Analysis

Why The Yankees Should Trade for Mike Clevinger

With the trade deadline approaching and the Yankees in need of a starter, could the Yankees go after Mike Clevinger given his low value?

The weird 2020 trade deadline is approaching and while most teams probably won’t make any deals, especially with COVID-19. The door is always open and Brian Cashman has shown that he is always watching the trade market. Recently, The Indians had two of their players, Mike Clevinger and Zach Plesac, break protocol and have pissed off the entire team in the process.

Both players were optioned to the alternate site as players threatened to opt-out if they came back. With the Indians obviously annoyed with those two players, and their value down, now would be a perfect time to attempt to trade for Mike Clevinger.

His value right now is at an all-time low, no one wants a player who defended his teammate breaking protocol. The Yankees have traded for a great player when their value was extremely low once before. On December 28, 2015, The Yankees traded four prospects for Aroldis Chapman, who at the time was under investigation for domestic violence.  Those prospects never turned into anything special and Chapman would later be traded to the Cubs for Gleyber Torres.

The Yankees could use Clevinger as the back end of the rotation has been a bit rocky this year. James Paxton is trying to figure it out and J.A. Happ just sucks. So the Yankees could use another starter, especially one with a few more years of control.

Since 2018, Clevinger has been one of Cleveland’s best starters and often goes under the radar. In 2018, Clevinger went 13-8 with a 3.02 ERA and struck out 207 batters in 200 innings. He followed that year up with an even better one in 2019. He went 13-4 with a 2.71 ERA and struck out 169 batters in 126 innings. Before being sent down this year, Clevinger was 1-1 with a 3.24 ERA.

Clevinger is a high strikeout guy that also keeps the ball in the park. Since 2018, he has never posted a HR/9 over 1. Clevinger has also worked with Matt Blake as he came up through the Indians system when he was a prospect, so it would be another perfect match.

With the current issues surrounding Clevinger, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Indians traded him for a lower value than expected. The Yankees could offer a strong package of Miguel Andújar, Estevan Florial, and Deivi Garcia. Now is the perfect time to pounce on a deal like this and secure a controllable starter that has shown that he can do it at the Major League level.

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