Who could and should the Yankees acquire as a starter?

(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

The Yankees recently completed their first deal before the trade deadline and now they’re looking to add a starter. Who should it be?

The Yankees, since adding David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle has helped out the bullpen quite a bit. But, the Yankees biggest problem has still been not addressed their starting pitching. An already weak rotation, it certainly hasn’t helped to lose Michael Pineda for the season.

Arguably the Yankees biggest flaw, their starting rotation needs to be addressed by the deadline. This is especially the case if they hope to compete for a Wild Card spot. While losing a good prospect like Blake Rutherford to the White Sox hurts, they still didn’t give up one of their top three prospects.

So now it’s up to general manager Brian Cashman to make a deal and finally address the elephant in the room. Many speculated that infield prospect Jorge Mateo would be the one heading to Chicago in this latest trade. Keeping him helps out quite a bit if Cashman plans on making another big move.

While Mateo is a very good talent, he’s not really on the list of  ‘untouchables’; who I would consider to be Clint Frazier, Justus Sheffield, Chance Adams and Gleyber Torres. If the Yankees GM is willing to part with Mateo, no deal would make more sense than for a starter. But who should that be? Let’s take a look at three aces the Yankees have been linked to.

Sonny Gray

If you were to take a look at all the speculative reports last week on Twitter, this would’ve been the one for the Yankees. Many analysts had Sonny Gray in a package with Yonder Alonso heading to the Bronx. Obviously, that didn’t quite pan out, at least not yet. Recent speculation would suggest that the asking price for Gray was too much for the Yankees to bear. Clearly, this makes sense as the Yankees aren’t really a favorite to win the World Series this season, even with someone like Gray. The upside of him is of course that he is still only 27, on a great contract of $3.57 million, and won’t hit free agency until 2020. However, Gray is eligible for arbitration at the end of this year, so there is that to deal with.

At this time, just before the deadline, obviously, big-name players are going to be linked to every team that has a chance at making the playoffs. Rumors have linked Gray to the Astros, Dodgers, Brewers and of course the Yankees.

While he’d be a good option beyond just this year, the price tag he comes with might not be. If the Yankees have to give up one of their ‘untradeable’ prospects, it’s highly likely Cashman won’t pull the trigger on Gray.

Seeing as how they’ve already acquired Todd Frazier, it’s also likely they don’t have as much interest in acquiring Yonder Alonso. Although it’s not a strict impossibility that they still want both.

If Gray only costs Mateo and a few minor prospects, then the Yankees should make this move. If however, the A’s starting ask is for the untouchables, the Yankees should avoid him at all costs as they’ve planned to so far.

More from Yankees News

Justin Verlander

This was a rumor a few weeks ago that seemed to be a rational scenario. Verlander is coming off a runner-up Cy Young season but hasn’t put up numbers even close to last years. His ERA is way up, his WHIP is way up too — his win-losses are way down, and it seems like this season hasn’t been good to him or the Tigers. Despite advanced stats suggesting his worse season, he is still an ace pitcher. He’s clearly the best pitcher on Detroit and arguably one of their best players.

Despite advanced stats suggesting this is his worst season to-date, he is still an ace pitcher. Verlander is clearly the best pitcher on Detroit and arguably one of their best players.

Considering they already traded one of their best hitters in J.D. Martinez, it seems the Tigers are preparing to clean house. This doesn’t mean that he is going to come cheap, though. While the asking price will most likely be steep, so is his contract. He’s currently signed until

Verlander is signed until 2021 and is making an average of $27 million per year. Tigers GM Al Avila knows that Verlander has great value for this market and teams will be calling up to bolster their starting rotations for the playoffs.

The Dodgers and Cubs are the two teams that have been heavily rumored as landing spots as of late.

Even though he’s 34, Verlander can still contribute as a top pitcher on any competitive team, especially the Yankees. I do think, however, that the asking price is going to be too much and will require the Yankees to include one of the untouchables along with perhaps Mateo. While he certainly needs a change of scenery, the Yankees would do best to keep away and let another team pay for Verlander.

Yu Darvish

This has been a Yankees rumor for a long, long time now. One of the few Japanese aces in the MLB, he would be a perfect addition to the Yankees rotation for the right price. Unlike the previous two pitchers, Darvish is a free agent at season’s end. This is where a move for him by the Yankees would be a huge gamble.

The Yankees have low odds of playing in the World Series and they would be banking on him signing an extended deal beyond just the rest of this season. If they don’t offer what Darvish wants, he’s as good as gone.

At 30, this is Darvish’s chance to cash in on a mega-deal from a willing team. For the Yankees, this should be an immediate red flag. Not only would they have to give up some top prospects, they’d also have to give up some serious cash going forward.

Obviously, the Yankees are not short of money. However, missing the playoffs would certainly cause Darvish to consider other teams. Once again, the Dodgers are a frontrunner in a deal for him and it’s likely they’re willing to give up more assets.

While Darvish is great, it just doesn’t make sense for a bubble team to give top prospects for an FA. They’d be better served to sign him in free agency if he doesn’t re-sign with the team he’s traded to.

So which deal makes the most sense?

Reflecting back on my own analysis, I have to say it’s Sonny Gray. In this deal, the A’s MUST include Yonder Alonso. If Mateo is the biggest name in talks, the Yankees should pounce all over this.

Gray’s still in his prime, he’s signed long-term, and is affordable for the time-being. Plus, the Yankees would be acquiring a first baseman who is having a career year. And, if things don’t pan out, Alonso is a free agent at the end of this season.

I think a Mateo deal would be the only trade Brian Cashman considers going forward.

Next: Yankees shouldn't think twice about re-signing Sabathia

Gray and Alonso are the only two I can see even coming close to that offer. The Yankees don’t want to break their prospect bank and this is how they’d avoid doing so.