The New York Yankees interest in top-tier pitchers was expected this offseason after the starting rotation played a large part in ending their season in the ALDS.
On Tuesday, the ball started rolling as Jon Heyman of Fancred reported that the Yankees are interested in Carlos Carrasco and ace Corey Kluber of the Cleveland Indians along with James Paxton of the Seattle Mariners.
Paxton has developed into a reliable starter over the past two years. After posting an 18-15 record over his first four seasons in the majors, the Canadian is a combined 23-11. That included a 2017 season in which he posted a stellar 2.98 ERA.
The Indians are in the midst of what is believed to be a firesale of sorts despite making the postseason in each of the past three seasons. However, a World Series appearance in 2016 has been followed by two exits in the ALDS as the franchise waits for its first title since 1948.
Kluber is one of the biggest pieces the Indians are putting up for sale as he is signed through 2019 with club options in 2020 and 2021.
The 32-year-old has been one of the most dominant pitchers in the American League, finishing in the top three in Cy Young voting in three of the past four years, including winning the award in 2014 and 2017. On Monday, Kluber was named a finalist once again alongside Blake Snell and Justin Verlander after going 20-7 with a 2.89 ERA and 222 strikeouts.
Over the past five years, he has averaged a 17-9 record with a 2.85 ERA and 246 strikeouts, numbers that would give the Yankees rotation a true ace after Luis Severino failed to assume that role in 2018.
His teammate Carrasco has been an unsung hero of the Indians rotation at times. Over the past three years, he’s sported a 3.33 ERA while winning a combined 46 games.
The Yankees met with the Indians on Tuesday, per Heyman.