1. Jon Gray, RHP
We cannot stress this enough: the Yankees have no starting pitchers. None. Nada. Nestor Cortes Jr. was their second-most trusted arm, and he just hit the COVID-IL at a brutal time for everyone. The season is sliding swiftly down the tubes.
Jon Gray has always been a name connected to this franchise, considering he’s been toiling for a bad team for quite a while and has usually possessed untapped potential. The stuff has always been No. 1 starter-esque. The results? Eh. ERAs in the high-3.00s alternated with years that finish in the mid-5.00s or higher.
Was that Gray’s fault? Or just life in Colorado?
This year, his final before hitting free agency (and on a $6 million contract that can be shoved under the luxury tax, most likely), has been one of the good ones. Gray’s mid-90s fastball and steep breaker have played up to the tune of a 6-6 record and 3.77 ERA, and he’s stunningly been better at home, too (3.22) than on the road (4.54).
He shouldn’t cost much, and he has mid-rotation upside in the AL East most likely, but again: is he better than Domingo German? Michael King? Jordan Montgomery? TBD? He’s more volatile than Monty, but he’s a much safer option than every other floating name in the Yankees’ orbit right now. Trade a burgeoning 40-man guy for him and call it a portion of a deadline.