The Yankees acquired slugger Edwin Encarnacion from the Mariners on Saturday, but that probably won’t be the last headline-grabbing deal the Bombers make before the July 31 deadline. Still in need of starting pitching, the Yankees are monitoring the market for potential rotation additions, general manager Brian Cashman revealed Monday (via Bryan Hoch of MLB.com).
Cashman said he and his front office cohorts are “certainly compiling a list of the names that are available that are obvious, and we’re compiling a list of the names that might become available.” Tigers left-hander Matthew Boyd, Giants southpaw Madison Bumgarner, Blue Jays righties Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez, and Mets righty Zack Wheeler are a few prominent starters who may wind up on the move by the end of next month. MLBTR’s Jeff Todd pointed to those five and several other rotation pieces when breaking down the game’s most likely trade chips Monday.
While Cashman’s roster is 43-27 and a half-game up on the Rays in the American League East, the Yankees have gotten to this point despite some questions in their rotation. Ace Luis Severino has been out all year with a lat strain, but if he returns on schedule next month, it could go a long way toward helping the Yankees win the division for the first time since 2012.
Severino, James Paxton and Masahiro Tanaka would give the Yankees three quality starters if healthy. Still, there would be concerns in the Yankees’ starting five. Veteran lefties J.A. Happ and CC Sabathia haven’t met expectations this year, which partially explains why New York’s eyeing outside help. Righty Domingo German has been tremendous at times, on the other hand, but he stumbled in recent weeks before going on the injured list June 9 with a left hip flexor strain. Furthermore, depth is lacking in New York’s rotation at the moment, so getting Severino back and acquiring another starter pre-deadline would enable the team to move two of Happ, Sabathia and German into No. 6/7 roles.
Of course, the Yankees already had a chance to pick up a mid-rotation or front-end type in free agent Dallas Keuchel, whom they had interest in before he signed with the Braves on June 7. The Braves gave Keuchel $13MM, more than the deep-pocketed Yankees were willing to spend on a few months of control over the ex-Astro. Because Keuchel’s no longer in play, the Yankees’ only choice is to find a Severino-Paxton-Tanaka complement via the trade market in the next several weeks – something Cashman’s trying to do.