The Yankees have their five-man rotation set, but could GM Brian Cashman find room to squeeze in Madison Bumgarner?
Cashman's "pivot" comment at the Winter Meetings on Wednesday served as a reminder that you can never totally count the Yankees out of making a surprise splash. Though Bryce Harper and Manny Machado immediately came to mind with Cashman's remarks, a blockbuster trade for Bumgarner remains a possibility even after the signing of J.A. Happ.
The 29-year-old ace and Giants playoff hero has one year and $12 million left on his contract. San Francisco is likely seeking "at least one high-end pitching prospect" in any deal for him, according to MLB.com's Jon Morosi.
The Giants' demands could present a problem for the Yankees, who traded their top pitching prospect, Justus Sheffield, to the Mariners in the deal for James Paxton.
Paxton and Happ joined Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka and CC Sabathia to form the Yankee rotation.
As SNY contributer John Harper has noted, the Happ move allows the Yankees to potentially wait until the July 31 trade deadline to add to their staff.
It also gives the Yankees time to see how Bumgarner pitches after a pair of injury-plagued seasons in which his fastball velocity has declined.
In 129.2 innings this past season, the lefty had a 3.26 ERA (3.99 FIP) and 1.24 WHIP with 109 strikeouts.