Yankees interested in Starling Marte (Report)

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the New York Yankees “have checked in” with the Arizona Diamondbacks about outfielder Starling Marte.

The D-Backs acquired Marte, 31, from the Pittsburgh Pirates in January for top-30 prospects Brennan Malone and Liover Peguero. Across 118 at-bats this season, the outfielder sports a .322 batting average, an .853 OPS and a 131 OPS+ while totaling two home runs and 14 RBIs. For his career, Marte is hitting .288 with a .795 OPS and a 116 OPS+ while totaling 110 home runs and 434 RBIs.

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal says the D-Backs are open to trading both Marte and reliever Archie Bradley.

The Yankees have several players on the injured list including outfielders Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. Marte could theoretically be an everyday player for the foreseeable future in the Bronx. He has a team option for the 2021 Major League Baseball season ($12.5 million). Sherman notes that the Yankees don’t want to “add much, if any salary.”

The Yankees, 17-13, are in second place in the American League East, four games behind the Tampa Bay Rays. Their offense is fourth in MLB in slugging (.453), 17th in batting average (.246), 19th in runs (147) and 24th in hits (229). Infielders Gleyber Torres and Gio Urshela and catcher Kyle Higashioka are nursing injuries.

MLB insider Robert Murray reported on Sunday that the Yankees are interested in Cleveland Indians right-hander Mike Clevinger; Murray adds that Cleveland is believed to want “four quality prospects.” Clevinger is under contract through 2022. Left-hander James Paxton is on the injured list with a Grade 1 flexor strain.

Around the diamond, opposing teams can request one or a combination of Clint Frazier, Miguel Andujar, and Mike Tauchman in a trade. On the hill, opposing teams can request one or a combination of Michael King, Jordan Montgomery, Clarke Schmidt and Deivi Garcia in a trade.

The MLB trade deadline is Monday, August 31 at 4 p.m.

The pressure has turned up on Yankees GM Brian Cashman

New York Yankees, Brian Cashman

The New York Yankees have arguably hit the lowest point that they’ve hit over the last few seasons. In a shortened COVID 2020 baseball season, the Yankees have lost an astonishing seven consecutive games.

A seven game losing streak in a 60 game season equals out to about a 19 game losing streak in a regular 162 game season. The Yankees have lost Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, DJ LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton, James Paxton, Tommy Kahnle, Zack Britton, and others due to injuries during the year.

Aroldis Chapman didn’t start the year with the team due to COVID and Luis Severino was lost before the season started due to Tommy John. Last year’s 18 game winner for the Yankees, Domingo German, is missing the entire year due to suspension.

A year that was supposed to have the Yankees as a clear front runner to win their 28th world championship has seen the team take unprecedented hits. One of the only bright spots for the team has been their $324 million man Gerrit Cole.

The Yankees signed Cole in the off season to a record deal hoping he’d be the piece to push them over the top. He’s done his part despite a poor performance in his last start. Cole is 4-1 with a 3.51 ERA while striking out 11.6 batters per nine in seven starts.

Luke Voit has bounced back from last season’s injuries to be tremendous. However, Gary Sanchez has been a dumpster fire since the season started. That might be an insult to dumpster fires to be honest. The Yankees’ catcher is hitting .130 and his defense has regressed.

Heat turning up on Yankees GM

All this is to say that there is a ton of pressure on the shoulders of the Yankees GM, Brian Cashman. The trade deadline is two days away, and the Yankees have to make some kind of move. This team desperately needs a shot in the arm to get them going.

The sexy move would be to pull off some kind of blockbuster with Cleveland to get a starter like Mike Clevinger. Perhaps a big deal with Cincinnati to acquire Trevor Bauer although that appears unlikely at the moment.

Maybe the Yankees pull off something drastic at the deadline. Perhaps emptying the farm to acquire a guy like Francisco Lindor and a starter from Cleveland. Even acquiring someone like Mychal Givens from Baltimore would put some energy into the team although certainly not the sexiest move.

The GM cannot do anything about injuries. However, the Yankees have the resources to pull off something big at the deadline that won’t just impact this year, but can impact seasons down the road.

I’m not sure what they do, but Brian Cashman has to be feeling the pressure to get something done. The Yankees are in their eleventh year without a World Series appearance. The pressure is on the team to win now. Not next year or the year after, but right now.

New York Yankees’ target Mike Clevinger is drawing interest, but price is reportedly “ridiculous”

New York Yankees, Mike Clevinger

As the trade deadline approaches, the New York Yankees continue to look at candidates to fill a rotation spot. They need some depth given that they recently lost James Paxton for at least a few weeks and because J.A. Happ hasn’t been pitching well.

Gerrit Cole, the unquestioned ace, has had a bit of a home run problem, but is the only “sure thing” in the rotation. Masahiro Tanaka started the season on the injured list but seems to be finding his rhythm by now. But the Yankees can’t expect Jordan Montgomery to pitch like an ace and they can’t put all their hopes in rookies such as Deivi Garcia and Clarke Schmidt.

That’s why they are making a deep dive in the trade market to see if they can bring an arm. According to reports, they have been linked to arms such as Mike Minor and Taijuan Walker, before he was traded to the Blue Jays.

Another name that was mentioned around this week and last is that of Mike Clevinger. The Cleveland Indians starter violated a team rule and went out with teammate Zac Plesac, which resulted in both hurlers being demoted to the alternate training site.

They spent some time there, but Clevinger is now back in the Indians’ rotation. When they were gone, rookie Triston McKenzie impressed from the mound, and Cleveland may now be more open to the possibility of maximizing Clevinger’s value and trading him now.

The Yankees are interested, but at what cost?

That’s music to the New York Yankees’ ears. However, not everything is so smooth. According to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, the Indians’ asking prize for the talented right-hander is “ridiculous.”

It’s unclear if the Yankees are willing to surrender their top prospects in a trade, but it sure wouldn’t hurt to look at the possibility of bringing in one of the top pitchers of the American League.

For what is worth, Heyman says that Clevinger “is definitely being talked about in trade scenarios.”

Not only is he very talented (career 3.20 ERA and 3.58 FIP in 523.1 innings) but he is also under team control through 2022. He would require quite a haul. This is hardly the last we are going to hear about him in the next couple of days. Stay tuned.

New York Yankees News/Rumors: Who are the Yankees looking at before the Trade Deadline?

New York Yankees, Mike Clevinger

The New York Yankees will be busy during these last few days before the trade deadline at 4 pm, this coming Monday. Specifically Brian Cashman the Yankee general manager is working with not a lot of information, trying to fill some of the gaps in the Yankee team.  The Yankees have a pitching problem with only ace Gerrit Cole performing as expected.  The Yankees are missing key pitchers, Luis Severino who had Tommy John surgery, and last year’s best pitcher Domingo German who is serving out the remainder of his suspension.

Second, in the rotation, James Paxton, recently went on the IL with forearm flexor problem and won’t return to the rotation until a week or two before the end of the season.  The rest of the starting pitcher staff is giving up 5.97 runs per nine innings.  The bullpen also has their own problems, with the absence of Tommy Kahnle (Tommy John) and Zack Britton (hamstring). Lately, the only dependable reliever is Chad Green.  Closer Aroldis Chapman has returned from the coronavirus, but is mostly untested.

Various sources have said that the New York Yankees have been actively looking for help. Here are a few possible targets:

Mike Clevinger:

If the New York Yankees make a blockbuster deal, Mike Clevinger would pobably be involved.  Internal problems have besat Clevinger breaking the coronavirus protocol, leaving him on poor terms with the Cleveland Indians.  New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has already been in touch with the Indians, and the Indians have said they are open to offers. Clevinger is one of the best pitchers available before the trade deadline. The 29-year-old right hander has been excellent dating back to 2017 (2.97 ERA, 10.2 K/9 in 464 2/3 innings) and has two years of club control remaining beyond 2020. The Indians would be interested in Clint Frazier, that they originally drafted, and Miguel Adujar to fill their need for a 3rd baseman.

Trevor Bauer:

Trevor Bauer would be rental type move for the Yankees.  Cashman and company have scouted Trevor Bauer before.  He is now one of the best pitchers in baseball.  But there are problems for the Yankees, he becomes a free agent after this season.  Bauer also might not be the best fit for the Yankees, he is emotionally outspoken and uses Twitter frequently to vent his frustrations.  Some of his tweets are transphobic.  Even though he is 3-1 with a 1.65 ERA for the Cincinnati Reds, the Yankees will most likely pass on him. Several observers are more positive on this trade than I am.

Danny Duffy, Trevor Rosenthal, and Josh Staumont:

This is a complicated deal, that just might make sense for the Yankees. It would bring the Yankees starting pitching and bullpen help in one deal.  The Yankees have dealt with the Kansas City Royals several times over the years.  The Royals have some needs too.  Miguel Andujar would make a good fit for the Royals at 3rd base.  Someone like reliever Nick Nelson or similar, would probably have to go to make this trade happen. Staumont is the key piece here, given that he’s under control through 2025, has an average fastball velocity of 98.5 mph and is striking out 46.9% of batters faced. This should be very attractive to the Yankees.

Marcus Stroman:

Last season at the trade deadline the Yankees were interested in the pitcher from the Toronto Blue Jays, The Yankees have traded with the Blue Jays before, but this one didn’t go in favor of the Yankees. Stroman signed a one year deal with the New York Mets.  Forward to 2020, and Stoman has opted out of playing for the Mets.  Stroman has let it be known that he would like to be a Yankee.  He might be interested in making that happen before the deadline.

Taijuan Walker:

Today’s start against the San Diego Padres will likely be the last time Taijuan Walker dons the maritime insignia in 2020. The Yankees have done a lot of trading withthe Seattle Mariners in recent years. This is a likely deal that makes sense for the Yankees, and everyone wins with this one.  The Mariners picked him up thinking they could use him in a trade, and this deadline season just may make that a reality. Walker could be a clear upgade in a number four starter.

Kevin Gausman:

The Yankees have called the Giants about righty Kevin Gausman. Gausman, whom the Giants signed to a one-year, $9MM contract last winter, has tossed 31 innings of 4.65 ERA ball (with a far shinier 3.10 FIP) and recorded 12.19 K/9 against 1.74 BB/9 this season. The 29-year-old spent 2013-18 in the Yankees’ division, the AL East, as a member of the Orioles.

Mychal Givens:

If the New York Yankees go after Mychal Givens, it wouldn’t be the first time the Yanks have worked with the Baltimore Orioles.  Zack Britton the former Oriole closer, has worked out very well for the Yankees.  He most recently took over for Aroldis Chapman and gained all eight of his saves for the Yankees.  Givens could be just the help the Yankees need to patch up their bullpen.  Givens over his six years in the majors, he’s posted an ERA of 3.31, with a 3.39 FIP that backs it up.  Although the Orioles started out hot this year, they have returned to their losing ways, and might be willing to to be a seller.

Buck Farmer:

Buck Farmer is coming off his best season in 2019, and has been solid early on before going on the 10-day IL.   Farmer is not a high-leverage option, but more of a slight upgrade over some of the members of the team currently riding the Scranton Shuttle. With the Detroit Tigers drifting away from postseason contention, they might be willing to let Farmer loose. The Yankees have also expressed an interest in Matthew Boyd of the Tigers.

The one thing we know for sure is that Brian Cashman is s stealth genius, talking to those that no one has any idea of, his behind the scenes work is notorious.  Cashman will most likely zero in on at least one starter upgrade. He will also look to bolster the bullpen, but is more likely to depend on the Scranton/Stadium shuttle to fill those gaps.  It is not likely that we will see any blockbuster moves for anything else than pitching. The continual Francisco Lindor talk will continue as just talk. Keeping all this in mind, don’t be surprised by a complete surprise.

New York Yankees New/Rumors: The Yankees may now be active before the trade deadline?

New York Yankees, Gary Sanchez, Gerrit Cole, Aaron Boone

In this shortened season the New York Yankees and the other 29 MLB teams likely will not see the normal amount of action by the trade deadline, that has been moved forward to August 31st.  The lack of blockbuster trades will be caused by a lack of money available to make those trades, due to the money that will be lost in this short season.

If there is much action, the New York Yankees will likely be involved.  After the mega purchase of the best available pitcher on the market in the offseason, the Yankees signed Gerrit Cole to a nine-year $324 million contract.  General Manager Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner have gotten the message that it’s pitching stupid.

As of now the pitching situation for the New York Yankees is not very good. Gerrit Cole is doing fine, but the rest of the pitching rotation has an ERA hovering around 6.  Now the Yankees may be short James Paxton who left yesterday’s game with forearm soreness. The bullpen has also had their problems.  Tommy Kahnle and Zack Britton are on the IL, putting much pressure on Adam Ottavino who hasn’t been making a name for himself of late.  Three of my trade targets the Yankees should seriously consider are pitchers.

Below are my five top targets the Yankees should at least look at if they want to challenge for a 28th World Championship.

1. Mike Clevinger

The Cleveland Indian Mike Clevinger a right-handed pitcher, could be a New York Yankee target. He is a premier starting pitcher that could have an impact on the Yankee rotation in a season that will see Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, Adam Warren, and most likely J.A. Happ reach free agency.

Clevinger’s last season was 13-4 in 21 starts for the Indians, with an ERA of 2.71. He had 169 strikeouts and a whip of 1.056.  Clevinger from Jacksonville, Florida is 29 just like Gerrit Cole. Clevinger has four pitches that he uses regularly.  A curveball, a slider, a changeup, and a top of the league 99 mph fastball.

2. Marcus Stroman

Last year during the trade season I constantly praised Marcus Stroman, not as top of the line pitcher, but as a mid-rotation dependable pitcher that would be a good fit for the New York Yankees. When the Yankees considered him, he was a Toronto Blue Jay.  A trade was made and he ended up with the Mets, certainly not his first choice.

Stroman has not kept it a secret that he would love to pitch for the Yankees. He is the type of pitcher that would eat up the spotlight of Yankee Stadium. The right-hander has already said in a Zoom call recently that he expects to dominate this season.

Stroman is known for coming on strong after a slow start. A trade for Stroman also could be the most cost-effective trade the Yankees could make. Stroman has opted out playing for the Mets this year.  He might be willing to play for the Yankees next.

3. Kirby Yates

The New York Yankees already have one of the best bullpens in baseball, but there would be nothing wrong with making it even better.  The easiest way to do that is the add Kirby Yates who would be the perfect fit for the Yankees. Yates will reach free agency after this season.

Yates has been one of the best relievers in the game for the past two years and earned his first All-Star nod in 2019. He pitched to a 1.19 ERA, led the NL in saves with 41, and struck out 101 batters in just 60.2 innings. The San Diego Padres are going nowhere in the next few seasons and just may be willing to trade the right-hander.

4. Francisco Lindor

During the last trade season the Yankees went after Francisco Lindor, often called the best shortstop in baseball.  Although the trade offer that was made never became public, the Yankees or other suiters could not make a deal. Lindor reaches free agency after the 2021 season. It has been rumored that Indians manager Terry Francona has ordered a trade of Lindor. With Gleyber Torres making so many errors at short, the Yankees might be wise to get an upgrade.

Last season Lindor hit .284 with 32 homers. The 26-year-old has a bright future in baseball.  In just five years he has been an All-Star four times, a Silver Slugger twice, and has won the Gold Glove Award at short twice. The downside to this trade is it will be costly for the Yankees.  How Torres performs early on in the season, may cause the Yankees to go after him again. The Yankees also would like to see his left-hand bat in a lineup that doesn’t take advantage of the short right-field porch.

5. Nolan Arenado

The New York Yankees have always liked trading with the Colorado Rockies.  The Yankees have looked at Nolan Arenado before.  Although the Yankees don’t need a third baseman, they certainly would like his bat in the lineup that saw him achieve 41 home runs and a .315 batting average, last season for the Rockies.

Should the Yankees go after Arenado they will be getting a 29-year old that has been an All-Star five times, a  Gold Glover seven times, and a Platinum Glover for the last three seasons. He also achieved Silver Slugger status four times.  Arenado is at the top of his career.

The New York Yankees may also be looking to back up the backstop.  With Gary Sanchez so subject to injury, Chris Iannetta retiring and now Kyle Higashioka on the IL, that leaves them with only Erik Kratz.  Possibly an additional glove behind the plate might be wise.

Image, if you will, Gerrit Cole leading off the rotation followed by Mike Clevinger, a bullpen that includes Kirby Yates, Francisco Lindor at short, and Nolan Arenado at third base with his 41 home runs.  If the Yankees forego, Lindor and get Arenado, that could move Gio Urshela to short, where he has had experience. Now that the Yankees have fallen from first place in the East they may just be willing to make a trade or two.  It all depends on how much money they want to spend and what they are willing to give up for these elite players.

 

New York Yankees: 5 targets the Yankees should look at before the trade deadline

New York Yankees, Mike Clevinger

In this shortened season the New York Yankees and the other 29 MLB teams likely will not see the normal amount of action by the trade deadline, that has been moved forward to August 31st.  The lack of blockbuster trades will be caused by a lack of money available to make those trades, due to the money that will be lost in this short season.

If there is much action, the New York Yankees will likely be involved.  After the mega purchase of the best available pitcher on the market in the offseason, the Yankees signed Gerrit Cole to a nine-year $324 million contract.  General Manager Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner have gotten the message that it’s pitching stupid. Three of my trade targets the Yankees should seriously consider are pitchers.

1. Mike Clevinger

The Cleveland Indian Mike Clevinger a right-handed pitcher, could be a New York Yankee target. He is a premier starting pitcher that could have an impact on the Yankee rotation in a season that will see Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, Adam Warren, and most likely J.A. Happ reach free agency.

Clevinger’s last season was 13-4 in 21 starts for the Indians, with an ERA of 2.71. He had 169 strikeouts and a whip of 1.056.  Clevinger from Jacksonville, Florida is 29 just like Gerrit Cole. Clevinger has four pitches that he uses regularly.  A curveball, a slider, a changeup, and a top of the league 99 mph fastball.

2. Marcus Stroman

Last year during the trade season I constantly praised Marcus Stroman, not as top of the line pitcher, but as a mid-rotation dependable pitcher that would be a good fit for the New York Yankees. When the Yankees considered him, he was a Toronto Blue Jay.  A trade was made and he ended up with the Mets, certainly not his first choice.

Stroman has not kept it a secret that he would love to pitch for the Yankees. He is the type of pitcher that would eat up the spotlight of Yankee Stadium. The right-hander has already said in a Zoom call recently that he expects to dominate this season.  In Sunday’s three-inning intrasquad outing he walked the first three batters he faced, but the Long Island native didn’t allow a run, retired seven of the last eight batters, and struck out three while throwing 47 pitches. Stroman is known for coming on strong after a slow start. A trade for Stroman also could be the most cost-effective trade the Yankees could make.

3. Kirby Yates

The New York Yankees already have one of the best bullpens in baseball, but there would be nothing wrong with making it even better.  The easiest way to do that is the add Kirby Yates who would be the perfect fit for the Yankees. Yates will reach free agency after this season.

Yates has been one of the best relievers in the game for the past two years and earned his first All-Star nod in 2019. He pitched to a 1.19 ERA, led the NL in saves with 41, and struck out 101 batters in just 60.2 innings. The San Diego Padres are going nowhere in the next few seasons and just may be willing to trade the rigth-hander.

4. Francisco Lindor

During the last trade season the Yankees went after Francisco Lindor, often called the best shortstop in baseball.  Although the trade offer that was made never became public, the Yankees or other suiters could not make a deal. Lindor reaches free agency after the 2021 season. It has been rumored that Indians manager Terry Francona has ordered a trade of Lindor.

Last season Lindor hit .284 with 32 homers. The 26-year-old has a bright future in baseball.  In just five years he has been an All-Star four times, a Silver Slugger twice, and has won the Gold Glove Award at short twice. The downside to this trade is it will be costly for the Yankees.  How Miguel Torres performs early on in the season, may cause the Yankees to go after him again. The Yankees also would like to see his left-hand bat in a lineup that doesn’t take advantage of the short right-field porch.

5. Nolan Arenado

The New York Yankees have always liked trading with the Colorado Rockies.  The Yankees have looked at Nolan Arenado before.  Although the Yankees don’t need a third baseman, they certainly would like his bat in the lineup that saw him achieve 41 home runs and a .315 batting average, last season for the Rockies.

Should the Yankees go after Arenado they will be getting a 29-year old that has been an All-Star five times, a  Gold Glover seven times, and a Platinum Glover for the last three seasons. He also achieved Silver Slugger status four times.  Arenado is at the top of his career.

Image, if you will, Gerrit Cole leading off the rotation followed by Mike Clevinger, a bullpen that includes Kirby Yates, Francisco Lindor at short, and Nolan Arenado at third base with his 41 home runs.  One can dream, but much will depend on how the Yankees present players will do before the deadline.  How much money the New York Yankees want to spend, and who they might be willing to give up for these elite players.