Yankees could make a move for quality Athletics starting pitcher at the summer trade deadline

Syndication: Detroit Free Press, paul blackburn, yankees

The New York Yankees can add to their already impressive pitching staff before the 2024 MLB trade deadline, and one pitcher has been linked to the team for reinforcements.

Adam Weinrib of Yanks Go Yard identified Oakland Athletics pitcher Paul Blackburn as a suitable starting option for the Yankees to pursue ahead of the July 30 deadline (h/t Patrick McAvoy of Fan Nation’s Inside the Pinstripes).

Yankees can keep an eye on Athletics RHP Paul Blackburn in the midst of his strong early 2024 campaign

Blackburn has made six starts so far in 2024. His 3.34 ERA is his best since his rookie campaign and his 3.82 FIP is impressing in the limited sample size shown.

Further, the 30-year-old throws a balanced array of pitches, relying on his four Seamer 21.2 percent of the time, followed by his cutter (20.4%), changeup (19.3%), Slider (17.5%), curveball (11.7%) and sinker (9.9%).

Is there room for Blackburn on the Yankees? Will New York be buyers for pitchers at the deadline?

The 2022 All-Star could slide right into the Yankees’ rotation and be of most value while reigning AL Cy Young award winner Gerrit Cole remains out with an injury. Cole isn’t expected to return when first eligible on May 27, making his return slated for closer to the summer at the earliest.

Should the Yankees be active in the trade market prior to the deadline, Blackburn could be another steady veteran arm for the team to utilize in Cole’s stead. He’d also be a viable depth option at the end of the lineup.

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Baltimore Orioles
Credit: James A. Pittman-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees do have a five-man rotation, all playing well to start the season. Carlos Rodon leads them, while Nestor Cortes, Marcus Stroman, Clark Schmidt, and young star talent Luis Gil have helped the team earn a 19-10 record thus far. It remains to be seen if New York will look to move off of one of their starters and also deal one or more of their hitters in exchange for another starter, but if so, Blackburn is a name for them to watch.

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