NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — With their options seemingly drying up as they look to bolster their starting rotation for a run through October, the Yankees may be turning their attention west.
Well, in reality they may be looking no further than the opposing locker room over the next day and a half, because their latest reported trade target just happens to be in town.
According to multiple reports, New York has shown some interest in Arizona left-hander Robbie Ray. The Yankees and Diamondbacks play Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon. Ray is not scheduled to pitch in the series.
The MLB trade deadline is on Wednesday at 4 p.m.
Keep hearing Clint Frazier to Arizona for Ray or Bradley, or multi players_not Garcia-for both
— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) July 30, 2019
Ray fits what the Yankees have coveted for some time, as he’s a relatively young power pitcher who is under team control for one more reason. The 27-year-old southpaw currently sits second in the NL with 173 strikeouts, in 129 innings. Overall, Ray is 9-7 with a 3.91 ERA in 23 games and starts, but has been at his best in July, going 4-1 with a 3.26 ERA in five starts. He took the loss in his last outing, allowing two earned runs over six innings in a 5-1 defeat to Miami on Sunday.
Ray does have some drawbacks, however. He has already allowed 23 home runs and has issued 58 walks this season, second in the NL in both categories. It’s important to note, however, that Ray has walked just four over his last 24 1/3 innings, spanning four starts.
The Yankees (67-38) lead the AL East by 8 1/2 games, but have been searching high and low for starting pitching help because their rotation — made up primarily of Masahiro Tanaka, Domingo German, James Paxton, J.A. Happ and CC Sabathia — has posted a gaudy 4.77 ERA this season, 19th overall in MLB.
Happ is scheduled to start Tuesday’s series opener against Arizona and Sabathia was placed on the 10-day IL earlier this week due to right knee inflammation, which has been an ongoing issue for the 39-year-old left-hander, who will retire at season’s end.
New York has been linked at one point or another to seemingly every starting pitcher that has been on the market, including San Francisco’s Madison Bumgarner and Cleveland’s Trevor Bauer. However, the Giants and Indians, respectively, have been on tears of late and reportedly have taken their aces off the trading block.
The Yankees reportedly held an organizational meeting on Monday to discuss the plan for the trade deadline. Due to the lack of available options, general manager Brian Cashman has at least considered eschewing pursuit of a starter, focusing instead on adding another reliever to what is already a stellar — yet somewhat overtaxed — bullpen.