Yankees: 3 trades other teams pulled off that prove NYY botched deadline

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Starting pitcher Mike Clevinger #52 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

2. Padres’ big splash acquiring Mike Clevinger from Indians

The Yankees didn’t have to do this, but it showed prices weren’t that excessive.

Let’s preface this by saying that the Yankees should not have traded for Mike Clevinger. His ousting from Cleveland was concerning enough from a character standpoint and he’s still not of the caliber the Yankees need — another top-of-the-rotation arm with ample postseason experience was required for NYY, if they were going to go for it all.

But when you saw Clevinger, a promising young pitcher with two more years of control after 2020, was dealt for San Diego’s Nos. 7, 9 and 11 overall prospects plus a couple of marginal major leaguers in Josh Naylor, Austin Hedges and Cal Quantrill, it was clear other starters out there could’ve been had without having to gut the farm system (especially since the Pads also got OF Greg Allen and a PTBNL).

Why wouldn’t the Yankees call the Nationals about Max Scherzer, who is signed through 2021? How about Colorado Rockies lefty Kyle Freeland? If Clevinger, a guy who has the second-best ERA (Justin Verlander is first!) in MLB across 75 starts since 2017, could be had for that price, why couldn’t someone better with fewer years of control or worse with more years of control be an option? The Yankees have so much talent they can afford to part with.

We don’t know ongoing conversations the Yankees were having, but the fact that there weren’t too many spicy rumors followed by zero results indicates they may not have been as aggressive as fans would have liked.