Yankees Rumors: Which pitchers are on their trade deadline wishlist?

CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 26: Starting pitcher Trevor Bauer #47 of the Cleveland Indians pitches against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning at Progressive Field on June 26, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 26: Starting pitcher Trevor Bauer #47 of the Cleveland Indians pitches against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning at Progressive Field on June 26, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images) /

With the July 31st trade deadline now less than two weeks away it’s time to take a look at some of the starting pitchers who could be on the Yankees wishlist.

There aren’t many weaknesses if any on this Yankees team but if you had to pick one area that they could upgrade it’s their starting rotation. The rotation has been solid this season, but after last October’s early exit the Yanks know they need to everything they can before the deadline to make sure their starters aren’t the reason they fail to make a deep postseason run once again.

Over the past couple weeks, the Yankees and GM Brian Cashman have been rumored to have interest in a handful of starters who are expected to be dealt in the coming days. According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, their wishlist includes…

Marcus Stroman, Blue Jays

One of the main reasons Stroman interests the Yanks is because he has one of the highest ground ball rates in the game. He had an injury-plagued campaign in 2018 but he’s bounced back in a big way by becoming an All-Star this season and has reasserted himself as the ace of the Blue Jays starting rotation.

The 28-year-old right-hander is under team control through the 2020 season but with Toronto still another two or three years away from contending again it’s pretty much a guarantee that he’s going to be traded before the deadline. He might not be the Yankees number one target, nor should he be, but he would certainly be a good fallback option to acquire.

Madison Bumgarner, Giants

Bumgarner’s numbers have slightly declined over the past couple seasons and his hard-hit rate has increased, but lately, he’s really started to pick things up (1.13 ERA in July) and interested clubs are definitely taking notice. His Giants have also turned things around winning 12 of 14 and now are only 2.5 games back in the second Wild Card standings. How the next week of games plays out could decide whether San Fran decides to buy or sell but if they opt to do the latter they could really boost their weak farm system by dealing Mad-Bum.

Of all the starters who could be traded, he has the best postseason pedigree and one of the best of all time. Even though his production has dipped in recent years you know that there are going to be multiple teams willing to give up a lot to get him because of his October track record. It’s been reported the Yankees won’t trade OF Clint Frazier for a rental like Bumgarner but now that he’s starting to pitch like an ace again I wouldn’t be surprised if they reconsider their thinking.

LHP Robbie Ray, Diamondbacks

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Ray has always been liked by Yankee talent evaluators because he’s a hard-throwing southpaw with a high strikeout rate ( K per 9 rate of 11.7 since 2016). He does give up a lot of home runs and walks too many guys but he’s having another solid all-around season and should garner plenty of interest from contending clubs.

His D’Backs are in the mix for a Wild Card spot (1.5 back) but like the Giants, they probably don’t have the roster to make a deep postseason run even if they do manage to squeak in. That’s why they might be better off cashing in on Ray while his trade value is still high.

He’ll become a free agent after the 2020 season so if Arizona opts to sell than now would be the time to trade one of their top assets in Ray and upgrade their mediocre farm system.

RHP Noah Syndergaard, Mets

Even though Heyman reports that the Yankees are high on Syndergaard there’s no way Mets ownership is going to trade him across town to the Bronx. There’s no point in digging into the numbers and how he’d fit with the Yanks because it’s not going to happen. If the Mets were unwilling to trade guys like Neil Walker and Jay Bruce to their cross-town rivals in recent years they’re not going to trade them they’re second-best starting pitcher either. The same goes for Zack Wheeler.

RHP Trevor Bauer, Indians

Last but not least is Trevor Bauer, the starter the Yankees should do everything in their power to acquire before the deadline. It remains to be seen if the 55-40 Indians would trade him since they currently hold the first Wild Card spot but with Corey Kluber coming back soon and the emergence of All-Star Shane Beiber they could deal Bauer to upgrade their offense.

Preferably they’d like to add a power-hitting outfielder and the Yankees have one down at Triple-A in Clint Frazier. It would certainly take more than just Frazier to add a pitcher of Bauer’s caliber but the Yankees should be willing to include one of their top prospects in a package with him as long as it’s not Deivi Garcia.

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Bauer’s personality and off the field antics might not be the perfect fit for New York, but that’s the last thing the Yankees should be worrying about when their main goal is to win a championship. Bauer can help them do just that because when he’s at his best he’s a guy who has the ability to shut down any lineup in baseball and go toe to toe with opposing teams aces come October.