The New York Yankees, gearing up for a crucial off-season, are in a position to use their trade assets to enhance their batting order. If general manager Brian Cashman keeps his job, which is likely, the main task will be amplifying the offensive support around Aaron Judge. Notably, the Yankees’ batting lineup had moments of struggle in 2023, especially during high-pressure situations.
While several areas need improvement, a key focus should be on acquiring consistent hitters and possibly another starting pitcher. If a hefty budget isn’t available this winter, Cashman might turn to the trade market as a strategy for a team revamp.
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Two pitchers the Yankees could trade:
Michael King: Too Much Potential to Trade
First up, Michael King. While many would argue that the Yankees shouldn’t even think about trading King, he makes the list because of his immense value.
At the age of 28, King won’t be a free agent until 2026. Since shifting from the bullpen, he’s been an exemplary starting pitcher. His stats this season are impressive: a 2.50 ERA, 2.76 FIP over 100.2 innings, 11.26 strikeouts per nine innings, and a standout 1.14 ERA since joining the rotation.
For a high-impact trade, King might be the piece the Yankees could consider parting with. For instance, a potential trade discussion with the San Diego Padres involving Juan Soto, due for free agency soon, is tantalizing. While the ideal scenario involves the Yankees using other prospects and retaining King, other teams might be tempted by King’s value.
In an ideal world, Cashman would hold onto King. He’s already demonstrated bullpen proficiency, but his starting capabilities are truly noteworthy.
Clarke Schmidt: A Potential Trade Asset
Clarke Schmidt is another potential trade contender for the Yankees. Aged 27, Schmidt’s free agent status isn’t until 2028. This season, as a full-time starter, he’s pitched 155 innings, recorded a 4.65 ERA, 4.41 FIP, and averaged 8.48 strikeouts per nine innings.
Schmidt, despite being a competent pitcher, has seen fluctuations in his performances, which can be attributed to his nascent starting pitcher experience. His prime came in June, with a 3.04 ERA over 26.2 innings, conceding only nine earned runs. However, a recent dip has been observed, evident from his 5.23 ERA in September.
The Yankees see potential in Schmidt and anticipate his growth in the coming off-season. Currently, he’s more suited as a rotation ender. Yet, another team might view him as a pivotal asset. This perception could prove advantageous if the Yankees intend to pursue someone like Yoshinobu Yamamoto in the free-agent market.