Yankees: Exploring potential trade options at the deadline
By Eddie Zinser
The Yankees beat the Red Sox 4-1 on Friday night and remain hot. However, things can change on a dime in baseball.
With Luis Severino’s injury, Domingo German’s potential innings limit, nagging injuries plaguing C.C. Sabathia and James Paxton, the Yankees rotation is far from stable, and the rumor mill is abuzz with potential July deadline trade prospects.
Of course, the Dallas Keuchel chatter has been heating up with the MLB draft approaching, as a signing after June 2nd would mean a team does not have to give up a pick to ink the lefty.
Yankee fans should have less than fond memories of Keuchel, a pitcher who was dominant in both the 2015 Wild Card Game and the 2017 ALCS. Keuchel also holds an outstanding 2.28 career ERA against the Bombers.
You know what they say, if you can’t beat em, go out and sign em!
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Keuchel aside, the Yankees have plenty of trade prospects to land a bigtime arm in a potential deal by July 31.
The Washington Nationals seem to be in line to deal a star by mid-summer, as they currently sit eight games under .500 — good for a lowly fourth place in the N.L. East.
Max Scherzer would be the gigantic get here, but he would also garner the most massive haul. Mad Max is just 3-5 this year, but his FIP of 2.33 shows he is still one of the best arms in the league.
Scherzer is the most expensive option on the market although he would be under team control until 2021. Stephen Strasburg could find his way to the trading block as well. However, he has proven to be inconsistent throughout his career and is a much less safe option than Scherzer.
Marcus Stroman is another name that has been linked to the Yanks in recent weeks, and he could be a very viable option down the stretch. Stroman has an uncanny ability to prevent the long ball posting a fantastic .65 HR/9 to go along with a 2.74 ERA.
The Blue Jays are certainly a rebuilding franchise, however, their willingness to trade their ace pitcher in the division remains to be seen.
Flying a bit under the radar in trade talks is Texas Rangers stud, Mike Minor. The 6-foot-4 left-hander spent most of 2015 and 2016 sidelined with a shoulder injury but is starting to return to form this season.
Minor is 5-4 on the young campaign but holds a 2.74 ERA, a 3.44 FIP and would likely come at less of a premium than some of the other names on this list — not to mention he could become a vital cog in the rotation.
Another pitcher that has picked up steam lately is Trevor Bauer, but I’m here to tell you that this is not who the Yanks need right now. Bauer has regressed heavily.
One of the most alarming statistics is his ground ball rate, which is typically Bauer’s bread and butter. This season he is inducing grounders just 36.6 percent of the time whereas last season was nearly 45 percent.
He has also been quite susceptible to the long ball this year, and his FIP is approaching five. The Indians would require a top tier trade piece to let go of Bauer, so I advise the Yanks to steer clear of this intriguing but worrisome starter.
While the Yankees are not in dire need of a pitcher right now, it’s something to keep in mind. A big-time arm would be a great addition down the stretch and could be the difference in how long the Yanks play this fall.