In a brave new world when umpires will be checking regularly for illegal sticky substances, Gerrit Cole is having a bit of an emotional crisis. With every action and motion of his under intense scrutiny, can you really blame him?
He had just four strikeouts Wednesday night and threw the most changeups he had ever thrown in a major league game. As Cole adjusts to the new MLB normal, it wouldn’t hurt for New York to pick up a pitcher or two to help out on the mound at the trade deadline.
Which is just to say: the rest of the Yankees rotation could use some light padding.
In his three starts immediately following the injured Corey Kluber’s departure, Michael King pitched to a 6.35 ERA with two losses, allowing 10 runs (eight earned) in 11.1 innings. We don’t have to tell you those numbers aren’t good. 2020 was Jordan Montgomery’s first full season back after missing most of 2018-19 recovering from Tommy John Surgery, and though he’s pitching to a much improved 4.20 ERA this year, he still feels like a bit of a wild card.
Domingo German is recording similar numbers to Montgomery, but his domestic violence history that left many scratching their heads as to why he stayed on the roster still lingers. Simply put, the Yankees could do with more production value in the pitching rotation, and why not bet on someone new?
The current trade market for pitchers is threadbare thin, with the exception of the wallet-busting options like Kyle Gibson, German Marquez or Jose Berrios. But here’s where the Yankees could throw a couple bucks to the wind, since they can afford to take a struggling pitcher under their wing and see how far they’ll fly.
It’s your turn, Cashman. Roll the dice. These are three pitchers New York could bet on at trade deadline.
3 struggling pitchers Yankees could bet on at trade deadline.
3. Tyler Anderson
Second time’s the charm? The Yankees recently added former Pirates pitcher Jameson Taillon via trade, and needless to say,New York has not gotten their money’s (or prospects’) worth on his right arm.
But the Pirates have a long history of trades with the Yankees that have fared well in both teams’ favors: in years prior, the Pirates have picked up (and resurrected) Francisco Cervelli, A.J. Burnett, Jose Tabata and Jeff Karstens.
To build on this more than amicable relationship, New York could pick up Tyler Anderson to fill some of their rotation gaps. With Kluber out due to a rotator cuff injury, Anderson could help out on the mound short-term. He currently owns a 4.89 ERA, which isn’t completely indicative of his pitching performance in games. Aside from being pounded in a game against the Braves in May, Anderson has buoyed an eternally struggling Pirates team from that start. In his first eight starts of the season, he only gave up more than three runs once and pitched at least five innings in each. If not for some of his teammates’ atrocious plays, Anderson continues to be in consistent form for the Bucs, and more often that not his pitching keeps them in the game.
He’s been a nice, under-the-radar addition for the Pirates on a modest one-year contract and is exactly the sort of commodity that Pittsburgh could flip at the deadline and that the Yankees could squeeze some more production out of.