NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Teams with starters they claim are available are holding the pitching-needy Yankees hostage.
But rather than cave to outlandish demands, general manager Brian Cashman appears to be considering a different route to improve his first-place team by Wednesday’s trade deadline like adding even more relievers.
The Yankees bullpen is stacked on paper, but has been overworked in recent weeks due to the starters’ problems getting deep into games. Even Domingo German, he of the 13-2 record and respectable 4.08 ERA, only pitched 5 1/3 innings in Sunday night’s 9-6 win in Boston, which prevented the rival Red Sox from pulling off a four-game sweep and making the Yanks’ sizable advantage atop the AL East one game less comfortable.
According to the Daily News, the Yankees were to bring in many of their top evaluators on Monday, an off day for the club, to discuss what the plan of attack will be leading up to Wednesday’s 4 p.m. deadline. New York’s starting pitchers currently have a 4.77 ERA, which is seventh in the AL and 19th overall.
After deciding to pass on left-hander Dallas Keuchel while he was a free agent and watching obvious fit Marcus Stroman get traded by Toronto to the Mets, the Yankees’ options to upgrade their rotation are not as evident as they were earlier this summer.
Complicating matters is the fact that two pitchers that would slot in nicely — San Francisco’s Madison Bumgarner and Cleveland’s Trevor Bauer — may not be available, despite numerous reports of late suggesting they could be had. Both the Giants and Indians, respectively, have made power moves in the standings in recent weeks and now may view themselves as playoff contenders, so they’re not about to deal away their aces.
Other arms thought to be available include Texas’ Mike Minor, Detroit’s Matthew Boyd and Cincinnati’s Luis Castillo, but each team is reportedly holding out for major pieces from the Yankees, most notably infielder Gleyber Torres and/or presumptive top pitching prospect Deivi Garcia, assets Cashman reportedly won’t relinquish.
Teams, trying to take advantage of Yankees’ SP need, have asked for Gleyber Torres. Not shockingly, he seems to be off limits. NYY sees possible trade chips as Garcia (but probably only for Noah), Frazier, Andujar plus others at lower levels.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 29, 2019
However, it is believed Cashman would listen to the Mets on the Garcia front if they are indeed willing to trade Noah Syndergaard, who is under two more years of team control and fits the Yankees’ power pitcher mold. That said, the city rivals rarely do business together for obvious reasons, so even a deal for pending free agent Zack Wheeler seems like a long shot.
So it’s possible Cashman will try to shorten games even more by adding more top relievers. The Daily News reported the Yankees scouted Wheeler at Citi Field on Friday and then stayed over the weekend to observe Mets relievers Edwin Diaz and Seth Lugo and Pittsburgh’s Felipe Vazquez.
According to MLB.com’s Jon Morosi, the Yankees also have interest in Detroit closer Shane Greene, who has 22 saves and a 1.22 ERA this season, and TSN had reported earlier the Bombers’ interest in Ken Giles.
Then there’s the possibility that the Yankees get some of their own injured players back in time to make late-season contributions. Starter Luis Severino and stud reliever Dellin Betances have missed the entire season due to injuries, but recently started throwing again.