Despite having a dream of a first half of the season, the New York Yankees could use significant improvements. The Yankees entered the All-Star break 64-28, led by MVP frontrunner Aaron Judge’s 33 homers. While it’s been mostly good times this season, the team has a few weak points that could derail a championship run.

After Juan Soto rejected the Washington Nationals’ extension offer, the team will likely hear offers for him at the deadline. To no one’s surprise, the Yankees are interested in putting a package together. In addition to being one of the best players in baseball, Soto does fulfill a need with Joey Gallo likely being dealt at the deadline.

If the Yankees can’t catch the big fish, there are still a few names floating around that would be great additions.

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Sneaky Trade Targets For The Yankees

Ian Happ

The Chicago Cubs outfielder just became an All-Star for the first time. His presence in the lineup would be a tremendous upgrade over Gallo for the Yankees, and his relative youth would givesthem a long-term option in left field.

At 27, Happ is hitting .274 with nine homers and a 126 OPS+. After letting go of Anthony Rizzo just a few years after winning the World Series, the Cubs have shown that no one is off limits. That being the case, Happ is a solid option that will be much cheaper than Soto.

To say the Gallo experiment in New York has been a failure would be an understatement. The two-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner has been a shell of what he was with the Texas Rangers.

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In 133 games with the Yankees, Gallo is batting a putrid .162 with just 24 home runs and 186 strikeouts. In 2017 and 2018, he pulled off back-to-back seasons with 40 homers. At 28 years old, not all hope is lost, but perhaps he’d fare better away from the New York spotlight.

Scott Effross

If Happ is available, Effross surely will be, too.

The 28-year-old reliever has pitched 40 innings for the Cubs, and could serve as another high-leverage arm for the Yankees. This year, Effross has a 2.93 ERA with 49 strikeouts and a barrel percentage of just 3.9. The righty throws his slider 41.1% of the time, but that’s followed closely behind by his sinker at 36.5%. He doesn’t have as deadly a sinker as Yankees reliever Clay Holmes, but mixing it with his slider and changeup has proven very effective.

So far this season, Effross has given up just one extra base hit from the slider. Batters are hitting a ghastly .160 against that devastating pitch, too.

The addition of Effross would be significant because, despite being pretty impressive all season, the Yankees bullpen still has lingering questions.

Jonathan Loaisiga, even before the injury, has looked nothing like himself. Chad Green is recovering from Tommy John Surgery. Aroldis Chapman, who’s essentially been replaced by Holmes in the closing spot, has become a disaster waiting to happen on the mound.

The starting rotation has been rock solid for the most part, and the bullpen still has reliable arms like Holmes, Michael King and Wandy Peralta, but an upgrade like Effross certainly wouldn’t hurt.