Yankees: Amid escalating trade talk, team seeks a series win today

Justin Bour (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Justin Bour (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

The Yankees need nothing better than a win today against the NL Central-leading Brewers to close out the first half of the season on a high, even as rumors are rampant that the team will have a new look, sooner rather than later.

The Yankees send Masahiro Tanaka to the mound today hoping to snatch a series from the Milwaukee Brewers, who came in here hot with a five-game win streak. A win today would give the team a modest two-game winning streak, something they haven’t had for a good long while.

Tanaka has spun off three consecutive quality starts that followed a period in which he had everyone scratching their heads trying to figure out why his command of pitches had abandoned him. A win today would also boost Tanaka over the .500 mark for the season, with eight wins against seven losses. Not spectacular, but heading in the right direction.

(Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images) /

Immediately following the afternoon game today, the Pinstripes five All-Stars will board a plane heading to Miami for the three-day festival, highlighted by Monday night’s Home Run Derby and the long-awaited matchup between Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge.

Elected, but not playing, is Starlin Castro, who the Yankees are wisely holding back so he can return to the lineup fully healthy when the second half begins against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park next Friday.

The Derby plot thickens

Adding to the mystique and excitement of the Home Run Derby is the participation in the slugfest by Miami Marlin’s first baseman, Justin Bour, who the Yankees are reportedly interested in making a trade for.

Multiple sources, led by The Miami-Herald are saying the Yankees are willing to pay the price, expected to be high, to land the strapping 6′ 3″ 265 lb, 29-year-old Bour, who is hitting .286 this season with 19 home runs and 56 RBIs.

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If added to the Bombers lineup, Bour would not only provide consistency at a position which has caused the team fits with a revolving door of players but teamed with Sanchez and Judge, would also add another power spark to the team’s lineup.

A plus for the Yankees is that Bour, according to Spotrac, is under team control through the 2020 season. The years in between are arbitration years, but with the upcoming phasing out of arbitration (still to be negotiated), it’s not likely the Yankees would be scared off by a player who is only making $552,000 this season.

Padres and Yankees joined too

According to the New York Post, the San Diego Padres sent one of their top executives to Scranton-Wilkes-Barre to have a look at the talent the Yankees might want to share in return for Padres reliever Brad Hand.

Perhaps because their season is all but over, twenty-one games behind the Dodgers, the Padres seem bent on doing something with the Yankees before the trade deadline.

Hand would be a perfect fit for the Bombers, who have seen their bullpen all but fall apart in recent weeks. At 27, Hand is 2-4 with a 2.30 ERA in 42 games, with 60 strikeouts in 47 innings this year.

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One concern, however, is those 42 games he’s appeared in, as well as the 90 innings he threw last season when he led the National League in appearances with 82.

Another red flag could be that Hand is eligible for free agency following the 2019 season.

In any event, the board is starting to light up with trade possibilities and the Yankees will be in the thick of it.