The Yankees and Astros, two American League superpowers, continue their pursuit of high-profile starting pitchers. Both teams are in on Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner and Mets righty Zack Wheeler, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweets. The Astros are also “focused” on Diamondbacks southpaw Robbie Ray, per Jon Morosi of MLB.com. Ray has been on the Yankees’ radar of late, too.
The Astros and Yankees are among the teams on Bumgarner’s limited no-trade list, but that doesn’t mean the pending free agent would block a deal to either club. Of course, it’s not a sure thing the playoff-contending Giants will even move Bumgarner, a franchise icon, by today’s deadline. They’ve been telling teams that they plan to keep him and closer Will Smith, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports.
This is the second time this week the Astros have been prominently connected to Bumgarner and Wheeler. As is the case with Bumgarner, Wheeler’s a 29-year-old soon-to-be free agent. While Wheeler may be the top trade candidate in baseball, the Mets aren’t guaranteed to part with him. They’ve made something of a charge up the standings of late, and seem prepared to retain Wheeler if they don’t get the type of return they’re seeking for the flamethrower. And whether the Mets would even trade Wheeler to the hated Yankees is also in question.