This off-season, the New York Yankees have been heavily connected to the Oakland Athletics regarding potential trades, but the most recent rumors have circulated around the starting pitching position.
General manager Brian Cashman hasn’t done enough to bolster the starting rotation this off-season, missing on all the big free agent signings and failing to execute a trade to improve the unit.
Relying on Luis Severino could end up biting Cashman in the butt, considering he’s already dealt with soreness this spring and has pitched just 18 innings over the last three years. Depending on him to be the number two option is optimistic, but the Yankees still have a few pieces they can consider trading.
Andy Martino of SNY reported that Oakland is active in conversing with teams regarding starting pitcher Sean Manaea, who has one year left of service time before being eligible for a free agency.
Oakland in active conversation regarding SP Sean Manaea again, per a rival executive.
— Andy Martino (@martinonyc) April 3, 2022
At 30 years old, Manaea offers solid left-handed pitching, something the Yankees could use. Last year, Manaea pitched nearly 180 innings, picking up 11 wins, a 3.91 ERA, and 9.74 strikeouts per 9. His 3.68 SIERA and 3.62 xFIP were impressive.
Acquiring Manaea would immediately give Garrett Cole support in the number two slot. The current Oakland Athletic isn’t known for his velocity, averaging just 92.2 mph with his fastball, but he features quality location and movement with his pitches. He threw his fastball 60.2% of the time last year, mixing in a slider at 15.6% and change-up at 24.2%.
Injecting Manaea into the rotation would give the Yankees a lot more talent to work with. Currently hosting three injury-prone players in the group, Cashman can’t feel good about it — the group projects as Cole, Severino, Jameson Taillon, Jordan Montgomery, and potentially Nestor Cortes.
The question is, what were the Yankees be willing to give up for Manaea?
Interestingly, up-and-coming pitcher Clarke Schmidt was scratched from his start on Sunday. Schmidt, 26, made two appearances last year but is ready to take a more prominent role within the team’s plans.
Given he has five years left of team control before hitting free agency and plenty of upside, the Yankees could feature him in a deal. We will soon find out why the team scratched him from starting on Sunday against Toronto.