Yankees Mock Trade: Adding 2 dominant arms for pitching staff

MLB: Texas Rangers at New York Yankees
Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest issues for the Yankees over the last month has been their starting pitching, as they’ve struggled to get much of anything from their rotation or bullpen in this recent slide. While they’re currently in a mathematical tie with the Orioles for first place in the AL East, it’s clear that they’ll need to improve on both sides of the ball if they want to win their 28th World Series Championship. The Texas Rangers (who did help the Yankees this weekend), have looked awful for most of the 2024 season, and despite being reigning champions they could look to sell this summer.

Boasting some excellent arms in the bullpen and rotation, could the Yankees pull off a blockbuster deal that helps them land two impact arms?

Yankees-Rangers Potential Blockbuster Sees Two Familiar Faces Return

Syndication: Journal Sentinel

Few pitchers have the playoff pedigree that Nathan Eovaldi does, as he’s had two different postseason runs where he dominated en route to a title. The right-hander pitched for the Yankees from 2015 to 2016 before undergoing Tommy John Surgery and being non-tendered by the club, becoming one of the better pitchers in the American League since that point in time. The right-hander has done an excellent job of remaining consistent and effective thanks to a stellar array of secondaries that he pairs with a high-velocity four-seamer.

Through 13 starts, Eovaldi has a 3.45 ERA and 24.7% strikeout rate, keeping the ball on the ground 49.2% of the time and showing off some more swing-and-miss stuff than we’ve seen in the past two seasons. The Yankees would be adding a top-of-the-rotation bulldog who could pair with Gerrit Cole as one of the most fearsome duos in the league, providing power fastballs with excellent movement on their secondaries. Last October, Nathan Eovaldi posted a 2.95 ERA and 26.8% strikeout rate as he helped guide the Texas Rangers to their first title in franchise history.

With a vesting option for the 2025 campaign that would kick in only if Eovaldi throws 83 more innings this season, it’s unlikely he ends up being a guaranteed contract for next year. It’s already a question mark of whether he collects the necessary innings this year to hit the 300-inning threshold over the last two seasons, but his performance on the mound would indicate that he should opt out and seek another multi-year deal in the winter. This essentially makes him a rental, and the value for him won’t be too high at the deadline.

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MLB: Texas Rangers at Los Angeles Dodgers

Speaking of former Yankees, how about a reunion with right-hander David Robertson, who has remained one of the best closers in baseball in his age-39 season? Through 35 innings, he has a 3.34 ERA and 37.8% strikeout rate, providing the swings and misses that the Yankees have sorely missed in their bullpen thus far. He keeps the ball on the ground plenty and is an absolute monster in high leverage, making him the perfect arm for the Yankees. They need someone who can close out games as well, as it could allow them to deploy Clay Holmes more liberally as well.

David Robertson is averaging a career-high in cutter velocity (93.6) and he’s just carving up opposing hitters with that signature pitch. It’s a different look from any other arm in their bullpen as well, getting excellent vertical ride while also having cutting action into the hands of lefties and away from righties. He still has the excellent curveball as well, and his profile is just perfect for what the Yankees are looking for. This wouldn’t be a cheap trade, and the Yankees would likely have to part ways with some talent Minor Leaguers to push this deal across the line.

  • Chase Hampton
  • Clayton Beeter
  • Luis Serna

It’s a pitching-heavy package, and while both Hampton and Beeter are injured, they’re near-MLB-ready arms who could help the Rangers as soon as 2025. Luis Serna is a bit farther away, but at just 19 years old he’s put up some impressive strikeout numbers thanks to a unique screwball that he throws with wicked movement. This deal would bolster the pitching side of Texas’ farm system, supplementing a position player core that should be better than they have this season.

Wyatt Langford is finally waking up while still having the elite Corey Seager anchoring them, and now it’s just a question of whether the Rangers would value these players much or not. It’s also a question of whether they’d sell in the first place, as they can pull themselves back into this race if they’re able to get red-hot in July.

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