The Yankees are in desperate need of another starting pitcher


After posting an impressive 37-19 record through the end of May the Yankees have hit a bit of a wall so far in June, losing eight of their last 13 games. The Yanks have faltered in all aspects of the game during this season-worst stretch but the main reason for their struggles is the starting pitching has been terrible.

With each passing start, it’s becoming more apparent that Brian Cashman and company need to add another starter as soon as possible. Earlier this month Domingo German joined Luis Severino on the IL (left hip flexor strain) and since than the Yankees have featured a four-man rotation. Instead of calling up a starter from Triple-A to replace German the Yanks have opted to use Chad Green as an opener every fifth day like they did Saturday night. 

Green has done well in that role and there’s nothing wrong with using an opener when you have a bullpen like the one the Yankees have but when the other four starters aren’t pitching deep into games it’s a problem. The even bigger issue is the fact that three of the four healthy Yankee starters have an ERA over 5.68 this month.

CC Sabathia: 6.89 ERA in 15.2 IP (3 GS)

Masahiro Tanaka: 5.68 ERA in 12.2 IP (2 GS)

James Paxton: 11.05 ERA in 7.1 IP (2 GS)

So not only are the Yanks overworking their pen in June because the starters aren’t giving them length but they’re also pitching to a 5.65 ERA. The only starter with a solid June ERA so far is J.A. Happ (3.75), but he had a 4.99 in May and has a 4.66 ERA on the season which is the worst on the staff.

With Sevy still over a month away from returning (if at all) and no updates on when German will be back, it’s not like there’s any help on the way. That’s why even though the July 31st trade deadline is still over six weeks away now is the time to start pursuing a trade for another front line starter.

The Yanks could have improved the rotation by signing Dallas Keuchel earlier this month, but they came up short reportedly only offering him $11M compared to the $13M he got from the Braves. Now that he’s off the market, the only way to boost the starting staff is by making a trade and dealing away prospects.

Two names that have been linked to the Yankees over the past couple weeks are Madison Bumgarner and Marcus Stroman. Both of their respective clubs are already out of the playoff hunt and will likely be in sell mode before the deadline so there’s a chance they could be open to trading them now if they get the offers they’re looking for.

Other names like Mike Minor and Trevor Bauer could be available in talks in late July but right now their teams are still very much in the wild card hunt so they might end up not selling at all. The Yankees could risk waiting to see if those two or another top starter like Max Scherzer ends up on the trade market, but considering how much their current rotation is struggling there needs to be a sense of urgency to add someone sooner rather than later.

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I have no doubt that this Yankee team is going to make the playoffs but the Tampa Bay Rays are no joke and winning the AL East isn’t going to be easy by any means. This race could come down until the very end of the September and if the Yankees don’t act now they could lose even more ground in the standing from now until next month’s deadline.

I think Cashman knows how crucial it is that the Yankees win their division this season after watching them play in the one-game Wild Card in each of the past two seasons. He also knows that while this team is certainly good enough to make the playoffs they don’t have a good enough starting staff to win a World Series at the moment.

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They can’t afford to wait around and hope that Scherzer or Bauer becomes available or wait for Sevy to get healthy if the first goal is to win the division. I know it’s harder to make a trade with a team when there’s this much time before the deadline but with the way the starting staff has pitched of late, there’s not much reason for optimism moving forward.

The time is now to find the right deal and make it happen.