The good news for the New York Yankees is that they would be in first place if they were in the AL Central.
The bad news is that they are not.
It’s been a struggle for the Yanks all season, especially since defending MVP Aaron Judge has been out with torn ligaments in a toe. But his last four games could be his low point for the season.
For the first time since 1990, the Yankees are in last place in their division for the month of July.
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Since Judge landed on the disabled list on June 6, the Yankees are 14-20, tied for the seventh-worst record in all of baseball. When Judge was placed on the IL, they had a season-high 11 games over .500 at 36-25.
The Yankees have scored the third-fewest runs in the league without Judge, and in that span, his .223 average ranks 29th and his OPS is fourth-worst in baseball.
Yankee fans were hoping the All-Star break would be exactly what their Bombers needed to start a turnaround, but they lost two of three to the lowly Colorado Rockies over the weekend, including a kind of loss never seen before in team history.
On Sunday, the Yankees blew two-run leads in both the eighth and 11th innings, marking the Yankees’ first loss when they blew two separate two-run leads in the eighth inning or later.
Just a day later, they held another two-run lead over the Los Angeles Angels, but opted not to walk Shohei Ohtani in the seventh inning, and he made them pay with a two-run explosion, his 35th of the leading MLB. season. Los Angeles won in extra innings.
With the trade deadline in two weeks, the Yankees have decisions to make. As long as Judge comes back, they’ll be better. But they need to stay afloat without him before it’s too late and they drop out of the postseason race.
So, given their payroll and supposed roster star power (much of it hard to trade), combined with the seemingly imminent return of Judge and names like Juan Soto, Ohtani and Cody Bellinger on the market, they very well could be buyers in Limit date. .
However, giving up potential capital without being a legitimate competitor is cause for concern.
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The Yankees are in danger of missing the postseason for the first time since 2016. That season, they sold Aroldis Chapman, Carlos Beltrán and Andrew Miller before the deadline, marking the first time in a generation that they were sellers.
This season isn’t as bad as 1990. The Bombers are 50-45. The Yankees went 67-95 in 1990. The Yankees are 2 1/2 games away from a postseason berth and need to get past rival Boston Red Sox to catch the Houston Astros.