runs, a game tying hit on Sunday, and made play after play in the field.
For months, it bothered me to no end that the Yankees weren’t left-handed enough. I’m glad they have finally changed that narrative.
Both Rizzo and Gallo should be a part of the team beyond 2021 and will be needed in the short term to help bolster the lineup to help pick up the slack for a pitching staff dealing with all sorts of adversity.
The Yankees will need to be a lot better offensively considering Domingo German was just placed on the Injured List and ace Gerrit Cole recently tested positive for COVID-19.
On the other side of town, the Mets may still be in 1st Place in the NL East, but their recent play over the last few weeks signaled a team in need of a spark. Jacob deGrom is out until September, Francisco Lindor is nowhere to be found and the team has struggled mightily to score runs.
So like the Yankees, the Mets turned to the Chicago Cubs for help and traded for infielder Javy Baez on Friday afternoon. Baez plays the game with incredible passion and flair. Those attributes should be a positive for a team in serious need of some energy.
Javy Baez will wow you with his power and flashy defense. He will also frustrate you with the strikeouts and some of the pitches that he swings at.
Much like Joey Gallo, he is not a perfect player, but he fills a major need for the Mets.
In his debut on Saturday night, Baez wasted no time introducing himself to the Citi Field faithful with a critical 2-run homer which sparked a much needed comeback against the Cincinnati Reds. The Mets have allowed both the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies right back into the division race, but they are still a team very much in the drivers seat.
They will need a lot more big hits from Baez amongst many others if they are going to find their way to the postseason.
The Yankees and the Mets can only hope that both Anthony Rizzo and Javy Baez can be as productive as their debuts this past weekend.
We’ll see if the boys formerly of the North Side of Chicago can be the difference in pushing the boys from Flushing and the Bronx into October.