New York Yankees: 5 targets the Yankees should look at before the trade deadline

New York Yankees, Mike Clevinger

In this shortened season the New York Yankees and the other 29 MLB teams likely will not see the normal amount of action by the trade deadline, that has been moved forward to August 31st.  The lack of blockbuster trades will be caused by a lack of money available to make those trades, due to the money that will be lost in this short season.

If there is much action, the New York Yankees will likely be involved.  After the mega purchase of the best available pitcher on the market in the offseason, the Yankees signed Gerrit Cole to a nine-year $324 million contract.  General Manager Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner have gotten the message that it’s pitching stupid. Three of my trade targets the Yankees should seriously consider are pitchers.

1. Mike Clevinger

The Cleveland Indian Mike Clevinger a right-handed pitcher, could be a New York Yankee target. He is a premier starting pitcher that could have an impact on the Yankee rotation in a season that will see Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, Adam Warren, and most likely J.A. Happ reach free agency.

Clevinger’s last season was 13-4 in 21 starts for the Indians, with an ERA of 2.71. He had 169 strikeouts and a whip of 1.056.  Clevinger from Jacksonville, Florida is 29 just like Gerrit Cole. Clevinger has four pitches that he uses regularly.  A curveball, a slider, a changeup, and a top of the league 99 mph fastball.

2. Marcus Stroman

Last year during the trade season I constantly praised Marcus Stroman, not as top of the line pitcher, but as a mid-rotation dependable pitcher that would be a good fit for the New York Yankees. When the Yankees considered him, he was a Toronto Blue Jay.  A trade was made and he ended up with the Mets, certainly not his first choice.

Stroman has not kept it a secret that he would love to pitch for the Yankees. He is the type of pitcher that would eat up the spotlight of Yankee Stadium. The right-hander has already said in a Zoom call recently that he expects to dominate this season.  In Sunday’s three-inning intrasquad outing he walked the first three batters he faced, but the Long Island native didn’t allow a run, retired seven of the last eight batters, and struck out three while throwing 47 pitches. Stroman is known for coming on strong after a slow start. A trade for Stroman also could be the most cost-effective trade the Yankees could make.

3. Kirby Yates

The New York Yankees already have one of the best bullpens in baseball, but there would be nothing wrong with making it even better.  The easiest way to do that is the add Kirby Yates who would be the perfect fit for the Yankees. Yates will reach free agency after this season.

Yates has been one of the best relievers in the game for the past two years and earned his first All-Star nod in 2019. He pitched to a 1.19 ERA, led the NL in saves with 41, and struck out 101 batters in just 60.2 innings. The San Diego Padres are going nowhere in the next few seasons and just may be willing to trade the rigth-hander.

4. Francisco Lindor

During the last trade season the Yankees went after Francisco Lindor, often called the best shortstop in baseball.  Although the trade offer that was made never became public, the Yankees or other suiters could not make a deal. Lindor reaches free agency after the 2021 season. It has been rumored that Indians manager Terry Francona has ordered a trade of Lindor.

Last season Lindor hit .284 with 32 homers. The 26-year-old has a bright future in baseball.  In just five years he has been an All-Star four times, a Silver Slugger twice, and has won the Gold Glove Award at short twice. The downside to this trade is it will be costly for the Yankees.  How Miguel Torres performs early on in the season, may cause the Yankees to go after him again. The Yankees also would like to see his left-hand bat in a lineup that doesn’t take advantage of the short right-field porch.

5. Nolan Arenado

The New York Yankees have always liked trading with the Colorado Rockies.  The Yankees have looked at Nolan Arenado before.  Although the Yankees don’t need a third baseman, they certainly would like his bat in the lineup that saw him achieve 41 home runs and a .315 batting average, last season for the Rockies.

Should the Yankees go after Arenado they will be getting a 29-year old that has been an All-Star five times, a  Gold Glover seven times, and a Platinum Glover for the last three seasons. He also achieved Silver Slugger status four times.  Arenado is at the top of his career.

Image, if you will, Gerrit Cole leading off the rotation followed by Mike Clevinger, a bullpen that includes Kirby Yates, Francisco Lindor at short, and Nolan Arenado at third base with his 41 home runs.  One can dream, but much will depend on how the Yankees present players will do before the deadline.  How much money the New York Yankees want to spend, and who they might be willing to give up for these elite players.