Yankees: 3 relievers you probably haven’t heard of NYY should target at trade deadline

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The Yankees are in the market for relief pitching, according to rumors, and getting one of these guys would be huge.

Do the New York Yankees need a relief pitcher at the trade deadline? Probably not. The bullpen has Chad Green, Adam Ottavino, Zack Britton and Aroldis Chapman to deploy from innings 6-9, but that doesn’t seem to change general manager Brian Cashman’s stance. He’s reportedly looking at a lot of pitching, both starters and relievers.

Everyone seems to focus on the top names in the rumor mill, however. Look, there’s a possibility Cashman makes a splash in the form of a blockbuster deal, but we can’t count on that, especially since he’s more of a stealthy strategist when it comes to finding under-the-radar or undervalued guys.

In terms of the bullpen, here are three arms Yankees fans probably haven’t heard of that would add formidable depth to the team’s unit of relievers. These are probably more Cashman’s style than some of the bigger guys you’re accustomed to hearing about.

Jonathan Hernandez #72 of the Texas Rangers (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Jonathan Hernandez #72 of the Texas Rangers (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

3. Jonathan Hernandez

The Yankees would be smart to kick the tires on the Rangers reliever.

Jonathan Hernandez — don’t worry, we only heard about him recently, too! — is enjoying a tremendous second year in the big leagues with the Texas Rangers. He made his debut in 2019 to the tune of a 4.32 ERA and 1.62 WHIP in nine games (two starts), but this year he’s exclusively being used in the bullpen.

It seems like it’s worked wonders for Texas, but unfortunately the Rangers are being swallowed up in the loss column, which means they could be sellers come the end of the weekend/Monday. They have a number of trade chips to dangle in talks, and Hernandez probably carries significant value right now given his youth and upside.

Not only is he under contract through 2025, but he’s balling out right now, sporting a 3-0 record with a 2.00 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 22 strikeouts in 15 games (17.1 innings) this year. He’s got five holds on the season, so he’s no stranger to pitching in high-leverage situations. And he throws gas, averaging 97 MPH on his fastball as well as 88 MPH on his slider and nearly 90 MPH on his changeup.

The Yankees would have the luxury of deploying him pretty much anywhere, which is something Cashman and manager Aaron Boone would love to add to the ‘pen.