Yankees Rumors: Off day brings slew of trade possibilities

DETROIT, MI - JUNE 08: Michael Fulmer #32 of the Detroit Tigers pitches against the Cleveland Indians during the second inning at Comerica Park on June 8, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - JUNE 08: Michael Fulmer #32 of the Detroit Tigers pitches against the Cleveland Indians during the second inning at Comerica Park on June 8, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /

With the Yankees readying for an important three-game series against the Red Sox, a day away from the field brought with it trade talk from multiple sources.

Perhaps it has something to do with media outlets searching out exciting stories on an otherwise slow news day, or this is merely the fallout of the Yankees losing 3-0 to the Phillies on Wednesday night.

A defeat which included a spot start by Luis Cessa (and a subsequent demotion back to Triple-A), where Cessa allowed three runs in just three innings and a somewhat surprising eighth inning relief appearance by Domingo German, it doesn’t take much for the panic button to be pressed.

That’s about when the Yanks were linked to just about every viable starting pitcher that may or may not be on the market.

Less of a rumor and more of a fact, according to the Mike Mazzeo of the NY Daily News, the Yankees had a scout in Detroit to watch 25-year-old right-hander Michael Fulmer as he took on the Athletics.

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Fulmer would go eight innings, allowing nine hits and four earned runs while striking out five and walking none. Fulmer picked up the loss, moving his record to 3-8 with a 4.20 ERA, 1.251 WHIP and 80:30 K:BB ratio in 94.1 innings pitched.

On a Tigers team that isn’t quite as bad as many would have expected at this point in the season (36-46, 3rd place), Fulmer doesn’t look much like his All-Star self from a season ago.

Having battled a right elbow issue during Spring Training, the Bombers will need to weigh Fulmer’s $575,000 salary and first year of impending arbitration as opposed to what the Tigers would likey desire in a trade, which could rival if not exceed what they got from Houston for Justin Verlander. 

Then MLB.com ran a piece where Joel Sherman put the Yankees at the front of the line for 35-year-old free-agent-to-be J.A. Happ. No stranger to pitching in the AL East, Happ is having an All-Star season, compiling a 10-3 record, 3.62 ERA, 1.062 WHIP and 106:27 K:BB ratio in 97 innings pitched.

As it turns out, late Thursday night, the Blue Jays sent veteran utility player Steve Pearce and $1.66 million to the Red Sox for minor leaguer Santiago Espinal. So, all those theories about not trading within the division appear to have gone up in smoke now that the Jays have conceded 17 games back is too much to be made up in one season.

Next, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi tweeted that if all goes to plan, the Rangers intend to deal 34-year-old Cole Hamels before the July 17 All-Star Game.

Despite a 3-6 record on a last-place Rangers team (36-46), Hamels’ stats are better than average — a 3.61 ERA, 1.274 WHIP and 97:37 K:BB ratio in 97 innings pitched. With a no-trade clause that includes the Yankees, coupled with a large $20 million option for 2019, there’d need to be a whole lot of negotiating to bring Hamels to the Bronx for a less than stellar group of prospects in return.

And lastly, there is the obligatory Mets news. Following general manager, Sandy Alderson’s leave of absence due to his continued battle with cancer; reports now state that the Mets would be willing to deal their two best pitchers, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard if an offer were to blow them away.

The New York Post wrote an article on Thursday stating that Yanks GM Brian Cashman has spoken with the Mets on multiple occasions.

"Brian Cashman acknowledged Thursday that he has spoken multiple times with the Mets, who are out of contention and therefore have to at least consider dealing the young, frontline members of their starting rotation. The Yankees’ general manager intends to maintain those talks through the Mets’ front-office transition, in which Omar Minaya, J.P. Ricciardi and John Ricco have assumed interim GM duties."

A frontline pitcher like deGrom — and Syndergaard to a lesser extent, would be the type of acquisition that could put the Yankees in the driver’s seat to not only win the AL East but perhaps the pennant and maybe even the World Series.

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Of course, neither will come cheaply — and since Cashman has already let it be known that rookie sensation Gleyber Torres is off the table, it will be interesting to see if the two sides can agree to the parameters of some other type of Earth-shattering deal.