pings surprising Yankees starter as 'sell' candidate at 2023 trade deadline

Maybe we were focused on the wrong controllable pitcher this whole time.
New York Yankees v Los Angeles Angels
New York Yankees v Los Angeles Angels / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages

Rank these Yankees trade candidates: Luis Severino, Domingo Germán, Clarke Schmidt.

One is making $15 million this season, and would save New York a healthy chunk in August and September if jettisoned. That pitcher also is on a mini heater, and probably would mean more to the team if he were kept rather than traded for someone's 48th-best prospect (unless that team wanted to absorb his whole deal).

One is finally finding his footing after a difficult April and May in pinstripes, where he reached a point that nearly ended the experiment. He's still working on the cutter and a methodology for putting lefties to sleep. He's under team control through 2027, and certainly feels like someone a team stuck in the middle would be wise to keep around.

One has been the textbook definition of average for the better part of six seasons with the Yankees, excepting the length of his suspension, when he did not pitch at all. He'll pair seven shutout innings and an amazing breaker with four innings of seven-run ball. He'll do that regularly. He's under control through 2024, making a not-insignificant $2.6 million this season. He won't be extended. He just threw a perfect game.

Remind us, again, why the Yankees shouldn't capitalize on this recent momentum and trade Germán, a move theorized we should watch out for this week?

Yankees Trade Deadline: Domingo Germán most likely starter to be traded?

Nestor Cortes Jr.'s first rehab start went off without a hitch, leaving him in line to rejoin the Yankees when his 60-Day IL stint expires. When that occurs, either Schmidt, Severino or Germán will have to bounce out of the rotation, with both Jhony Brito and Randy Vásquez waiting behind them at Triple-A. The Yankees are no longer bereft of depth, leaving them able to use two of Germán/Severino/Schmidt/Vásquez/Brito to get what they want for 2023 and beyond.

Even if you weren't "fooled" by Severino's past two starts, he's likely to pull the least impactful trade package of the three current MLB starters. Unless somebody wants to take on his entire remaining salary without a prospect cost attached (miracle), the Yankees would be better off crossing their fingers and riding his season out. After all, the money goes away at the end of the year anyway.

Germán proved in June that he has a more impressive peak in his arsenal than the current version of Severino does. Not only did he hurl a perfect game against the A's, but he ran through the Dodgers with 6.2 innings of four-hit, one-run ball on Sunday Night Baseball.

Of course, he also surrendered 10 runs in 3.1 innings to the Mariners in the start before he was pristine in Oakland. If you're trading for Germán, you're picking your poison, but ... at least there's some great recent tape on him. The 2023 Yankees have to be especially careful in whatever trade deadline hybrid they choose, but "controllable starting pitching" is their biggest selling point, and you shouldn't be shocked if some of that comes out of their big-league group.

The Yankees trading Germán would be 50 times less shocking than the Yankees trading Jordan Montgomery last summer.