There’s been plenty of ink dedicated to the idea of the Yankees parting with one of their left-handed bullpen aces, Aroldis Chapman or Andrew Miller, but the club’s top execs aren’t planning on trading anyone in the near future, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Heyman cites “senior Yankees executives” in conveying that the team’s top decision-makers held a conference call last night and determined that there won’t be any action in the near term, though the club could reevaluate that line of thinking closer to the end of July. Many have speculated that the Yankees, in need of rotation depth as well as some help at the infield corners, could deal Chapman or Miller to add a younger big league piece elsewhere on the roster. Carlos Beltran’s name also crept up in speculation last month, but it would appear that the Yankees, currently 26-30 and 6.5 games back in the division, will stay the course for the time being.
Here’s more from the AL East…
- Aaron Sanchez’s breakout season will leave the Blue Jays with some tough decisions in a couple of months, writes Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet. The Jays clearly made the right call by entrusting Sanchez with a spot in the rotation this spring, Nicholson-Smith points out, but the team also said back in March that he’d eventually transition to the bullpen later this season as a means of managing his innings total. Sanchez has been dominant in 2016, posting a 2.99 ERA with 8.0 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 and a lofty 58.5 percent ground-ball rate across 72 1/3 innings. Pitching coach Pete Walker tells Nicholson-Smith that the Jays typically map out their plans for the pitching staff a month in advance, so he’s taking the Sanchez debate on a month-to-month basis. The 23-year-old Sanchez totaled just 102 innings between the Majors and minors last season, so it’s understandable that Toronto isn’t thrilled with the notion of seeing one of its most valuable long-term pieces double his 2015 innings total with a full season of starts.
- The struggles of Eduardo Rodriguez in yesterday’s loss underscores the Red Sox’ need to trade for rotation help, opines Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. Silverman notes that the club has watched Rick Porcello slow down considerably since an explosive start to the season, while David Price has yet to hit the stride that most expect of the former Cy Young winner. Beyond that, Clay Buchholz and Joe Kelly have pitched themselves out of rotation jobs. Steven Wright has been a pleasant surprise, but his breakout alone won’t sustain a four-man rotation that already needs a fifth option. Boston has already seen one trade option come off the market, as the White Sox picked up James Shields from the Padres with a rare early-June trade of fairly significant magnitude.
- Hyun Soo Kim’s turnaround since Spring Training has been remarkable, writes Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com, who spoke to a scout from outside the Orioles organization that said he’s had to tear up the March scouting report he’d compiled on Kim. Baltimore signed Kim to a two-year, $7MM contract this winter on the heels of an impressive run in the Korea Baseball Organization, but the man nicknamed the “Hitting Machine” in Korea looked overmatched (or “scared,” as the scout put it to Kubatko) at the plate in Spring Training. To say Kim, who is hitting .377/.449/.493 through an admittedly small sample of 78 plate appearances, has adjusted nicely would appear to be an understatement. Manager Buck Showalter praised Kim for his adjustments to harder velocity and said he routinely checks in with Kim and his interpreter to see if there’s anything the club can do to continue to ease the transition from Korea to America. Kim, however, tells Showalter that he’s “having the time of his life” now that he is getting a chance to contribute in the Majors.