Should the New York Yankees pursue Josh Hader this offseason?

New York Yankees, Josha Hader

The New York Yankees will certainly be looking at way to improve their ballclub entering next year. The bombers flamed out in the ALDS against the Tampa Bay Rays this year after being labeled as World Series favorites before the year started.

Brian Cashman took a lot of heat after the season was over considering the fact that the Yankees did nothing to improve their pitching at the trade deadline. They stuck to their guns and the lack of improvement hurt when it mattered the most.

Now, the Yankees main problem came from their starting rotation. However, their bullpen was not as sharp as it was in years passed. Adam Ottavino struggled mightily in 2020. Closer Aroldis Chapman was shaky at times for the Yankees including in the final game of the season.

There are not a ton of free agent options on the market for the Yankees in terms of starting pitching this year. The highlight is of course Trevor Bauer who the Yankees should pursue. However, the bombers might be limited in their financial flexibility.

With that in mind, the Yankees might look to get creative on ways to improve the team. With that, you could see them pursue upgrades on the trade market. One guy in particular who could be of interest is someone they were after last year and that’s all star closer, Josh Hader.

Will the Yankees pursue?

After they signed Gerrit Cole last year, the rumor mill was buzzing with talks between the Yankees and the Brewers. The Yankees were looking to add Hader if a deal made sense for both parties. However, nothing ever got close despite the Yankees’ efforts.

Hader is going into his first year of arbitration this year and will be under team control for the next three seasons. Given his history of success and control, he wouldn’t be cheap. However, the Yankees might seriously think about pursuing Hader again.

Hader was really good last year, but his numbers looked worse than what they were. He pitched to a 3.79 ERA in 19 innings while striking out 31 batters. That inflated ERA came on the heels of two really bad outings. However, Hader really showed his dominance throughout the year.

Ottavino’s decline was alarming for the Yankees and he’s only signed through next year. The Yankees have Zack Britton (Pending options) and Aroldis Chapman locked up for the next two years. Perhaps they could toss Hader into that mix to build back up a super bullpen.

The Yankees need to do something this offseason to breathe some life into the team. They cannot simply bring back the same squad and expect different results. I think they should focus on starting pitching, but if they can’t, Hader would be a great option to boost that bullpen moving forward.

Yankees reach out to the Giants about Kevin Gausman (Report)

Kevin Gausman, New York Yankees

Another day and another pitcher is on the New York Yankees radar. Per Andy Martino, the Yankees have reached out to the San Francisco Giants about starting pitcher Kevin Gausman.

The Yankees have been very active this week reaching out to Seattle regarding Taijuan Walker and reaching out to Cleveland regarding Mike Clevenger. Gausman would be one starting pitcher that the Yankees are familiar with.

Yankees have familiarity with Gausman

The New York Yankees have a lot of familiarity with starter Kevin Gausman. Before being traded in 2018, Gausman spent the first five years of his career with the Baltimore Orioles. He has faced the Yankees on a number of occasions.

Gausman has really good stuff, and he’s shown great potential at times in his career. The problem with Gausman has been his inconsistency. Take this year as an example of Gausman’s inconsistent pitching.

So far in 2020 in six appearances, Gausman is 1-1 with a 4.65 ERA and a WHIP of 1.290. Now, he is striking out a career high 12.2 batters per nine innings. His FIP also suggests that he’s been the victim of some bad luck with his FIP coming in at 3.12.

When I mention Gausman’s inconsistency, it usually plays out in games. I’ve seen him pitch this year, and he can look like a top of the rotation arm at times. Yet, there are other innings where he leaves a lot of pitches just begging to be hit a long way.

If he can hone in on his strengths, I believe that he could really be a game changer for the Yankees. I’m also loving the velocity I’m seeing out of Gausman. In his last start that I noticed his fastball was touching 97 on the gun.

The Yankees are needing another pitcher for the stretch run. I think that Matt Blake could be the guy to assist with unlocking a more consistent Kevin Gausman. A winning team probably wouldn’t hurt either. Gausman will be a free agent after this season and shouldn’t cost a ton, but given teams’ need for pitching, you never know.

 

Yankees and Mariners are talking about Taijuan Walker (Report)

Taijuan Walker, New York Yankees

The New York Yankees are always looking for another edge if they can find one. Whether it’s signing free agents or making a trade, the Yankees are trying to be the best team in baseball. Right now, their pitching staff is really hurting.

Going into the year after the Yankees signed Gerrit Cole, many believed the rotation would be a strong spot for the team. However, they lost Luis Severino to Tommy John, James Paxton is hurt and might not be back for a while, J.A. Happ has been awful, and Masahiro Tanaka has been inconsistent.

The only true bright spot in the rotation has been Gerrit Cole who has pitched like a Cy Young winner. Because of the lack of performance, the Yankees are actively looking for help in the trade market. Per MLB Networks Jon Morosi, they have checked in with Seattle on Taijuan Walker.

The Yankees – Mariners Connection

The Yankees front office is extremely familiar with the front office of Seattle. As Morosi pointed out in his tweet, the teams have done eight deals in the last five years including the Yankees acquiring James Paxton.

Walker is off to a pretty good start in the 2020 season. The big right hander is 2-2 with an ERA of 4.00 and a WHIP of 1.074. He’s striking out just under nine batters per nine innings. In his last two starts he’s gone a combined 13 innings while only giving up three runs and striking out 13.

Walker will be a free agent after the season is over, and while in a normal year you wouldn’t think the price tag would be enormous, the lack of available pitching might make this deal difficult to pull off.

The Yankees are not going to give up a great deal for Walker. Would he improve the team now? Of course, but I can’t see Cashman giving up a ton for him. Now, the teams work very well together so I wouldn’t be shocked to see a deal worked out that is good for both sides.

I said yesterday, I believe that the Yankees are going to make some kind of deal this week. Whether it’s a bullpen arm like Mychal Givens or a starter like Walker or just an arm for depth purposes, the Yankees will do something. Time will tell what that something is.