If there was any doubt that the Yankees are in the market for starting pitching — not that there should have been — general manager Brian Cashman was candid about his team’s pursuit of rotation help in an appearance on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (Twitter links, with audio).
“Yeah, we’re going to target starting pitching, and then if not, continue to try to reinforce the bullpen,” said Cashman. “But the bottom line is just trying to add quality to what we already have. … Houston’s going to get better. Tampa’s going to get better. Boston’s going to get better. Minnesota’s going to get better Oakland’s going to get better. … They’re going to add to their area [of need]. A lot of the players in the mix are in the similar category of quality, so there’s going to be a number of choices out there.”
Cashman noted that the Yankees are in a perhaps beneficial position, having both Luis Severino and Dellin Betances hopefully returning to the club in 2019 as a fallback in the event he is “not able to comfortably match up with somebody” in a trade. That said, the GM also conceded that he expects Severino to need “six or more weeks” before he’s ready to return (Twitter link via MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch).
Cashman also acknowledged that 20-year-old right-hander Deivi Garcia, recently promoted to Triple-A, is “pushing himself into the mix” as an option to help at the big league level. The diminutive Garcia, listed at just 5’9″ and 163 pounds, breezed through Double-A opposition with a 3.00 ERA, 14.3 K/9, 4.4 BB/9, 0.35 HR/9 and a 41.9 percent ground-ball rate in 51 innings of work prior to his promotion.
Asking prices across the board have been high early in July, as one might expect, and the number of rental starters who are ticketed for free agency at season’s end outweighs the number of controllable names on the market. That won’t lead the Yankees to do anything rash, it seems. Cashman plainly stated that the organization wouldn’t move Garcia — ranked this week as the game’s No. 25 and No. 29 prospect by Baseball Prospectus and ESPN, respectively — for a rental player. The Yankees are already known to be averse to moving Clint Frazier in such a deal, and that line of thinking presumably applies to the organization’s other top prospects as well.
Over the past few weeks, the Yankees have been connected to most of the top trade candidates on the market, including Madison Bumgarner (link), Trevor Bauer (link), Zack Wheeler (link) and Marcus Stroman (link).