Which pitchers should the Yankees target at the deadline?
It’s no secret that the Yankees are in desperate need of a starter (or 2), so with the July 31st trade deadline less than a week away, I figured I’d take a closer look at possible starting pitcher trade candidates for the Yankees. I haven’t written anything in a while so I figured it was only right if I made this one a doozy. Here we go...
Madison Bumgarner - Giants
I decided to list MadBum first, not because I think he’s the best choice, but because he is the stereotypical “answer” to the Yankees’ rotation. What do I mean by that? Take a look at the comments section on any Yankee-related post after a Yankee starter has a bad outing and you’ll
probably see a comment along the lines of “Trade for MadBum.” That aside, MadBum certainly would be a welcome addition… for the right price. Bumgarner is in his age 29 season and is having a very solid year pitching to a 3.66 ERA. Now, that’s all well and good but the real selling point on Madbum is his remarkable 2.11 ERA in the postseason. And as we all know, the Yankees love nothing more than winning in the postseason. This could all go by the wayside if the Giants decide to be buyers at the deadline, as their hot play of late has made them contenders in the NL wildcard race.
Marcus Stroman - Blue Jays
The Stro-Show. Stroman is in his age 28 season, is having a career year and is on a terrible team. Seemingly the perfect trade candidate. The only problem is the fact that the Blue Jays are in the same division as the Yankees. Which means that anything the Yankees ship to Toronto will possibly be making a team in the Yankees own division a better team. If the Yankees acquire Stroman for some single-A prospects, who are years away from making an impact, it’s not a big deal. If they get him and guys along the lines of Clint Frazier or Estevan Florial make their way across the border, the jays are getting some high-level talent at the MLB level right away. That’s really only if the Yankees are worried about that kind of stuff. If I’m Brian Cashman, I’d be pushing hard to bring the Stro-show to the Bronx.
Trevor Bauer - Indians
Don’t get your hopes up for this one. The Indians are currently 59-42 and just 2 games back of the 1st place twins in the AL Central, so trading a guy with a 3.49 ERA would probably be considered counterproductive. However, the Yankees have been heavily scouting the crafty right-hander so they must think there’s a chance he ends up available. For the sake of this article, let’s just say Bauer is available. While his postseason numbers aren’t Madbum-caliber they are still pretty solid, so if that’s your main concern, he’s a great option.
Matthew Boyd - Tigers
Due to his recent struggles, Boyd has certainly fallen down the ranks as a trade candidate. The Yankees current rotation is already a compilation of starters with ERA’s of 4.00 or higher, so Boyd wouldn’t be a very significant improvement.
Noah Syndergaard - Mets
Syndergaard is having a down year pitching to a 4.36 ERA, but unlike Boyd, his track record (career 2.93 ERA before this year) is enough to make you believe he’ll get his season back on track with the Yankees. I was tempted to leave Syndergaard out of this due to the fact that the Mets downright refuse to trade with the Yankees, but MAYBE this is finally the year they wise up and take our damn prospects.
Mike Minor - Rangers
Minor is having a career year in his second year with the Rangers. He’s pitched to a 3.00 ERA and made his first all-star game. The Rangers are currently 51-51 and 6.5 games back of a wild card spot, so they will almost definitely be dealing Minor to a contender. The only concern with Minor is his ability to stay on the field. While it was 3 seasons ago, Minor missed both the 2015 and 2016 seasons due to serious shoulder problems. If the Yankees believe him to 100% in the health department he could be a great acquisition.
Luis Castillo - Reds
This is a long shot because of how good and how young Castillo is. How good? 3rd in the MLB with a 2.36 ERA. How young? 26 years old. If I was in the Red’s position, a team would have to absolutely blow me away with a return package for me to even consider trading him. The Reds are possibly only a few years away from contention and trading someone as good as Castillo (in his prime) doesn’t make much sense unless the trade is completely in the Red’s favor.
Zack Wheeler - Mets
He’s got great stuff but isn’t having a year to remember. He’d be a great guy to have if the Yankees get 2 starters and he’s the 2nd. Why it’s unlikely: see the last sentence I wrote about Syndergaard.
Jon Gray - Rockies
This is a guy I haven’t seen anyone talk about, but I think would be a great addition and could be acquired for fairly cheap. Gray has a pedestrian 4.11 ERA, but he’s pitching in the biggest bandbox in Major League Baseball… Coors Field. Homers fly over the wall at Coors unlike any other ballpark and it makes you think how much better Gray would be in a park that doesn’t have the low air pressure affecting fly-balls.
Robbie Ray - Diamondbacks
If Ray is dealt to the Yanks it would be pretty ironic considering that he was in the 3-team trade that brought Didi Gregorius to the Yankees. That aside, he’s also a really good pitcher. He’s only 27 years old and has an ERA just below 4. His best year came in 2017 in which he pitched to a sub 3 ERA. The Yankees probably won't have to destroy their farm system to get him and he’s do-doubt a solid pitcher.
Max Scherzer - Nationals
A guy can dream, right? It would probably cost Gleyber Torres and to that I say, "I'll pass."