Eight days remain until the thirty major league teams can no longer make trades. And this year, it’s a hard deadline. The August waiver deals are no more; teams will need to commit to buying or selling now rather than kicking the can down the road.
So with the new rule in mind, let’s take a look at what teams the Yankees could partner with in the upcoming days. From the definite sellers to teams on the fence, the Yankees undoubtedly will be diligent surveying the market. Can’t imagine that Brian Cashman will get much sleep.
Miami Marlins: To no one’s surprise, Derek Jeter’s ballclub sits at the bottom of the National League. They’re still a long way from contention, so theoretically anyone on their roster could be available. The problem? It’s slim pickings.
Perhaps the most interesting piece would be ex-Yankee Caleb Smith, a southpaw who’s found his footing in Miami. Since last year, he’s made 30 starts for the Marlins and owns a 3.89 ERA with high strikeout totals. However, he gives up his fair share of homers (1.45 per nine) which could be a problem moving from Marlins Park to Yankee Stadium. At any rate, it sounds like the Marlins want to keep him.
A healthy Austin Brice would be an interesting bullpen target. He’s broken out this year (1.88 ERA) and has strong peripherals. Nick Anderson, a 29 year-old rookie reliever, has posted monster strikeout numbers.
Cincinnati Reds: The Reds have a positive run differential but have fallen out of contention recently. They’re nine games under .500 and 7 games out of the second Wild Card spot. Cincinnati is a talented club that probably will contend over the next couple years, so they’re probably looking for close to major league ready young talent to help them take the next step.
Expect the Reds to trade Tanner Roark, who’s been solid for them this year (3.97 ERA, 4.26 FIP). He’s not an impact arm, but could help the Yankees back of the rotation eat innings in order to keep the bullpen rested. The Yankees are probably aiming higher, but he’d be a decent fallback.
The dream acquisition would be Luis Castillo, but let’s not kid ourselves here. Sonny Gray has been incredibly effective for the Reds, and probably will draw a lot of interest from other clubs, but obviously the Yankees have been there and done that.
David Hernandez and Raisel Iglesias appear to be the Reds’ two most likely bullpen chips to go. Neither have had good results in terms of ERA, but both offer high strikeout totals. Iglesias has more upside and is under contract through 2021, so his prospect cost could be high even though he’s developed a home run problem over the last two years.
Now that Brett Gardner’s knee is barking and Giancarlo Stanton is far from returning, it wouldn’t be stunning to see some positional depth targeted. Although Derek Dietrich is more of an infielder, he has outfield experience and left-handed power that could fit.
New York Mets: The Amazin’s are nine games under .500 and are certain to deal guys like Todd Frazier and currently injured Zack Wheeler, though the Bombers would only have interest in the latter. That said, Wheeler’s shoulder impingement will make it a lot harder for him to be moved to any team, let alone a crosstown rival.
Noah Syndergaard‘s name has come up in rumors of late, particularly when Omar Minaya attended one of Deivi Garcia’s starts recently. Still, it’s pretty hard to envision the Mets dealing Thor. Perhaps the Mets would entertain offers for Edwin Díaz, who although has pitched better lately, has not been the guy he was in Seattle.
The Mets have plenty of interesting pieces, but consummating a deal with the Yankees just doesn’t seem likely.
Baltimore Orioles: Similar to the Marlins, Baltimore’s trade block is lacking. That’s no surprise for a team with a 31-67 record, of course. They’ve already started dealing; the O’s traded Andrew Cashner to Boston last week.
The only other starting pitcher that I’d be remotely interested in is John Means, but Baltimore has little reason to trade the rookie. Even if they were, I’m skeptical of his results to date. In relief, perhaps the Yankees could try to get Mychal Givens back on track. He lost his closer role after a horrific start to the season, but has pitched better since June. He won’t be a free agent until after the 2021 season, so he’d be a long-term relief option too.
Detroit Tigers: Dead last in the Central, the Tigers should be active at the deadline. The most bandied about name has been Matt Boyd, a lefty starter who Bobby profiled a few weeks ago. He’s had a breakout season and is under team control for three more years, though I’d be hesitant because of his high home run totals.
Embed from Getty Images
The other names most rumored are Shane Greene and Nick Castellanos. Greene, who the Yankees dealt in the Didi Gregorius trade, has been excellent in Detroit’s closer role this year. He can be retained for 2020, too. On the other hand, Castellanos is merely a rental option who can really hit but is lackluster in the outfield.
Kansas City Royals: The Royals aren’t much further ahead of Detroit. The Yankees already pulled off one deal with them; the acquisition of speedster Terrance Gore.
Matt profiled Ian Kennedy yesterday, who’s found success as a reliever. Coming back to the Yanks would bring his career full circle, too. Elsewhere in the Kansas City bullpen, hard-throwing southpaw Jake Diekman could be a fit. Starting pitching-wise, there’s really nothing enticing. Danny Duffy would have interested me a couple years ago, but this is now his second poor season in a row.
If the Yankees decide they need more outfield depth as we wait to hear more about Gardner, Alex Gordon could be a target (though he is a 10-and-5 guy). Aside from June, he’s been resurgent offensively and is well known for his defensive chops despite his age.
Toronto Blue Jays: We’re starting to see the Jays’ core reach the majors, and I must admit, it’s a little scary. They’re still a few years away and need pitching help badly, but they’re going to hit. But for now, they’re still in the latter stages of rebuilding.
One would think Marcus Stroman would be a part of Toronto’s future, but that seems unlikely. Bobby wrote Stroman up recently, and he seems to make a good deal of sense for the Yanks. As an added benefit, it sure sounds like Stroman would embrace being a Yankee.
Aside from Stroman, Ken Giles has come up in rumors quite a bit. He’s been fantastic this year and has made his down 2018 look like a blip on the radar. Giles will probably fetch one of the bigger trade packages over the next week. Moving down a rung in the bullpen; Daniel Hudson or David Phelps would be helpful middle relief options.