New York Yankees Rumors

New York Yankees trade and free agent rumors from MLBTradeRumors.com.

Pitching Notes: Yankees, Nolasco, Twins, Teheran, Leake

The Yankees are still looking at the market for starters, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post, but “feel doubtful” of getting anything done on that front. New York feels comfortable with its internal options to fill in for the just-DL’ed Michael Pineda, he adds. That may be true, of course, but we had heard of interest in a rotation addition prior to Pineda’s injury, so it seems unwise to count New York out of the market until the final bell has sounded.

More pitching notes:

  • The Twins and Padres have had some trade discussions, and the concept of offloading the remaining two years of Ricky Nolasco‘s contract has been floated in those discussions, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN. As Wolfson notes, Jeremy Nygaard of TwinsDaily.com first suggested the notion. Nolasco does have a three-team no-trade clause but it does not include San Diego, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press notes on Twitter.
  • The Twins are looking at set-up options that include Joaquin Benoit of the Padres and several Rays pitchers, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets. Minnesota has long been said to be pursuing pen arms, and it would be surprising if the team doesn’t make an addition today. We’ve already heard of recent interest in Tampa Bay’s relief arms from the Astros.
  • Julio Teheran may have been available at one point, at a high price, but the Braves now seem more or less unwilling to move him, Heyman tweets. Atlanta just sent young starter Alex Wood to the Dodgers, of course, which could have impacted their willingness to part with another controllable arm (particularly since he’s scuffled this year).
  • The Giants believe they can hold onto the just-acquired Mike Leake beyond this year, Peter Gammons of GammonsDaily.com tweets. San Francisco has had no trouble reaching late-season extensions in recent years, or with re-signing its own free agents off the open market, so it certainly bears watching.

Latest On Yankees’ Pursuit Of Elite Relief Arms

The Yankees have already been connected to Craig Kimbrel this morning, and it’s becoming apparent that they’re in the mix for most of the top relief arms on the market at this point. We’ll keep track of that pursuit in this post…

  • The Yankees are waiting on the Padres in regards to Kimbrel but could turn to the MarlinsCarter Capps, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Jayson Stark of ESPN takes it a step further, saying that the Yankees are tiring of waiting on San Diego and are already talking to Miami (Twitter link).

Earlier Updates

  • The Yankees are one of five teams that are “aggressively pursuing” a trade for Reds closer Aroldis Chapman, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter). Adding Chapman to the back of a bullpen that already includes Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances would give the Yankees perhaps the best late-inning relief trio in all of baseball. Adding a premium bullpen arm appears to be the focus for the Yankees now that a number of starting pitchers have already landed with other teams. New York, though, has been said to be unwilling to part with top prospects Luis Severino, Aaron Judge, Greg Bird and Jorge Mateo in talks for Kimbrel, so it would stand to reason that they’re reluctant to do with Chapman as well, who comes with far less control. He can be a free agent after the 2016 season.

Latest On Craig Kimbrel

Craig Kimbrel‘s name is still coming up on the trade market, as ESPN’s Buster Olney notes (Twitter links), adding that the Yankees remain positioned to make a run at the Padres’ closer. Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweeted tonight that many outside executives believe that the Yankees will ultimately end up with Kimbrel (though he also points out that industry consensus expected the Yankees to land a top-tier starting pitcher not that long ago as well). Earlier today, ESPN’s Jayson Stark linked the Yankees to Kimbrel as well.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports tonight that the Yankees are still in the mix for Kimbrel and have even expressed a willingness to assume the remaining $28MM or so on Kimbrel’s contract in order to help facilitate a trade. The Astros, too, could be interested in making a “stealth try” for Kimbrel, though their involvement to this point is unknown. Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune hears that the Astros are indeed still in on Kimbrel, though tonight’s Carlos Gomez acquisition makes it even less likely that they’ll meet the Padres’ asking price (Twitter link).

The Yankees have been more prominently linked to starting pitching than relief pitching this summer, and those rumors will probably escalate in the wake of today’s injury to Michael Pineda. However, adding an elite reliever to mix in with Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances would effectively shorten the game for a potentially shaky rotation (in a similar manner to the Royals’ dominant trio of Greg Holland, Wade Davis and Kelvin Herrera).

Kimbrel got off to a rough start this season, surrendering three early homers that caused his ERA to balloon to a much higher number than observers are accustomed to see in association with his name. He’s returned to his old form over the past couple of months, surrendering just three earned runs over a span of 25 2/3 innings with a 36-to-10 K/BB ratio in that time. Many reports this evening have pegged the Padres as a team that looks to be on the verge of an exceptionally active finish to the non-waiver trade season, so Kimbrel figures to be one of many Padres that will see his name bounced around the league late tonight and into tomorrow.



Pitching Market Notes: Ross, Gallardo, Iwakuma, Indians, Chapman, Pirates

The Padres are “progressing” on multiple deals, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, and Tyson Ross is a key piece among their trade chips. Rosenthal adds that trading him would be considered a concession on the 2015 season, and while that’s likely, it’s certainly possible that the Padres could acquire some MLB-ready talent to make it more even for 2015 purposes than if they went with an all-prospects package. The Padres could add some pieces as well, he notes.

Meanwhile Bob Nightengale of USA Today chimes in on Ross as well, tweeting that executives from other teams are “convinced” that Ross will be dealt. Nightengale says the Cubs continue to push for Ross. (Earlier today, ESPN’s Jayson Stark heard that Ross is Chicago’s top pitching target.)

Here’s more on the trade market for pitching help — starters and relievers alike:

  • The Cubs, Blue Jays and Dodgers are the most aggressive teams pursuing Yovani Gallardo of the Rangers at this time, writes Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The Yankees and Giants also have some level of interest, he adds. Gallardo started tonight, and things went poorly; the Yankees knocked him around for five runs in six innings, and he struck out just one hitter.
  • Despite a record that is well below the .500 mark, the Mariners aren’t planning to make right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma available, tweets Yahoo’s Jeff Passan. While other teams have apparently inquired, they’ve been informed that Mariners ownership prefers to keep him. Iwakuma’s value is down after a shaky, injury-filled season, though given his reasonable $7MM salary and track record, I’d imagine he’d draw no shortage of interest if put on the block.
  • Teams are still in touch with the Indians regarding their crop of young pitching talent, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. There’s nothing close at this time, but the Indians remain willing to engage in conversations. To this point, they’ve reportedly discussed Carlos Carrasco with other clubs, and one can imagine that Danny Salazar and Trevor Bauer are of interest to other teams as well. Cleveland did bolster its impressive stockpile of young pitching today — albeit with a future-oriented move — acquiring Class-A lefty and former first-round pick Rob Kaminsky from the Cardinals for Brandon Moss.
  • The D-Backs reportedly have an offer on the table to the Reds for Aroldis Chapman, but Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic spoke to a pair of executives (Twitter link) about the asking price on Chapman, with one calling it “high” and the other using the term “ridiculous.”
  • Following today’s acquisition of Joakim Soria to strengthen his bullpen, Pirates GM Neal Huntington told reporters, including Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, that he doesn’t plan to acquire an additional starting pitcher prior to tomorrow’s non-waiver trade deadline (Twitter link).

Stark, Crasnick On Mariners, Cubs, Ross, Padres, Chapman

The Mariners and Cubs have had recent trade talks, reports ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick (via Twitter), though he’s yet to ascertain which specific players were involved. The conversations didn’t center around Starlin Castro, Crasnick continues. Clearly, there could be a wide range of targets at play here, though the Cubs have been connected to pitching upgrades in both the rotation and the bullpen.

Some more trade notes from a couple of ESPN’s top reporters…

  • In today’s Rumor Roundup over at ESPN, Jayson Stark writes that other teams view Tyson Ross as the Cubs‘ top trade target. Chicago likes Andrew Cashner but considers him a fallback option, should the price for Ross become too steep. Both Castro and Javier Baez have previously been of interest to the Padres, although Castro’s stock is way down. Stark also reported today that the Cubs are now “aggressively” shopping Castro.
  • From that same piece, Stark adds that other clubs believe Justin Upton, Cashner and Joaquin Benoit are the most likely players to be traded by the Padres, and one particular executive to whom Stark spoke feels it’s “likely” that Craig Kimbrel will be traded as well. In a followup tweet, Stark adds that the number of people who feel Kimbrel will end up with the Yankees is “amazing.” New York already possesses a dominant late-inning duo in the form of Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances. Adding Kimbrel to the mix would give them a trio to rival the three-headed bullpen monster (Greg Holland, Wade Davis and Kelvin Herrera) that the Royals rode to the World Series in 2014. The Astros, too, like Kimbrel, according to Stark. However, Houston wouldn’t want to take on all of the money he’s owed.
  • Stark also tweets that the Reds are still discussing Aroldis Chapman with teams, but the price remains very high. At this time, the Yankees, Diamondbacks, Giants and Astros are all in the mix for Chapman, who is earning $8.05MM in 2015 and is controlled via the arbitration process for the 2016 season.

Yankees Acquire Dustin Ackley

The Mariners announced today that they have traded outfielder Dustin Ackley to the Yankees in exchange for outfield prospect Ramon Flores and right-hander Jose Ramirez.

Dustin Ackley

Former No. 2 overall pick Dustin Ackley didn’t pan out in Seattle. He’ll hope for better days with the Yankees.

Ackley, now 27 years old, came to the Mariners with a great deal of fanfare after being selected with the second overall pick in the 2009 draft. Selected one spot after Stephen Strasburg, Ackley was hailed as the best college bat in the draft on the strength of his play at UNC. Baseball America rated him as the No. 11 prospect prior to the 2010 season and No. 12 prior to the 2011 season, but Ackley’s excellent minor league play — .303/.401/.472 in 143 Triple-A games — never carried over to the Majors with any sort of consistency.

Ackley showed promise in his rookie season, hitting .273/.348/.417 in 90 games as a 23-year-old rookie in 2011, but since that time, he’s posted just a .236/.297/.356 line in 1844 big league plate appearances. He’s bounced around defensively but has settled in as mostly an outfielder in recent years. He does have quite a big of Major League experience at second base, with 2450 innings under his belt, but he has just 449 innings there since Opening Day 2013.

In exchange for Ackley, the Mariners will receive an outfielder that ranks 27th among New York prospects (Flores) and a right-handed reliever that has already cracked the Major Leagues (Ramirez). An earlier report indicated that the Yankees had initially offered Flores and minor league outfielder Ben Gamel, but the Mariners wanted more, so it stands to reason that Seattle considers Ramirez an upgrade over Gamel.

The 23-year-old Flores got a cup of coffee earlier this season but picked up just 33 plate appearances — far too small a sample from which to glean anything useful. He’s a career .268/.360/.429 hitter a the Triple-A level in parts of two seasons. MLB.com’s scouting report praises his hit tool and ability to spray line drives but also notes that he lacks the power to profile as a regular in the outfield. He has an average arm and can man all three outfield spots, giving him the ceiling of a fourth outfielder, per MLB.com.

Ramirez, 25, has thrown 13 innings with the Yankees over the past two seasons, striking out 10 but also issuing six walks. His average fastball hovers around 95 mph. Ramirez has shown the ability to miss bats in the minors — 100 strikeouts in 93 1/3 Triple-A innings — but he’s also issued 52 unintentional walks and hit seven batters in that time, so control is clearly an issue for him.

The YES Network’s Jack Curry reported that Ackley had been acquired by New York in exchange for Flores and Ramirez (All Twitter links). Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News had previously connected the Yankees to Ackley.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.


Yankees To Place Michael Pineda On DL With Forearm Injury

The Yankees will place right-hander Michael Pineda on the disabled list with a Grade 1 right forearm strain, according to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman (Twitter link). The timetable for his return remains unclear, though Sherman says the Yankees do expect Pineda to pitch again in 2015. The injury is the same as the one suffered by Andrew Miller earlier this year, Sherman adds. Miller missed about a month with his forearm strain, though the recovery process for a reliever and for a starting pitcher will probably vary, and Pineda may need more time to return to his previous per-start workload after sitting out.

An injury to Pineda further taxes a Yankees rotation that already contained some question marks. CC Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka, Ivan Nova and Nathan Eovaldi should continue to hold down spots, and the team has used right-hander Bryan Mitchell in the rotation this season as well. There figures to be a good deal of speculation surrounding top prospect Luis Severino as well, though despite a 2.45 ERA this season, he’s already just 14 innings shy of his career-high 113 1/3. Certainly he’ll be expected to exceed that number in 2015 — the question is just to what extent he’ll be able to surpass that mark.

The Yankees have already been linked to pitching upgrades in recent days, though top-of-the-market names such as Cole Hamels and David Price have come off the board. Remaining names range from expensive assets such as James Shields (three years, $64MM following this season) or short-term rentals such as Mike Leake, who is a free agent at season’s end. The Padres have some targets that fall in between those two extremes (Tyson Ross, Andrew Cashner), and as Sherman speculates on Twitter, a run at Craig Kimbrel would allow New York to shift Adam Warren back into the rotation and create a dominant late-inning trio.

All of that is sheer speculation, of course, and it remains possible that the Pineda injury won’t do much to alter the Yankees’ course over the coming 24-plus hours. But it’s easy to imagine a scenario where the loss of Pineda, even for a brief time, combined with Toronto’s acquisitions of Troy Tulowitzki and David Price, will hasten GM Brian Cashman’s efforts to upgrade his roster via the trade market.


AL East Notes: Pineda, Ackley, Orioles, Rays

Yankees right-hander Michael Pineda is dealing with a right arm injury, as WFAN’s Mike Francesca first reported, although the injury’s severity remains unclear. Joel Sherman of the New York Post cites Yankees executives in saying that the issue is a strained muscle in Pineda’s forearm as opposed to anything in his elbow, and it’s not believed to be serious at this time (Twitter links). Nonetheless, Marly Rivera of ESPN tweets that Pineda won’t start tonight’s game for New York, as had previously been scheduled. While many will speculate that there’s an increased need to add pitching, there’s been no definitive report on Pineda requiring a lengthy absence from the rotation. (And while some have said otherwise, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News tweets that there’s no issue with Ivan Nova‘s arm at present.)

More on the Yankees and their division, which is still reeling from Toronto’s now-official addition of David Price

  • The Yankees recently reached out to the Mariners to express interest in Dustin Ackley, reports Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News (Twitter link). The two sides discussed a scenario in which outfielders Ramon Flores and Ben Gamel would’ve gone to the Mariners, but Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik wanted more for Ackley, and talks have since cooled, per Feinsand. Ackley, the former No. 2 overall pick in the draft, is again struggling this season and has batted a mere .215/.270/.366. Many have speculated that Zduriencik is loath to undertake in any type of sale, as his job security could be tied to the Mariners’ finish this season. Nonetheless, it’s a bit surprising to hear him holding out for any sort of return on Ackley, though Flores and Gamel admittedly aren’t all that well-regarded. Flores ranked 27th on MLB.com’s midseason edition of the Yankees’ Top 30 prospects, while Gamel didn’t place.
  • The Orioles are continually being asked for the likes of Kevin Gausman, Jonathan Schoop, Mychal Givens and even Manny Machado in trades, reports Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com (via Twitter). Each of those players is considered a deal-breaker for Baltimore, he writes. The Orioles have been seeking upgrades to their corner outfield situation recently.
  • The Rays are indeed listening to offers on Nate Karns (as was reported earlier today), tweets Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. However, Topkin feels that the likeliest trade candidate, if the Rays move someone at all, remains right-hander Kevin Jepsen. Topkin reported last week that the Rays may very well trade a relief pitcher prior to the trade deadline.

Dodgers, Giants, Blue Jays, Yankees, Astros Show Initial Interest In David Price

David Price has generated significant early interest since the Tigers declared themselves open to offers earlier today. Several teams have already emerged as early leaders to get the ace lefty.

Per Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter), the Dodgers, Giants, Blue Jays, and Yankees are all in contact with Detroit and make up the “four main teams” in the mix. Jon Morosi of FOX Sports, who was first to note that the Blue Jays had made contact on Price, adds the Astros as a team that is in discussions (Twitter link).

Especially with Johnny Cueto and Cole Hamels now off the market, Price is undoubtedly the best pitching trade piece remaining. He was dealt at the last minute in 2014 for an interesting package in a three-team deal, and now seems destined again to be one of the most-watched names in the final two days leading up to the deadline.


Latest On Padres: Baez, Kimbrel, Deadline Strategy

2:15pm: The Padres have engaged in at least some discussions with the Cubs regarding young infielder Javier Baez, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. Chicago is said to be pursuing pitching, and we heard last week that they had exchanged ideas with San Diego.

Meanwhile, the Friars seem increasingly likely to hold onto Craig Kimbrel, reports Heyman. The team lost a significant suitor when the Nationals got Jonathan Papelbon, and San Diego has been unable to convince the Yankees to give up shortstop prospect Jorge Mateo in a deal.

11:40am: The Padres continue to explore a wide array of options on this year’s trade market, though they’ve yet to make a move. Multiple reports suggest that the team is still weighing its ultimate approach, perhaps considering major moves while also preparing for a more modest sell-off.

Jayson Stark of ESPN.com hears that rival teams expect San Diego to be “super active” and pursue a “huge deal” of some kind (via ESPN.com’s trade deadline page), with the team said to be considering deals on controllable rotation pieces such as James Shields, Andrew Cashner, and even Tyson Ross.

[RELATED: Rangers Discussing Ross, Cashner With Padres]

The inclusion of those names on the market could even reduce the Phillies’ leverage with regard to Cole Hamels negotiations, executives with other clubs tell Stark. The Phillies, of course, are said to be asking teams with interest to get their bids in on the lefty today.

Meanwhile, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Padres GM A.J. Preller could “take a more measured approach” in selling than he did in compiling assets over the winter. San Diego wants “substantive” value in its deals, per the report.

Efforts to move Shields have not resulted in promising offers of yet, says Lin, and he could become an August trade piece. And while San Diego is indeed discussing both Cashner and Ross, it seems hesitant to part with them. There is some belief within the organization that larger-scale moves could wait for the winter.

The club does still appear likely to move its short-term assets, per the Union-Tribune. There is still at least some possibility, though, that it will hold onto Justin Upton and make him a qualifying offer, with talks not yet having produced a substantial enough return, though it seems rather likely that something with come together on the slugger. Other pieces fairly likely to be dealt include Ian Kennedy, Joaquin Benoit, and Will Venable.