With a little over two weeks until Major League Baseball’s trade deadline, the New York Yankees search for another starting pitcher is beginning to ramp up.
For a team with the best record in the American League, the rotation is believed to be the weakest link of the powerhouse club with World Series aspirations.
But even with a comfortable lead in the AL East, one more solid starting arm would do wonders for an organization that has experienced its fair share of struggles and let-downs on the hill.
They’ve been without ace Luis Severino all season and he may not be back until September at the earliest. Their big offseason acquisition in James Paxton has been hit with injury issues and inconsistencies which has made his status as a top-end starter shaky at times.
JA Happ just got his ERA under 5.00 by limiting the Toronto Blue Jays to two runs in 5.1 innings of work on Saturday while CC Sabathia has only pitched beyond the sixth inning once in his first 14 starts this year.
That’s not exactly the best support system for All-Star Masahiro Tanaka and the surprising Domingo German.
Hence the team’s desire to add another arm this month.
The rival Boston Red Sox got a head start on the Yankees on Sunday, acquiring Andrew Cashner from the Baltimore Orioles. The 32-year-old righty managed to accrue a 9-3 record and 3.83 ERA on an Orioles team that is projected to lose over 100 games this season.
The Yankees most recent activity has been centered around a pair of local arms that are expected to be trade chips for their respective clubs.
New York Mets starter Noah Syndergaard’s latest start on Saturday against the Miami Marlins was watched by Yankees scouts, per Kevin Kernan of the New York Post.
It was one of Syndergaard’s better starts over the past two months as he allowed two runs in seven innings of work while striking out nine.
Syndergaard was linked heavily with the Yankees last year, including a proposed three-team deal that would have sent him to the Bronx while the Mets came away with then-Marlins catcher JT Realmuto.
The Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, and San Diego Padres are also believed to be heavily involved in the Syndergaard sweepstakes. However, Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen “expects” both Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom to remain with the team.
If that’s the case, the Yankees could make Blue Jays ace Marcus Stroman their top priority this summer. The Long Island native is piecing together one of his finer seasons in the majors, posting a 3.25 ERA with 88 strikeouts in 110.2 innings of work.
Those are solid numbers on a hapless Blue Jays team that has played a large part in his less-than-impressive 5-10 record.
The Yankees got a close look at Stroman on Sunday when he went six strong innings, allowing three runs on seven hits while striking out seven. It was the 16th time in 19 starts this year in which he’s held the opposition to three runs or fewer.
The projected prices for either Syndergaard or Stroman would be higher compared to some other available arms around the league. Stroman is under team control through next season while Syndergaard is secured through 2021. Both players, however, will have to go through arbitration prior to each of those seasons.