You know what you should be truly terrified by, however? What the Yankees’ direct and immediate rivals plan to do. Remember this offseason when New York laughed at the Houston Astros, Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox — three rosters that seemingly got worse — and planned to rule the American League with an iron fist?
Well, now it’s the Bombers who are treading water while those three aforementioned teams have eclipsed 60 wins, with the Sox leading the division, the Rays 1.5 games behind them, and the Astros leading the AL West by five games. The Yankees are closest to the Rays, whom they’re eight games behind.
So if those three teams theoretically “got worse” in the offseason and have wildly exceeded expectations, why wouldn’t they shift gears and look to make a blockbuster move before Friday at 4 p.m. ET? They just spent nearly 100 games proving they can contend for a World Series.
Well, they’re all going to. In fact, the Rays already have, and they’re not even done yet.
The Yankees should be worried about these three rival trade rumors.
3. Max Scherzer to the Rays
This spot was reserved for “Nelson Cruz to the Rays” … but Tampa already did that last week! We know our rivals all too well, don’t we?
Instead, we have another reason to be sick about the Rays, and it’s because there was a loose mention of them being connected to a Max Scherzer trade rumor. Is sounds like the antithesis of a Rays-like move, doesn’t it?
Well, even after acquiring Cruz, Tampa ranks 26th in MLB with a payroll just under $75 million. They can still acquire Scherzer and remain under the $90 million threshold. With fans back in the stands, even the cheapest of owners couldn’t turn that down if they were able to make such a deal.
All the Rays truly need is starting pitching. Their bullpen is always nails. Their defense is always good. Their offense never really goes away. Last year, starting pitching was their strength, but they let Charlie Morton go, traded Blake Snell, and watched Tyler Glasnow go down with an elbow injury. They’ve managed to be this good with Rich Hill (who they just traded), Ryan Yarbrough, Shane McClanahan and Michael Wacha mostly starting games.
If they can add Scherzer into the mix and get Glasnow back for the final month of the season, the script will be totally flipped.