Pitching is probably lower on the New York Yankees‘ list of priorities if they’re going to make moves before the trade deadline, but if the right guy becomes available, that could change everything.
Right now, a lefty bat, outfielder and first baseman (or multiple combinations of those types of people) are what general manager Brian Cashman will likely be seeking out in the coming weeks.
But it’s fair to question if the Yankees need reinforcements in the starting rotation. Over the last two weeks, the starters’ ERA has been above 5.00. Yes, the offense has largely been the problem, but extra premium starting pitching can elevate an entire roster and increase your World Series chances exponentially.
That’s why Yankees fans really need to be rooting for the Washington Nationals to lose a lot over the next month.
There’s a possibility Max Scherzer will be available at the trade deadline, but at the moment the Nats aren’t considering moving him.
However, according to the latest buzz, “their mindset could change in the weeks ahead” assuming they fall further out of contention in the very confusing NL East.
Yankees Rumors: Lose, Nationals, lose! We want a Max Scherzer trade.
Washington currently sits in dead last in their division, which is good for seven games behind the first-place Mets. Sure, things can turn around, and if any team believes that, it’s the Nationals, who were 19-31 at the end of May during their World Series-winning season back in 2019.
But this is a bit different. The NL is much more competitive this year and you could make a legitimate argument that the Mets, Braves and Phillies all have the edge over the Nats. Additionally, the offseason acquisitions of Josh Bell and Kyle Schwarber just haven’t worked out.
It’s unfortunate, too, because Juan Soto, Trea Turner and Ryan Zimmerman are all meeting or exceeding expectations.
General manager Mike Rizzo is no fool and he’ll be able to properly assess where his team is at before the trade deadline. He’d much rather acquire assets for Scherzer rather than get a first-round pick after slapping the qualifying offer on him in the offseason.
With so much money coming off the books after this season — Washington’s payroll is going to plummet from $175 million to $116 million — Rizzo can expedite a re-tool/rebuild by getting some premier top prospects or even some MLB talent in return for Scherzer and then use that leftover money in free agency to continue to build around Soto and Turner…or even immediately re-sign Scherzer.
The Yankees have plenty to offer, especially if they catapult themselves back into the championship discussion. There’s no reason not to do it if Brian Cashman feels this is the team’s last go-round. Acquire a bunch of rentals like Scherzer and Starling Marte, don’t punt this season, and don’t sacrifice the next (hopefully) great generation of Bronx Bombers.