Outfielder Carlos Beltran and pitcher Ivan Nova followed Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller out of the Bronx, leaving the New York Yankees fighting to avoid their first losing season in nearly a quarter century rather than contend for a playoff spot.
Beltran, the top player in the Yankees' lackluster offense, was sent to Texas on Monday for right-hander Dillon Tate, the fourth overall pick in the 2015 amateur draft, and two other pitching prospects: right-handers Nick Green and Erik Swanson.
Nova, who like Beltran is eligible for free agency after the World Series, was sent to Pittsburgh for two players to be named.
"It's a new chapter," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "There's going to be some young guys that get a chance, and I'm excited about that."
After a four-game losing streak dropped the Yankees to 52-52, New York general manager Brian Cashman made the moves with management's go-ahead just ahead of the non-waiver trade deadline.
"I believe that you can win with the players in that room," Girardi insisted. "Did we lose some really good players? Absolutely. And you know, some people are probably going to think that I'm delusional, but I mean there's no reason to put the uniform on if you don't believe that you can win."
New York has played one postseason game since 2012, losing to Houston in last year's AL wild-card matchup. The Yankees, who have not finished with a losing record since 1992, peaked last week at four games above .500.
"I don't blame nobody other than we didn't do our job as players," Beltran said.
Tate, the top pitcher selected in the 2015 draft, is among three elite prospects entering the Yankees' minor league system. Outfielder Clint Frazier, the fifth overall pick in the 2013 draft, was acquired from Cleveland on Sunday in the trade for Miller. Venezuelan shortstop Gleyber Torres was obtained from the Chicago Cubs last week in the Chapman deal.
"Brian and his staff and the organization is trying to put this team in a good position to have a long run of not just playing well, but winning championships," Girardi said. "It's not about being ... a second wild-card team and winning one game or losing one. We want to win championships."
Tate, 22, received a $4.2 million signing bonus from the Rangers and is 3-3 with a 5.12 ERA this year in 16 starts and one relief appearance for Class A Hickory in the South Atlantic League.
Green was taken in the seventh round of the 2014 draft and Swanson in the eighth. New York agreed to send Texas $3,708,333 on Dec. 31 to offset part of the just over $5 million remaining in Beltran's $15 million salary.
A 39-year-old switch-hitter, Beltran led the Yankees with a .304 batting average, 22 homers and 64 RBIs.
"I think as a player, you know that this moment could happen. But when it happens, it hits you," Beltran said.
Beltran signed a $45 million, three-year contract before the 2014 season but played with an elbow bone spur during much of his first season in New York and got off to a slow start in 2015 following surgery. He will be eligible for free agency after this year's World Series.
He was traded from Kansas City to Houston in June 2004 and from the New York Mets to San Francisco in July 2011. While he has appeared in the playoffs with the Astros, Mets, Cardinals and Yankees, Beltran remains in search of his first World Series title, as do the Rangers.
A nine-time All-Star after making this year's AL roster, Beltran has a .281 career average with 414 home runs. He has a limited no-trade provision in his contract, but the Rangers were not among the 15 teams he could not be dealt to without his consent.