The Indians are clearly upset with starting pitchers Mike Clevinger and Zach Plesac, but should the Yankees trade for one?
As for the Yankees, they are in a similar situation. Gerrit Cole is the ace of the staff and Masahiro Tanaka is a solid number two starter during the postseason. James Paxton is beginning to come around and Jordan Montgomery has shown that he has the potential to be a permanent rotation pitcher.
Here’s the catch. Paxton has shown good signs of improvement, but he needs to keep it up going into the postseason. One or two bad starts over the remainder of the season are fine, as long as he can find his groove.
Montgomery has never pitched in a postseason game, therefore has not felt the full pressure. There is no telling how well he might work out, but he is showing signs of improvement from missing nearly two full seasons of baseball.
There is no question that the Yankees have four starting pitchers that are capable of leading the team to a World Series championship. So why would they enter the “sweepstakes” for one of two pitchers who broke COVID-19 protocols?
The values of both of these starting pitchers dramatically dropped, but it does not mean that they will come cheap either. A trade would most likely take a Major League-ready player along with two Top 15 prospects, especially for Plesac who has a longer contract. The Indians will not just trade these players for cash or a PTBNL.
Another valid point to mention is that neither player has been formally put on the trade block. Both players have caused turmoil in the Indians’ locker room, especially with Oliver Perez. Perez threatened to quit the team because of the behavior of these two players.
There may not be much of a trade deadline this season due to the shortened schedule, along with an expanded playoff format. A select few pitchers may be traded, but none of them seem to be noteworthy to go all-in for.
If the Yankees can somehow manage to get a starting pitcher for the right price, go for it. But Brian Cashman should not be too focused on acquiring starters when he can use what he already has.