The Yankees have played solid baseball so far this year, but they need another starting pitcher in the worst way and there are a few places where they could look.
Through 11 starts this season, Luis Severino has solidified himself as the Yankees Ace. He holds a 7-1 record, a 2.28 ERA and has fanned 81 batters across 71 innings. That’s the positive.
However, there are too many negatives in the Yankees rotation. Their next best starting pitcher has been the soon to be 38 years old, CC Sabathia. Carsten Charles is sporting a 3.55 ERA through nine starts. While that may sound good, he has failed to make it into the fifth inning in five of those starts. That’s not what you want from your “next best” starting pitcher.
Let’s face it, CC Sabathia should not be the Yankees second best pitcher in 2018. That task needs to belong to Masahiro Tanaka or Sonny Gray, but right now that has been a task that neither has lived up to. Tanaka entered Sunday’s start with a 4.95 ERA and has only made it past the fifth inning in four of his 10 starts. Sonny Gray on the other hand now has an ERA of 5.98 after his less than stellar start on Saturday night in the Bronx.
It is obvious that the Yankees need to acquire a starting pitcher. Brian Cashman can not let this prolific offense go to waste. He has built a team and farm system that puts him in the driver’s seat come the trade deadline. The Yankees have the assets to offer, but the real question is, what pitchers will be available?
Let’s take a look.
Chris Archer (TB) – The 29-year-old is under contract through the 2021 season. He is set to make a club friendly 8.25 Million in each of the next three seasons with the Rays. While his performance has slightly diminished since 2015, he could be of great value to the Yankees rotation. The Rays dismantled their team in the offseason but yet are only two games under .500. While the Rays position in the standings can change come the deadline, it currently is one of the main reasons that Archer is still in a Rays uniform.
Michael Fulmer (DET) – The 2016 AL Rookie of the year still finds himself at the forefront of the rumor mill. While his performance over his last season and a half since winning the ROY has dipped, he is just 25 years old and has three years of team control remaining. That is an attractive trade piece, but it will come at a high cost.
Cole Hamels (TEX) – A veteran arm who has finished 9 out of 12 seasons with a sub 3.70 ERA. He is currently having another Cole Hamel’s type season but has the Yankees on his no-trade list. However, with the Rangers currently buried in the AL West, that could change. He has a 20M team option for 2019.
Madison Bumgarner (SF) – This would be the “all in” move. Set to return in mid-June from a fractured left pinky finger, he has the postseason pedigree the Yankees need in their rotation. Should the Giants want to expedite their rebuilding process, Bumgarner will be the piece to move. Otherwise, they risk losing him and getting nothing in return should he test the free agent market in the offseason. The perfect rental situation here.
Danny Duffy (KC) – While he is currently struggling, Duffy has the track record which warrants a phone call. He has a favorable contract and is signed through 2021. Like Fulmer, this could also be a long-term play.
Will the Yankees package a set of prospects for any of the above names? If so, what do those packages look like? We will discuss that as we get closer to the July 31st trade deadline. Stay Tuned.