Report: Yankees eyeing Pirates star relief arm after Michael King injury leaves hole

David Bednar, yankees

The New York Yankees are looking to upgrade the team significantly at the trade deadline, but it ultimately boils down to how many prospects general manager Brian Cashman is willing to sell on.

Considering the team refuses to utilize Estevan Florial and have kept Oswald Peraza at Scranton despite a dominant past few weeks, there is reason to believe management could be preserving their value. The very moment a player is pulled up to Major League Baseball, the optimism regarding their game dissipates if they struggle.

However, with the season-ending injury to Michael King, there’s a massive hole in the bullpen. There are plenty of options on the market that Cashman could acquire, but some would cost more than others.

According to Jim Bowden of The Athletic, the Yankees have inquired about David Bednar of the Pittsburgh Pirates:

They are also in the market for pitching, scouring the available starters and relievers, including Castillo of the Reds and Bednar of the Pirates. Go big or go home is what it feels like right now in the Bronx.

What would David Bednar bring to the New York Yankees?

Bednar is having a fantastic 2022 season at 27 years old. He hosts a 2.96 ERA over 45.2 innings, featuring 12.02 strikeouts per nine, a 72.7% left on base rate, and a 32.4% ground ball rate. While the Pittsburgh Pirate isn’t known for his ground ball percentages, he’s a high strikeout pitcher that utilizes a 4-seam fastball, curveball, and split-finger fastball.

Bednar’s 4-seam fastball is generating a 32.6% WHIFF rate. However, his curveball is by far his best pitch, throwing it 28.5% of the time. Opposing batters are hitting just .171 against it with a 40% WHIFF rate and 31% put-away rate.

Considering Bednar has five years left of service time before becoming a free agent in 2027, he would not be an easy target to acquire. Cashman would have to unload several quality prospects in exchange for the star bullpen arm, who posted a 2.23 ERA over 60 innings last year.

The Yankees may have a better way to utilize their prospects, especially since they could use an elite starting pitcher to help them during the postseason. The top option on the market is Luis Castillo of the Cincinnati Reds, so if Cashman’s going to incorporate Oswald Peraza or another premium prospect, he may want to prioritize Castillo before anyone else.

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