With the trade deadline just a few weeks away, it’s still unclear whether or not the Yankees will buy or sell.
After dropping two-out-of-three games to the San Diego Padres over the weekend and falling in a Fourth of July matinée to the Chicago White Sox, Brian Cashman still finds his Yankees hovering around the .500 mark with no clear indication as to what direction the team will head in the second half of the season.
If the Yankees decide to go for it, Cashman indicated that he would go after a starting pitching, and according to Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe, the Yankees are said to be interested in Tampa Bay Rays 27-year-old southpaw Matt Moore.
"His outstanding performance against the Red Sox Wednesday was witnessed by a lot of scouts. He’s become a name on the top of the list of many teams if the Rays decide to part with him. The Red Sox, Rangers, Dodgers, Yankees, Orioles, Astros, and Royals are all interested in Moore. The Rays may consider this as they get closer to seeing Alex Cobb come back from Tommy John surgery."
While Moore hasn’t fully returned to his true form after undergoing Tommy John surgery himself, he is still quite the trade chip for the Rays front office. Not only did he post an outstanding 17-4 record with a 3.29 ERA in 2013 as a 24-year old, but he still possesses a ton of upside, post-Tommy John. While his 2016 stat line (5-5, 4.54 ERA) looks modest at best, the hard-throwing left-hander has pitched to a 3.78 ERA since June 2nd.
It even makes sense for the Yankees to go after Matt Moore if they decide to throw in the white towel and sell before the August 1st trade deadline. Moore is signed through 2016 with two team options from 2017-2018. If he can remain healthy, Matt Moore might prove to be that young and controllable starting pitcher that the Yankees so desperately covet.
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With the awful display posted by Luis Severino in the beginning of the season and 2015 first-round draft pick James Kaprielian now on the shelf, there’s no telling what the future of the Yankees pitching staff will look like. Despite an off-month in May, Matt Moore is still posting better numbers than the recently demoted Nathan Eovaldi and is comparable to, if not better than Michael Pineda.
However, after Chad Green‘s admirable performance in San Diego that saved the Yankees from an embarrassing sweep at the hands of the NL West basement-dwelling Padres, the Yankees might look internally to boost their starting rotation in the second half. They might look to promote a guy like Luis Cessa or Ian Clarkin to the big-league rotation to join Chad Green.
Aside from that, it’s incredibly rare that we see a swap within a division leading up to the MLB Trade Deadline. The Tamp Bay Rays and New York Yankees had made two trades in the history of baseball, one in 2006 when the Yankees purchased the contract of Nick Green and another one earlier this spring when the Rays purchased the contract of veteran catcher Carlos Corporan.
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But again, this is baseball, and we’ve all seen stranger things happen. Stay tuned.