New York Yankees Trade Rumors: Should Yankees Trade for a Marlins Pitcher?
It is that time of year again, the pre-trade deadline rumor season. One New York Yankees trade rumor that has been consistently buzzing around the Yankees is that they are looking for a pitching upgrade. So far, the Yankees have been linked to the Reds and have been reportedly scouting Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake.
Today, CBS Sports reported that the Yankees may have an interest in Boston Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz or Chicago White Sox Jeff Samardzija. With the rumors flying fast and furious it seems the Yankees would like to make a pitching move.
Another team that may have some pitchers to trade is the Miami Marlins. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors reported that the Marlins may be listening to trade inquiries on multiple pitchers, including Mat Latos, Dan Haren, Brad Hand, and Tom Koehler.
The Marlins are expecting Jose Fernandez back soon and are currently out of playoff contention the NL East. But, it is the loss of Giancarlo Stanton for the next month, or more with a broken hand that likely puts them into position to be sellers at the trade deadline.
The Yankees have a relatively effective, but fragile and somewhat inconsistent, rotation. Adding another starter, even after the return of Ivan Nova, and the shift of Adam Warren back into the bullpen and could provide insurance in case Mashairo Tanaka, Michael Pineda, or Nova aggravate past injuries as well as allow for a backup if CC Sabathia or Nathan Eovaldi become too inconsistent.
It may make sense for the Yankees to add a pitcher, but do the Marlins have what they need? Would adding Latos or Hand be a good choice for the Yankees? When acquiring a player there are many determining factors but how well they will fit and what you have to give up are usually the most important.
Jun 20, 2015; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi (30) pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the fifth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Haren, according to Adams, is “unlikely to be moved.” He is pitching well with a 3.38 ERA and has good command with a low walk rate, but his contract situation is complicated. He has been vocal about wanting to play for Southern California teams and it was unclear if he would even pitch for Miami this season after being traded by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
If he would agree to a trade to New York, it still seems unlikely the Marlins would want to unload him because his former team, the Dodgers, are paying his salary this season. The Yankees would have to put together a pretty good trade package to secure a pitcher who is performing well and is essentially pitching for free.
The most likely trade target may be Latos. He has spent some time on the DL, which is never encouraging, but has pitched better since his return from his latest DL stint, an indicator that he may be healthy.
As Adams points out, his velocity is up and his strikeout rate is higher recently. These are encouraging signs that may make a team willing to trade for him in spite of his recent injury history and a 4.12 ERA. While his recent numbers are encouraging, the Yankees are not really in a position to take a fly on a pitcher with question marks. The current rotation has enough question marks; the Yankees need a consistent starter who can perform every outing.
The final two pitchers the Marlins may have to offer are Brad Hand and Tom Koehler. Hand is only 25 and has a team friendly contract has a high ERA 5.95 but a good FIP and xFIP with a velocity around 93 mph suggest that ERA may be inflated. This makes him an attractive young pitcher with a lot of potential. But again, the Yankees have acquired one of those from Miami already, Eovaldi.
They may not need to take another shot on a similar pitcher with high upside and low consistency. Tom Koehler is older, he is 29, and his ERA is better at 4.03 and his FIP and xFIP show that this is likely his accurate level. But, unlike Latos he is a durable and consistent pitcher who is capable of logging a high number of innings.
As the trade deadline approaches and if the current rotation remains inconsistent a pitching upgrade appears likely. I am not sure that the Marlins have the answer, but of those available either Latos or Koehler may be the best bet depending on the package, but it might be best if the Yankees shop elsewhere. Should the Yankees make a pitching upgrade? Who would you like to see them target? Let us know in the comments below.