NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Yankees are looking everywhere for a starting pitcher.
Just how much they are willing to pay for one, however, remains to be seen.
According to Jon Heyman of FanRagSports.com, the playoff-hopeful Bombers recently touched base with the Texas Rangers and Atlanta Braves about veterans Yu Darvish and Jaime Garcia, respectively.
Last week it was reported by multiple outlets that the Yankees have been talking to the Oakland Athletics about the possibility of acquiring right-hander Sonny Gray before the July 31 trade deadline.
If the season ended today, the Yankees (51-46) would be in the playoffs by virtue of owning the AL’s first wild card. New York trails East Division-leading Boston by 2 1/2 games.
Either of Darvish, Garcia or Gray would be an upgrade over the Yankees’ current No. 5 starter, which has been filled by spare parts and prospects since everyone else was bumped up in the wake of veteran Michael Pineda going down for the season with an elbow ligament tear earlier this month.
At this point, it appears the asking prices for pitching help are still high around the league, though that could change over the next week. The Yankees have reportedly been unwilling to part with many of their top prospects, including outfielder Clint Frazier, infielder Gleyber Torres, and pitcher Justus Sheffield, Heyman reported, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a deal still can’t get done. The Yankees have one of the deepest farm systems in baseball and just last week it was reported Oakland was scouting New York’s Double-A affiliate at Trenton.
If Texas decides to be a seller, Heyman reported it would likely want a top prospect for Darvish, who will be a free agent at season’s end. The Japanese right-hander is only 6-8 this season, but has a more-than-respetcable 3.44 ERA. Since joining the Rangers in 2012, Darvish is 52-38 with a 3.32 ERA in 121 starts.
Garcia would be considered a second-tier option behind Gray and Darvish. The veteran left-hander was almost traded to the Minnesota Twins last week, but the deal fell apart. Garcia is 4-7 with a 4.30 ERA, but has won his last two starts, including tossing seven strong innings in a 12-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday.
Adding pitching has been the rebuilding Yankees’ plan ever since general manager Brian Cashman declared that he’d be willing to go for it on the trade front. Last week he added a pair of power arms to the bullpen, acquiring David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle from the Chicago White Sox.
In that deal, which also brought veteran infielder Todd Frazier to New York, the Yankees parted with former first-round pick Blake Rutherford, an outfielder said to be a few years away from making an impact in the majors.
The Yankees are off Monday following a 6-5 road trip that ended with a 6-4 win in Seattle on Sunday. They will welcome the Cincinnati Reds to the Bronx on Tuesday.