Yankees Trade Targets
It’s that time of the year to think about the New York Yankees potential trade targets. The Yankees are almost always buyers, and this year is no different. With a 64-35 record and a nine-game lead over the second-place Tampa Bay Rays, the Yankees seem once again to make another World Series run. That is barring a collapse which is unlikely with all the talent on the Yankees roster.
The Yankees greatest need is at starting pitching. Ace pitcher Luis Severino is still rehabbing a lat injury. The question needs to be asked if we will ever see Severino pitch this year. His return date has been pushed back several times already. Also missing in action is talented but, at times, maligned Dellin Betances. Betances is a major piece of the great Yankee bullpen. If both pitchers were healthy it is at least questionable if the Yankees would need to add any pitching.
As of today there 19 teams either in a playoff spot or within five games of a playoff spot. That is more than half the league. This creates a problem with not many players available and a lot of competition to trade for those players who are.
Madison Bumgarner and Will Smith
Madison Bumgarner is a pitcher every team would love to have for the stretch run. After all, Bumgarner has a great postseason history, including three world championships with the San Francisco Giants. But Bumgarner is a free agent at the end of the season and has a no-trade clause with the Yankees. Bumgarner could waive the no-trade clause if he was signed long-term by the Yankees. This would require the Yankees trading more players to get the star pitcher.
It is also possible the Giants would like to include a reliever like Mark Melancon to shed some salary. However, the reliever the Yankees would want is Will Smith. Smith is also a free agent at the end of the season. The Giants would ultimately rather trade both their chips in separate deals to maximize their return. The Giants have caught fire and are now two games out of a wildcard spot. This could change the Giants from a seller to a buyer.
Few see MadBum going anywhere now. Things can change in a hurry but this is typical from rival exec: “No way Giants can sell, they’re on fire.”
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 23, 2019
Marcus Stroman and Ken Giles
The name Marcus Stroman just does not go away when talking about potential acquisitions for the Yankees. The right-handed pitcher from the Toronto Blue Jays is in the middle of his best season in his young career. Stroman has bounced back from an injury-riddled 2018 season to pitch the best baseball of his young career. He is 28 years old and still under contract, so he would not be a rental. Despite playing in the same division, the Yankees and Blue Jays are no strangers to making trades. The Yankees acquired current starting pitcher J.A. Happ from the Blue Jays last season, and they were scouting Stroman’s last start against the Detroit Tigers.
Blue Jays closer Ken Giles is also on the block. Giles is a dependable bullpen arm who would not be used in high-pressure situations should the Yankees trade for him. The Blue Jays could try to pair up Stroman with Giles to get a bigger return from the Yankees.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 19, 2019
Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler
Then there is Noah Syndergaard from the crosstown New York Mets. Syndergaard possesses tremendous stuff and a rocket for an arm, but these teams just never make trades with each other. Syndergaard is young and under contract through the 2021 season and is just the type of pitcher the Yankees want if they are giving up any of the jewels of their farm system. The Mets have said he is not on the block, but if the Yankees overpay for him, the ice might enough for these teams to make a trade with each other.
Syndergaard’s teammate Zack Wheeler is also available. Wheeler will be a free agent at the end of the season. His impressive second half of the 2018 season got him on the minds of opposing teams. However, Wheeler is currently on the injured list with shoulder fatigue which makes it unlikely the Yankees make a trade for him. Wheeler will make one start before the trading deadline so all of baseball can see if he is healthy. The thought of the Mets getting a useful player from the Yankees for a pitcher with a tired shoulder might be enough to end trade discussions.
— SNY (@SNYtv) July 23, 2019
Texas Rangers pitcher Mike Minor has been linked with the Yankees in recent weeks. The Rangers are in the midst of an eight-game losing streak that could change them from buyers to sellers. However, Minor has a no-trade clause with the Yankees, and there is no word if he would be willing to waive it in a trade.
Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Matthew Boyd has been on the block for some time now. The Tigers are loaded with young starting pitching in their farm system, making Boyd expendable. The early asking price for Boyd has been high. Boyd is still 28 years old and has been a solid pitcher the last two-plus seasons on a bad Tigers team.
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Robbie Ray is another pitcher who is heavily linked to the Yankees. The six-year veteran’s career has been average. Ray is just 27 years old and is signed through the 2020 season. The Diamondbacks are in the thick of the wild card race, and it is not known if they would sell him off.
Ian Kennedy spent the first twelve seasons of his career as a starting pitcher. In 2019, at age 34, Kennedy has become the closer for the Kansas City Royals — and a pretty efficient one in that. With the Royals in full sell mode, Kennedy is a player who seemingly won’t command anything more than a low-level prospect. He could be a good fit in the Yankee bullpen. Kennedy would allow the Yankees to rest the likes of Aroldis Chapman, Zack Britton, and Adam Ottavino. Ironically, Kennedy was drafted by the Yankees in the 2006 draft.
Yankee Trading Chips
Out of the players, the one name sure to be mentioned the most is Clint Frazier. Frazier is currently playing in Triple-A but has shown the ability to hit at the major league level. Teams usually ask for major-league-ready players, and Frazier is just that despite his defensive issues.
Perhaps the crown jewel of the Yankees minor league system is 20-year-old single-A starting pitcher Deivi Garcia. He already possesses the best pure stuff in the Yankees system. Other notables include Single-A pitcher Luis Gil, Double-A pitcher Albert Abreu, Triple-A pitcher Chance Adams, and Single-A outfielder Estevan Florial.
— SNY (@SNYtv) July 23, 2019
History tells us the Yankees will make a move. They always do. So it is a safe bet the Yankees will add a couple of arms before the trading deadline passes. Who that pitcher might be is still a mystery.
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