2 starting pitching the Yankees should consider trading for

New York Yankees, Chris Bassitt

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman continues to scour the market for pitching support, despite signing Corey Kluber to a one year, $11 million deal. It is becoming clear that Cashman doesn’t feel necessarily optimistic about his starting rotation, considering three players haven’t played in a combined five years.

Those players are Kluber, Luis Severino, and Domingo German. While they hold plenty of talent, it has been quite some time that any of the three have taken the mound in a competitive way. Kluber and Severino have both dealt with injuries the past two years, and German has spent the last season serving a domestic abuse suspension.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Yankees make another move relatively soon, whether it be a free agent signing or trade. I’m leaning more toward a trade, considering the Yankees have plenty of assets they can part ways with for a cheaper option to fit under their salary.

Here are two starters the Yankees could consider in a trade:

1.) Chris Bassitt

One stellar option is Oakland Athletics Chris Bassitt. He’s scheduled to make just $4.9 million in 2021. As a round 16 pick back in 2011, Bassitt has gradually made strides at the MLB level. This past year with Oakland, he landed a 2.29 ERA over 63 innings. He’s not a high strikeout pitcher, but he forces weak contact and utilizes a diverse array of pitches. They include a fastball, slider, curveball, changeup, and cutter.

With this many pitches, he’s able to keep batters guessing with his off-speed balls. He hovers in the 92.9 mph range with his fastball, meaning he’s not a strong arm thrower, which is something the Yankees have been attracted to in the past. However, at 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, he is an intimidating figure on the mound and could represent a massive upgrade in the rotation.

It would undoubtedly take a few assets to land him in a trade, but he is a player that can make an impact immediately and still has two years left of control on his contract.

2.) Kyle Hendriks

Another name that has bubbled to the surface is Kyle Hendricks, who is 31 years old and is currently on a four year, $55.5 million deal that expires in 2023. He is expected to earn $14 million in 2021, so the Yankees would have to find a bit more money to fit him into their payroll. However, he is another player that had a stellar 2020 season. With the Chicago Cubs, he landed a 2.88 ERA over 81.1 innings.

He’s another starter it doesn’t strike out a significant number of batters, but rather forces poor contact and often times leaves batters on base. This past season, his left on-base percentage was 82.4%, with a 47.1% ground ball rate. Considering Yankee Stadium and the short porches, it’s always beneficial to see a high ground ball rate for pitchers of interest. I believe he would fit nicely into the rotation, and with several years still left on his deal at a favorable cost, Cashman should at least inquire.

 

Could the New York Yankees and Cubs make a big deal this offseason?

New York Yankees, Yankees, Brian Cashman

Many in baseball have been anxious about this unique offseason. There are so many things up in the air and the New York Yankees have been quiet so far which has fans guessing on what the bombers are doing at the moment.

From all indications, the Yankees are focused on resigning DJ LeMahieu. I was tipped off recently that the two sides were progressing towards a reunion, however, it’s still fluid with plenty of other bidders in the race.

The Yankees view DJ LeMahieu as the key to their offseason. If they resign LeMahieu, they have a general idea on where they want to go. You also have to imagine that they have a backup plan if they can’t bring him back.

There have been a lot of rumors out there regarding the Yankees and their interest on the trade market. One of the names that has been thrown around is the Indians’ All-Star shortstop, Francisco Lindor. 

There has been talked that the team has kicked the tires on a few other fronts. However, there’s one team that I’m thinking of that hasn’t been mentioned a ton with the Yankees as of yet. That team is the Chicago Cubs.

Cubs looking to sell?

The Cubs are going through a transition at the moment. Theo Epstein just stepped down and Jed Hoyer has taken over the team. There has also been talk that the Cubs are going to look to potentially be sellers this offseason.

They have a number of pieces to potentially trade including: Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Wilson Contreras, Kyle Hendricks, Anthony Rizzo, and Kyle Schwarber. At this point, Bryant and Schwarber seem to be the most likely to move, although all could be on the table.

The Yankees and the Cubs have history when it comes to big deals. The Yankees traded away Aroldis Chapman a few years ago to the Cubs which netted them Gleyber Torres. One of the better moves Cashman has made during his time as GM in my opinion.

Who could the Yankees target?

If the Yankees are interested, who should they call about? To me, the two most obvious choices would be Kyle Hendricks and Wilson Contreras. Hendricks is one of the more reliable starters in the NL while Contreras is one of the best catchers in baseball.

Both of those spots are obvious areas of weakness for the Yankees currently. We’ve seen and heard about the Yankees current dilemma with Gary Sanchez. They are still trying to decide what to do with him at the moment.

Another option could be Javier Baez. The former NL MVP runner-up is scheduled to become a free agent after next season just like Lindor. If the Yankees don’t land LeMahieu, perhaps they could work out a deal for Baez as their SS for the future.

There are a lot of possibilities and again, a lot will be driven by what happens with DJ LeMahieu. There’s no real smoke between the clubs right now, but don’t be shocked if you hear about the Yankees and Cubs chatting at some point this offseason.