New York Yankees New/Rumors: The Yankees may now be active before the trade deadline?

New York Yankees, Gary Sanchez, Gerrit Cole, Aaron Boone

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.

As of now the pitching situation for the New York Yankees is not very good. Gerrit Cole is doing fine, but the rest of the pitching rotation has an ERA hovering around 6.  Now the Yankees may be short James Paxton who left yesterday’s game with forearm soreness. The bullpen has also had their problems.  Tommy Kahnle and Zack Britton are on the IL, putting much pressure on Adam Ottavino who hasn’t been making a name for himself of late.  Three of my trade targets the Yankees should seriously consider are pitchers.

Below are my five top targets the Yankees should at least look at if they want to challenge for a 28th World Championship.

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.

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. Stroman has opted out playing for the Mets this year.  He might be willing to play for the Yankees next.

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 right-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. With Gleyber Torres making so many errors at short, the Yankees might be wise to get an upgrade.

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 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.

The New York Yankees may also be looking to back up the backstop.  With Gary Sanchez so subject to injury, Chris Iannetta retiring and now Kyle Higashioka on the IL, that leaves them with only Erik Kratz.  Possibly an additional glove behind the plate might be wise.

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.  If the Yankees forego, Lindor and get Arenado, that could move Gio Urshela to short, where he has had experience. Now that the Yankees have fallen from first place in the East they may just be willing to make a trade or two.  It all depends on how much money they want to spend and what they are willing to give up for these elite players.