Yankees: Under the radar trade targets they could pursue before the deadline
By Marcus Guy
Yankees GM Brian Cashman has been one of the best in baseball. Wheeling and dealing, and not being afraid of pulling the trigger on the big move. While his history with blockbuster moves have had split results, his record with under-the-radar and overlooked deals has been superb.
In this piece, I will suggest a few moves the Yankees could make that might not be headline-worthy but ones that could really help them during the second half of the season.
1. Tanner Roark, SP, Cincinnati Reds, UFA 2020
The Reds 2019 season was full of hype. With the expected arrival of top prospect Nick Senzel, the trades that brought over two starting pitchers, Roark from the Nationals and “He-Whose-Name-Shall-Not-Be-Mentioned” (A.K.A Sonny Gray) from the Yankees and the Lord of Hype himself, Yasiel Puig.
Unfortunately for Cincy, the NL Central is stacked. With the Brewers, Cubs, and Cardinals all with legitimate playoff caliber lineups, the Reds are going to have a tough time making the playoffs even though they enter play today 3.5 games out with a 41-44 record.
As for Roark, it wasn’t long ago when he was one of the National League’s best starters after he pitched to a 2.83 ERA in 33 games during the 2016 season. Since then his numbers have declined but in his first year with the Reds he’s been solid going 5-6 with a 3.51 ERA and 92 K’s in 92.1 IP.
How he fits: If there was one position of concern going into this season for the Yankees, it was their starting pitching. As has been well documented, the Yankees are in need of SP depth. Happ hasn’t been himself, Paxton has struggled since his return off the IL, German has an innings limit, and Severino has been having setback after setback (and may not even play this season).
Depth at that position is always important. This does not exclude you from pursuing a top of the rotation arm, as Roark has pitched out of the bullpen, and he can be your long reliever. Additionally, you likely won’t have to give Cincinnati too much for him since he will walk after this season.