MLB Trade Rumors: New York Yankees and available starters

The Yankees made a splash by trading for Zach Britton. Now they need to add an arm to a weak rotation.

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(Photo Credit: Keith Allison)

The Yankees have strengthened their bullpen, which strengthens their rotation. No longer do starters like Sonny Gray have to struggle to reach five innings; now, at the first sign of trouble, manager Aaron Boone can dip into the best bullpen in the game to take the burden off his rotation.

Zach Britton will join Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, Chad Green, and David Robertson at the conclusion of the Tampa Bay Rays series, before their matchup with the Kansas City Royals. But to think the Yankees are done making moves would be a mistake; the rotation is still a glaring weakness, and the Yankees still have the assets to make a move.

Potential targets

JA Happ of the Toronto Blue Jays continues to be linked with the Yankees. The Britton trade has now broken the stigma associated with teams agreeing to trades with division rivals. The Orioles are years away from contention, and it seems as if the Toronto Blue Jays will head that same route.

It’s been announced by the Blue Jays that the plan is for them to keep Marcus Stroman, making Happ their most valuable trade piece considering he’s a veteran southpaw who has done well in the AL East. Considering the pitching market is thin—and for however long the Mets refuse to shop either Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard—and lacks a premier arm, the Yankees will look to add a depth piece to their rotation, where Happ could slide in perfectly as a number four.

The same can be said for Chris Archer and Cole Hamels. The prevailing theme in these pitchers is the high risk, high reward. Archer, for years now, has always been regarded as the ace of the Rays’ staff, but his ERA hasn’t been under four since 2015. 

For Hamels, his advanced age and even more advanced salary will complicate any deal between Texas and New York. Yes, he has the playoff experience several options lack, but the Yankees are already crossing their fingers with an aged veteran in CC Sabathia. They might get away with one, but it’s highly doubtful they could with two.

Not available

Let’s squash the Madison Bumgarner/Jacob deGrom rumors. 

The Giants are still in the playoff hunt; heading into Wednesday’s matchup against the Seattle Mariners trailing the first place Los Angeles Dodgers by 4.5 games. If they want to make up ground, they will rely on one of the best postseason pitchers of all time to help chip away at the Dodgers’ division lead. If they were 15.5 games out, like San Diego, then things might be different.

As for deGrom and the Mets? The likelihood of the Mets trading one of the other best pitchers in the game to their crosstown rival is…well, improbable. You probably have better luck getting struck by lightning twice. Unless the Yankees make a ridiculous offer the Mets won’t be able to refuse, but that is very out of character for Brian Cashman. 

Final Thoughts

The Yankees still lack rotation depth and will need to make a move in the final week before the July 31st trade deadline. With the Red Sox acquiring Nathan Eovaldi from the Tampa Bay Rays, the market grows even thinner.

But the Yankees are known for making big surprises. There could be a deal in the making that no one has thought of; Cashman and Co. always do their due diligence regarding improving the club. There very well may be a name out there that hasn’t been considered.

But as of now, the Yankees next move needs to be one more starting pitcher. Just who that starting pitcher will be remains to be seen. 

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