3 Royals pitchers Yankees and Matt Blake have to save

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Josh Staumont #63 of the Kansas City Royals (Photo by Reed Hoffmann/Getty Images) /

2. Josh Staumont

Josh Staumont has been on our radar for so long that his trade profile has changed from “under-appreciated, dominant, expensive bullpen arm” to “scuffling former star in need of a few tweaks.”

He’s still under control for quite a while, and the price will be hefty, but better to acquire arm talent that’s struggling rather than pay a premium for his absolute peak!

This season, Staumont’s strikeout stuff hasn’t left the building (27 in 18.2 innings pitched), but his WHIP is sky high (1.50 through May 30). This is quite the step back for the reliever who posted a 157 ERA+ relative to league performance last season — and the league was performing quite well as a whole back then, too.

At that point, it felt wild to even discuss Staumont’s trade prospects, considering he came with 4.5 years of control. Now, while he backslides, is it reasonable to chat about a deal with 3.5 years still on his ledger? That’s what Holmes came with last season! Now we’re talking.

Staumont will cost more than Hoy Park, but he’s proven to be the best arm in the Kansas City bullpen, and is still upper-echelon in chase rate (63rd percentile), curveball spin (83rd), whiff percentage (97th), K percentage (90th), and average exit velocity (78th). He doesn’t need a monstrous overhaul, but he needs to get his command in line like Holmes circa last year’s deadline; too often, the ball leaks over the plate or well off it. His hard-hit percentages, on the whole, aren’t where they need to be.

Staumont comes with more name recognition than Holmes last season, but that won’t make a trade impossible, especially if it’ll sweeten the Yankees’ Benintendi package.