4 buy-low trade candidates Yankees should target for rotation

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Miles Mikolas #39 of the St. Louis Cardinals (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

1. Miles Mikolas

Come on, Cardinals! Just give your 2019 Game 1 starter to the Yankees!

Miles Mikolas returned to the U.S. with a remarkable 2018 season, posting an 18-4 record with a 2.83 ERA in 200.0 innings pitched. Basically, the Cards struck gold by importing Mikolas, earning 200 high-level innings from a source they probably didn’t anticipate being so impactful.

At worst, Mikolas is a four-starter who can soak up a ton of innings. At best, he’s starting Game 1 of the NLCS against the Washington Nationals after finishing sixth in the Cy Young race the year prior. Lots to like about that!

Of course, he’s a true buy-low because he was struck by the injury bug before the 2020 campaign even began; Mikolas had surgery to repair a flexor tendon in his throwing arm in July. He’s expected back for 2021, but perhaps the expectation is that he’ll be elsewhere? After all, the spectacular shine is off a bit — his ’18 was jaw-dropping, but his ’19 (though capped with a strong playoff performance) was fringe-average, featuring a 4.16 ERA and perfectly-aligned 4.27 FIP. Good, not great.

The Yanks would jump at the chance to house an innings-eater like this at the back end of their rotation, though, and he brings more upside to the table than a constant stream of rookies auditioning for their roles. Maybe they even reunite him with Yadier Molina behind the plate? Hey, a fan can dream.