The New York Yankees are just over a day away from the July 31st non-waiver trading deadline. Sure, they’ll most likely place multiple waiver claims on some big names that could become available via waivers and trade once July 31st has passed, but we are going to remain focused on whom the Yankees could inquire about PRIOR to the start of August.
This past Monday, Houston Astros’ General Manager Jeff Luhnow told Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports that while he didn’t want to deal any either Dallas Keuchel or Collin McHugh, things sometimes change. Throw in Jared Cozart, and now the Astros can deal from a strength–that being an overabundance of starting pitching, and be a little bit picky on who they deal and what they ask for in return.
“We do seem to have an excess of pretty good young starters so we wouldn’t rule anything out,” Luhnow said Monday. “We’d have to get back a big-league piece, preferably a bat, in a package that makes sense for the future and present.”
It just so happens, that the Yankees are in the market for a starting pitcher. What makes any of the three Astros’ options attractive, is that they are 1.) young 2.) relatively healthy and 3.) under team control for the foreseeable future. A day after perhaps sending the message that any of the three hurlers could be had, Luhnow changed his stance somewhat, telling Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle, that “Right now, nothing feels close.”
And because of Luhnow’s previous statements to Rosenthal, the Astros hotline has been heating up from teams, the Yankees most likely included, who are on the prowl for starting pitching. Luhnow on Tuesday had this to say to Astros’ beat writer Brian McTaggart:
Astros getting increased calls about pitching today after they said Monday they’d be willing to move a starter. Goal remains: add offense.
— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) July 29, 2014
Obviously the asking price will differ somewhat depending on which of the three arms the Yankees are asking for. The Bombers’ offense isn’t what it once was, and at the big league level, there isn’t much to offer Houston by way of an MLB-ready bat. As the now-suspended ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith would say: “However”…the Yankees have some viable bats at the minor league levels who may tempt Luhnow to deal.
Since the Yankees don’t want to give Rob Refsnyder a chance, he could be on that list. Same goes for Jose Pirela, Kyle Roller, Peter O’Brien, or John Ryan Murphy. We’re not talking about acquiring Cole Hamels or David Price. The asking price my be a tad spendy, but not what it would take for a legitimate ace. We are still talking about the Houston Astros.
Any of the three would be an upgrade over the recently DFA’d Jeff Francis, who was relegated to the bullpen, or the recently acquired Chris Capuano. The Yankees need pitching, and the Astros have it. Let’s see if a deal can be struck that works for both sides.