The New York Yankees starting pitching this year has not been good. Other than Gerrit Cole who is 4-1 with a 3.51 ERA, the rotation is a huge question mark. They are a collective 4-4 with a 5.29 ERA. James Paxton is hurt, J.A. Happ is ineffective and Masahiro Tanaka has yet to win a game. Also, the Yankees are currently 2.5 games back of the first place Tampa Bay Rays.
To say the least, the Yankees must get a serviceable starter if they hope to compete for a World Series title this year. Moves for pitchers are already being made as Taijuan Walker was recently traded to the Yankees division rival, the Toronto Blue Jays. Despite Walker being off the board, there are several arms the Yankees could target before the August 31st trade deadline. Here is a look at three potential starters who could be in Yankee pinstripes very soon.
Mike Clevinger‘s name has come up a lot recently, but not for the right reasons. The very talented pitcher broke COVID-19 protocol after a night out in Chicago. Not only did Clevinger break protocol, he lied about his actions causing a riff between him and his Cleveland Indians teammates. As a result, he and fellow starter Zach Plesac were placed in quarantine and then sent back to the Indians Alternate Site.
Clevinger made his first start since the incident Wednesday night against the Minnesota Twins tossing six innings, striking out six and allowing only two runs. There is no doubt as to Clevinger’s talent. In his five years in the league, he is 42-22 with a 3.20 ERA with 584 strikeouts in 523 1/3 innings pitched.
The problem now is that the relationship may be too strained to mend. The Indians are reportedly shopping Clevinger, who won’t be a free agent until 2023. With so many years of team control left, the Indians can attempt to get a big return for him in return if they have no intentions of resigning him.
Clevinger is definitely being talked about in trade scenarios. Indians are known to listen on everyone and some see winter trade as more likely. Price said to be “ridiculous.” But it should be. Talented (141 ERA plus), young (29) and not a free agent for multiple more years.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) August 28, 2020
Lance Lynn is having a resurgence this year. The veteran right-handed pitcher is currently 4-0 with a microscopic 1.59 ERA. Back in 2018, Lynn appeared in 11 games for the Yankees going 3-2 with a 4.14 ERA. A reunion is not out of the question right now.
The Texas Rangers are not going anywhere in the AL West, and they should at least entertain offers for Lynn. He is signed through next year but is 33 years old and has not been an ace by any means throughout his career in spite of his performance as a Ranger. It remains uncertain what it will take to acquire him or if the Rangers will trade him at all. Lynn is also signed through next season and is owed a modest $11.3 million in 2021.
Lynn has shown in the past that he is capable of pitching in the Bronx and could be just the man the Yankees need to slot into the rotation.
Duffy’s career numbers aren’t spectacular, he owns a 62-63 overall record. But, he could be just the pitcher the Yankees are looking for. His career ERA is 3.98 and he has 960 strikeouts to only 397 walks in 1,084 innings pitched. He is consistent having started at least 23 games each year since 2014. His contract runs through the 2021 season, so the Yankees will have an extra year of control should they decide to make a deal with the Royals.
Again, he is not an ace or number one starter, but Duffy could definitely stabilize a Yankees rotation in desperate need of a workhorse.
Any of these three pitchers would be an upgrade over the current back end starters the Yankees currently have. All are talented with multiple years of big league experience and will do well in pinstripes. Brian Cashman is known for his deadline moves and acquisitions. Should the Yankees be able to land any of these pitchers, Yankee fans would have reason to celebrate.
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